It’s been a few years since Elon Musk has announced anything about the new Tesla semi-truck.
The new truck was supposed to be available in 2019 but a variety of roadblocks have popped up since then. Now the production is slated for later this year and there are even reports about a new prototype of the Tesla semi-truck.
But what exactly can you look forward to in this new addition to the Tesla electric line? If Musk is to be believed, this new semi model will revolutionize the trucking industry as we know it.
We’ll break it down for you with 5 things we know so far including pricing, the Tesla semi-truck specs, and more.
1. Tesla Semi-Truck Pricing and Operating Cost
So, how much exactly are these new trucks going to set you back?
Currently, there are two separate models. There is a short-range model and a mid-range model. The short-range has an expected price of $150,000 while the mid-range will start at $180,000.
These Tesla semi-truck prices will be more upfront compared to a typical Class 8 diesel-day cab at $120,000. However, Tesla is promising long-term savings as the justification for the price hike.
As of now, diesel trucks have an overall operating cost of about $1.51 per mile. However, Musk is proposing an overall of operating cost of $1.21 per mile for the Tesla semi-truck.
So as we can see with the projected costs, the Tesla semi-truck price will be a bit higher but they will save your company much more in the long term.
2. Battery and Power
What sort of batteries will be used for the Tesla semi-truck and how powerful are they? Well, that will depend on the model.
The electric batteries themselves bear a similar resemblance to the batteries of Tesla’s other vehicles. The short-range day-cab is expected to have a battery with enough juice to power the truck for 300 miles. The mid-range will have a battery last for closer to 500 miles.
The batteries themselves will most likely be incredibly large. This is necessary to charge such a large machine along with the load it is carrying. The battery will start below the driver’s feet and extend all the way to the truck’s back wheels.
But how about charging the batteries?
Tesla has said that it will be working closely with its customers to install networks of what they call “megachargers” across the country.
These megachargers will be capable of providing up to 400 miles of travel time on a 30-minute charge. Not too shabby, but definitely a longer time than the diesel cabs.
On-highway chargers are expected to be integrated at one point but that is further down the road. Tesla is still seeking out partners to help with land acquisition, equipment, etc.
3. Safety and Hauling Tests
The new Tesla semi-trucks are great but it is important to assess their safety and their hauling performance. After all, if they cannot haul your loads then what good are they?
For one thing, the electric trucks have fewer moving parts and therefore have a lesser chance of breaking down on the road.
Fewer breakdowns can mean fewer accident opportunities which bode well for their safety ratings.
If a breakdown does happen, drivers may find themselves in a bit of a conundrum. With a diesel cab, finding automobile repair is a breeze. With an electric truck, they may find themselves at a loss without access to a support specialist.
So how about hauling? At the semi’s debut, Musk claimed that it would maintain a top speed of 65 mph on a 5% uphill grade with a fully loaded gross weight of 80,000 pounds.
This is promising compared to a typical Class 8 diesel truck which tops out at 45 mph carrying the same load uphill.
This means that trucking companies that haul especially heavy loads, like log trucking, for example, can rest easy. Though the tests are promising, it is still important to make sure you have a solid log truck insurance option.
4. Autonomous Driving
One of the core aspects of Tesla’s electric vehicles includes the addition of autonomous driving.
The company plans to equip each of its semi-truck Teslas with automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, forward-collision warning, and obstacle recognition. Also, they are planning to add the ability for the trucks to communicate with other vehicles over a wireless network to enable platooning.
In addition to these features, the semis will also include a semi-autonomous auto-piloting system. This comes standard in most Tesla models and features advanced sensor coverage, autonomous navigation, auto-steering, and more.
While all these autonomous features sound great, there is a possibility that the Tesla semi-trucks will not launch with these features. Regardless, they will definitely be incorporated at a later date is not immediately.
5. Style and Form
The features sound great, the batteries are solid, but what about the visual design?
Musk himself touted that the company is looking to design the Tesla semi-trucks closer to a bullet than a barn door.
Tesla has made them very aerodynamic. The sleek cab is reminiscent of Japan’s bullet trains and of Musk’s rockets from his other company, SpaceX.
The driver’s seat has a view and position closer to a race car than a semi-truck, even though we know it won’t have the same acceleration. However, Tesla claims the truck will have a drag coefficient of 0.36 which is better than some supercars.
Charging Up the Trucking Industry
So there we have it, that is about all we know when it comes to the new sleeper Tesla semi-truck. Hopefully, we will see this semi come into production later this year, but for now, we’ll just have to speculate.
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