As Elon Musk has been teasing for the past few months, Tesla finally unveiled their all electric semi truck, and as we all predicted it is going to be a game changer. Not only will an all electric semi truck cut down drastically on pollution caused by fossil fuels such as diesel fuel, but the truck will feature all kinds of other advancements that will be welcome by the trucking industry. It will feature a center cockpit driving position that will allow Tesla to manufacture one truck for the entire world market, instead of creating two different models for both left-hand and right-hand drive markets, but also allowing the driver to have a better view of what is around his truck on both sides which will help in driving and slow speed maneuvers like parking and guiding the truck to a dock for loading and unloading. On the dashboard, on either side of the driver are two large touchscreen displays that provide navigation, blind spot monitoring, data logging, and pretty much anything that the driver will need – all within easy reach. Gone are the endless amounts of buttons, switches, and dials that today’s semi trucks have, all replaced by easy to use touch screen displays like the ones found in Tesla’s passenger vehicles.
And of course, just like all Tesla’s the truck will be fast, reaching 60 MPH in only 5 seconds – that is faster than many sports cars! Most diesel powered semi trucks take about 20 seconds to reach 60. Of course that is without a load, but the Tesla semi will still reach 60 in about 15 seconds with a full 80,000 lb load, something that takes a diesel semi over a minute to achieve. Perhaps one of the best features of the Tesla semi is that it will have a range of 500 miles. And since 80% of freight moved by truck in the US travels less than 250 miles, the Tesla semi should have more than enough range for nearly all truck routes. And if the 500 miles isn’t quite enough, Tesla is planning to install a new network of chargers specifically for the semis that they call megachargers. These megachargers will be able to charge the semi’s battery pack enough to drive 400 miles in only 30 minutes. It takes a diesel semi about 15 minutes to fill up, so 15 extra minutes doesn’t seem to be much of an ask for most truckers. And since the Tesla Semi is all electric, it has a regenerative braking system that captures up to 98% of the kinetic energy that is typically wasted in non-electric drive-trains.
Safety is also a huge concern with the Tesla semi truck as it is designed to have a higher safety standard than any other heavy-duty truck on the market. Sensors instantly detect any instability that could lead to the truck jackknifing and adjusts the torque in the individual motors as well as actuating the brakes as necessary to keep the truck driving straight. Another awesome feature is that the glass in the windshield is so strong that not only can it resist rocks and debris coming from the road, it can actually withstand a thermonuclear blast! Musk jokingly said that if any windshields break due to nuclear explosion they will be replaced free of charge.