November 17, 2017
Yesterday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took the wraps off the company's first electric big rig, a semi the company claims is safer and more efficient than any diesel-powered heavy duty truck on the market.
As described by Zac Estrada of The Verge, “The Tesla semi truck is a hulking and menacing hauler, with the presence of Darth Vader lurking from above when cast in the black hue, or more like an apparition in metallic silver-white.”
In other words, exactly what we expect to see from Tesla, as they attempt to deliver a semi truck that lives up to the brand’s DNA of making the future seem cool.
The new vehicle will start production in 2019, but no price tag was mentioned.
Here's a basic breakdown of some its key features:
- 500 miles of range per charge
- Can charge up to 400 miles in just 30 minutes
- 0-60 miles per hour with 80k pounds in 20 seconds
- 4 motors on rear axis
"Overall, the Semi is more responsive, covers more miles than a diesel truck in the same amount of time, and more safely integrates with passenger car traffic," the company said in a statement.
Musk didn't say how much each truck costs, but they are conscious of how much it costs to operate a big rig, and instead of leaving connectivity to routing and tracking systems to third-party companies and costly accessories, connectivity is built in for communication with numerous route management systems.
Musk also said that Tesla will guarantee the semi's powertrain for one million miles to help alleviate any customer concerns.
The Tesla Semi fits with Musk's stated goal for the company of accelerating the shift to sustainable transportation. Trucks account for nearly a quarter of transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., according to government statistics.
Tesla's semi is venturing into an uncertain market. Demand for electric trucks is expected to grow over the next decade as the U.S., Europe, and China all tighten their emissions regulations. Electric truck sales totaled 4,100 in 2016, but are expected to grow to more than 70,000 in 2026, says Navigant Research.