Tesla’s electric semi-truck – Everything we know so far

Speaking about the Boring Company, which is just another of his futuristic ventures, at a TED talk in Vancouver on Friday, Elon Musk unveiled a teaser image of Tesla’s electric semi-truck. He had announced Tesla’s plan to fully unveil a semi-trailer truck prototype by September 2017 at the New York Auto Show earlier this month. Here’s a sneak peek at its outer design.

Tesla's electric semi-truck 2017
Tesla Semi

The Tesla Semi seems to maintain a lot of the design elements indicative of Tesla’s flagship models. The tall headlights seamlessly arise from the upper edge of the bumper and blend into the body. The minimal design is evident as the windshield melts into the wind deflector and fluidly extends towards the sides as one solid part. Moreover, the smaller hood coupled with the absence of side view mirrors gives the truck a futuristic look.

What do we know about Tesla’s electric semi-truck?

The Tesla Semi is a class 8 truck. The classification being on the basis of the loading weight of the vehicle. Class eight represents a heavyweight semi-trailer truck with a load weight exceeding 33,001 pounds (14,969 kg).

Tesla’s entry into this category has received with a bit of apprehension. Most of it stemming from the fact that Tesla’s cars barely have a range of 300 miles on a full charge. And heavyweight trucks with this amount of load are usually used on long haul routes. This requirement means that the Tesla Semi requires a higher capacity power source.

Update 29/8/2017

According to a report from Reuters, the Tesla semi-truck will have a range of 200-300 miles (320-480 km) on a single charge. Though that seems incredible for an all electric truck, it pales in comparison to IC trucks. Currently, an average semi-truck gives a range of about a 1000 miles (1600 km) on a single tank of fuel. This confirms the speculations that the Tesla semi-truck is intended for short haul services.

However, the man in charge of Tesla’s all-electric heavy vehicle program, Jerome Guillen, has had plenty of experience in designing trucks and electric vehicles. After a successful stint at Daimler where he oversaw the launch of their Cascadia truck, Jerome joined Tesla in 2010 and worked for three years as the Program Director of the Model S team. His team will have worked on the Tesla Semi project for two years by September 2017. Moreover, Musk has reportedly acknowledged the team’s efforts after testing the first prototype of the Tesla Semi himself.

The technical details of Tesla’s electric semi-truck are mostly speculative at this point. We don’t know what to expect concerning power source, infrastructure or the powertrain design. But we expect to know everything by September.

The Tesla electric semi-truck is one of Tesla’s planned fleet of eight vehicles of which three have been officially announced. Models S and X are already in production and Model 3 is expected to join the assembly line in a few months. The other five, including the Tesla Semi, are anticipated to be unveiled/launched before 2019.

Sources and further reading

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