While no one saw the Tesla Roadster reveal coming, turning it into our new all-time favorite electric car, the Tesla Semi has been a thing of huge hype for a long time – and according to Musk &Co. the commercial sector is getting a better than expected package.
First of all, Tesla is touting incredible performance for a truck – it’s actually promising better performance than most cars out on the road… with a zero to 60 mph time of just 5 – yes, five – seconds when not hitched to a trailer, of course. Tesla than added a fully-loaded 80,000-pound trailer will only slow down the Semi to reach the 96 kph mark in 20 seconds – which is trumping any diesel truck out there. For the professional industry other figures might be of more immediate concern – such as the fact it can climb a 5 percent grade at a constant 65 mph.
And while there were major concerns about range, Tesla says a range of 500 miles operating at GVW and highway speeds is possible – which actually puts it on par with a diesel-powered rig. The futuristic design is actually here to help with that, given its extensive aerodynamic efficiency, with a flat bottom and side flaps to close the gap between the truck and the towed trailer. Even when it comes to recharging times Tesla has an ace up its sleeve – a project for high-speed DC megachargers that will be installed as the Supercharger network at truck stops and other locations, giving the Semi a 400-mile range in 30 minutes.
The futuristic exterior design is mirrored inside, where the driver is positioned centrally (no McLaren F1 second and third seats though) and gets a duo of touch screens on either side of the steering wheel. Cameras everywhere monitor blind spots and driver safety and assist systems include an autonomous mode for long-hauling in a convoy, here the truck can follow the lead rig. Tesla has decided to advance 2019 as the production start timetable, with reservations at a mere $5,000 per truck.