Elon Musk exclaimed, “It‘s hard to believe it has been five years! So much has occurred since then, that‘s for sure.”
At the Sparks Gigafactory in Nevada, Tesla CEO Musk and engineer Dan Priestley presented the production–ready, all–electric Semi Truck to the world, with the first models being immediately handed over to PepsiCo. This may be the understatement of the year.
Last month, Musk and Priestley released footage of a journey they took from Fremont to San Diego with the Tesla Semi while carrying 82,000lbs, proving its range of 500 miles in real world conditions. Priestley declared that the test was not done on a special track or on a closed off road, but in regular circumstances. The car was simply taken off the line, tested, and made to run.
The Semi was verified to use nearly the same tri–motor setup and carbon–sleeved rotors as the Plaid versions of Model S and Model X, and a lot of technology from them, such as heat pumps, inverters and infotainment, was transferred over. The car was then taken from the production line, tested, and made to run under normal conditions.
The Tesla Semi has a single motor on the front axle and a pair of motors on the rear. When cruising, these rear motors can be disengaged via a clutch. This setup allows the Semi to cruise with the one front motor, which Tesla claims is more efficient (2kWh per mile). The powertrain architecture is 1,000V and Priestley said the driving experience is “awesome“.
Musk asserted that “at Tesla, we don‘t make slow cars“. He also stated that the Semi has three times the power of any diesel truck currently on the road, and that its 1,000V architecture would be used in upcoming Tesla models. He noted that it can be charged with a 1MW charger, allowing it to reach a 70 percent charge in 30 minutes.
It has been reported that the interior of the Semi truck has a single–seat setup with a cabin design that provides optimal visibility for the driver, who is flanked by two 15–inch touchscreen displays. Additionally, the vehicle is equipped with wireless phone charging and other tech features, as well as superior regenerative braking and traction control capabilities compared to current diesel trucks.
No information has been given yet about the cost, however Priestley stated that the business will include Semi Trucks into its own delivery system, “into our own supply chain, and we’re going to use these to move products between our factories and our providers”.