Tesla on Thursday night unveiled its electric semi truck, but the massive new vehicle was overshadowed by what it was hauling inside. In what’s become something of a pattern in recent years, Musk has unveiled ambitious and even visionary new plans for Tesla, as the company copes with putting those ideas into effect – and putting cars on the road. The fact that Musk is referring to it already as a base model means that there will nearly definitely be a few different iterations at different price points. And for vehicles, period. The IEA expects gasoline demand to start falling before 2040 – in part because of the big increase in electric cars – but it says road freight and aviation will have no choice but to keep using oil.
J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. placed a reservation to buy multiple Tesla Semi tractors, the company said in a statement Friday. “It’s unbelievable. … I can drive this thing, and I have no idea how to drive a semi”.
The pace of production of the Model 3, for instance, is way behind target, peaking at 500 to 1,000 a week instead of a promised 5,000.
All the excitement of yesterday’s product launches is not going to make people forget about the ongoing delays in the production of the Model 3 auto due to “production hell”, as Musk put it earlier this year. Of course, with the pickup truck business being huge in the United States, it might just happen eventually to allow the Palo Alto company grab a piece of the action. Beyond borrowing cockpit screens, flush door handles and the car’s Autopilot system, the Semi’s powertrain consists of four Model 3 drive axles, one powering each of the four rear wheels (the front wheels are unpowered).
Speaking specifically about fuel cost, Tesla’s Semi should absolutely provide a big advantage in cost-saving fuel cuts.
The cost of the Semi Truck outright is not yet known but is said 20 per cent cheaper per mile than diesel lorries, with a cost of $1.21 (£0.91 approx) per mile compared to conventional diesels’ $1.51 (£1.14 approx) per mile.
“This beats rail”, he added.
Tesla did not immediately announce the range of the electric truck.
Tesla claims the Semi Truck can charge from empty to 400 miles in 30 minutes, which is the legal required break time in the USA for truckers to take.
“So it means you can go to your destination and back without recharging”, he said. “You will not be waiting for your truck to charge”, Musk told the truckers in the audience.
Tesla also said that the Roadster, which will be available in 2020, can go from 0 to 100 miles per hour in 4.2 seconds and can cover a quarter-mile in 8.9 seconds. Drive-train redundancy should also guard against jackknifing and boost the Semi’s reliability.
“These are all world records”, Musk said. There is reinforced windshield glass that shouldn’t chip or crack.
“Survives a nuclear explosion, or you get a full refund”, Musk said. The heavy batteries eat into the weight of cargo an electric truck can haul.
But Chief Executive Elon Musk did not offer details about how Tesla would fund these projects, leaving Wall Street analysts skeptical about the company’s ability to ramp up production as it spends money at a quick clip.