Tesla unveils new electric Semi with much oomph


Musk promises 20 per cent running cost savings and range of 800km

 

Tesla Semi

A huge crowd gathered in Log Angeles to witness the launch of the much-awaited Tesla electric Semi today.

The vehicle was officially launched at 8.15pm local in Hawthorne, with the event live-streamed on its website.


Also read: Hiatus ends as more Tesla Semi orders emerge


With an impressive claimed charge capacity and "bullet" design, the truck looks aerodynamically slick.

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The Tesla Semi said to be able to run at 65mph (105km/h) up a 5 per cent grade, hauling 80,000 pounds (36,287kg).

It is said to have a range of 500 miles (805km) range pulling maximum weight at highway speed.


Also read: Initial Tesla Semi orders splurge subsides


Tesla founder and prsident Elon Musk promises the truck will cost just $1.26 per mile to operate, compared with $1.51 for diesel trucks, if  running a 100-mile route.

That would make it at least 20 per cent less expensive to run than a diesel truck, he claims.

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Charging

The truck will charge up to 400 miles of range in 30 minutes, while the vehicle is being loaded or unloaded.

"You can charge at the origin or destination so while you’re unloading your cargo, you can charge," Musk says.

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Connected app

A dedicated Tesla truck app aims to keep the driver and the fleet operator connected with the vehicle at all time.

The app is designed to keep a track of the vehicle’s performance, to the extent that it will notify the driver / fleet operator when the vehicle maintenance, not that it will be needed very often, Musk says.

The vehicle "will not break down for a million miles" because its four independent, reliable motors.

There will be no need to replace brake pads, ever, and the powerful transmission "cannot break", he says.

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Interior and body

"We designed the Tesla truck to be like a bullet," Musk says.

The cab interior is 2 metres high – big enough to let a tall driver "stand up inside".

The driver’s seat in the cab centre, giving drivers a feeling that they are driving a racecar, Musk says.

The glass is said to be "explosion proof". The truck will "survive a nuclear explosion or you get a full refund", Musk joked.

The bottom of the truck is completely flat, unlike non-electric models.

Production of the truck will begin in 2019.

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The Tesla Semi was initially expected to break cover in September this year, but a series of delays pushed the official launch date to November 16.

More to come

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