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Everything You Need to Know About the Tesla Semi-Truck

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The trucking industry has been shaken to its core with the new announcement of the electric Tesla Semi Truck. Here is everything you need to know about the Tesla Semi Truck!

Basics

  • Price:
    • $150,000 - $180,000
  • Mileage:
    • 300-500 depending on which model you buy

Charging

One of the biggest concerns of the new electric truck is the battery. How many times will a driver have to stop to charge it? How long will it take to charge? Will there be chargers available?

It has been reported that Tesla is collaborating with Anheuser-Busch, PepsiCo, and United Parcel Service Inc to build on-site charging stations at their facilities.

Tesla Semi trucks can be charged at a regular Tesla Supercharger, although Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla, hopes to release “Megachargers.” These Megachargers can power a semi battery for 30 minutes with solar power. Elon also claims that a truck can get  400 miles in a 30-minute charge with the Megachargers. It is still unknown how accessible Tesla chargers will be and whether Elon will be able to get these chargers in common truck stops. Many drivers have doubts that Elon Musk will be able to work with the different state governments to install these chargers at the truck stops.

Design

On Tesla’s homepage for their semi-truck, they claim their “Semi is the safest, most comfortable truck ever. Four independent motors provide maximum power and acceleration and require the lowest energy cost per mile.”

It has the quickest acceleration from 0-60 in 20 seconds fully loaded. They also have an autopilot installed that helps avoid collisions. The driver is positioned in the middle of the cabin to provide “maximum visibility and control.” This design also offers rollover protection. The Tesla Semi also has a strong windshield that will reduce damage from flying debris and keep the driver safe. The driver also has two IPad-like screens that will show the status of the vehicle and images from the side-view camera. Although side view cameras are a great addition and reduce blind spots, I personally am uncomfortable with being that reliant on electronics. If the camera breaks or something goes wrong with the electronic circuits, the driver will be in a very tough situation without mirrors.

Elon also claims that this new model will make jackknifing “impossible” due to the technology. Tesla’s explanation for how this is possible is that each wheel operates separately on electric motors - meaning when there is ice on the road or the weight shifts, sensors will be able to adjust tire speed accordingly.

A downfall to the Tesla semi is the fact that it’s heavier than an average diesel semi which can reduce how much a trailer can carry. The Tesla is very aerodynamic and increases its ‘fuel’ efficiency. The drag efficiency is better than many supercars, which is impressive for a semi. The design is arguably not the prettiest and I think it’s safe to say a traditional Peterbilt will always win in the looks department. 

Tesla Semi Truck In Action

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thx-querpPw
Video of Tesla Semi Truck (We do not condone using a phone and driving.)

Tesla's semi is very quiet even while accelerating. The speed is insane!

Companies That Invested in Tesla Semi Trucks

  • Walmart signed a contract for 130 Tesla Semis
  • UPS pre-ordered 125
  • Pepsi pre-ordered 100
  • Anheuser-Busch pre-ordered 40

Can electric semis replace traditional diesel?

For years diesel engines have been the leaders in efficiency. Semi-truck engines could run for 100,000 miles before the need of a major service and can make 750,00-1,000,000 miles in a lifetime. Being that the Tesla truck has fewer moving parts and less to break down in, Elon expects the semi to last much longer and saves companies a lot of money on repairs. On top of that, companies can expect 200,000 in fuel savings. I think the future can only tell, if the Megachargers come out and are available in most truck stops, there is a good chance electric semi-trucks will rule the road. Elon Musk yet again challenges the usual.

Everything You Need to Know About the Tesla Semi-Truck
Vanessa Kuras

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