Tesla has unveiled its electric Semi truck which has a range of 500 miles with a full 36.3-tonne load.
It does 0-60 mph in 20 seconds with a full load, a task that takes a diesel truck about a minute. Without a trailer, the Tesla Semi achieves 0-60 mph in five seconds, compared to 15 seconds in a comparable diesel truck.
Most notably for truck drivers and other road users, it climbs 5% grades at a steady 65mph, whereas a diesel truck maxes out at 45mph on a 5% grade.
The Tesla Semi requires no shifting or clutching for smooth acceleration and deceleration, and its regenerative braking recovers 98% of kinetic energy to the battery, giving it a basically infinite brake life.
The cabin features a centered driver position for optimal visibility. Two touchscreen displays positioned symmetrically on both sides of the driver provide easy access to navigation, blind spot monitoring and electronic data logging.
Built-in connectivity integrates directly with a fleet’s management system to support routing and scheduling, and remote monitoring.
Megachargers, a new high-speed DC charging solution, will add about 400 miles in 30 minutes and can be installed at origin or destination points and along heavily trafficked routes, enabling recharging during loading, unloading, and driver breaks.
The Tesla Semi’s all-electric architecture is designed to have a higher safety standard than any other heavy-duty truck on the market, with a reinforced battery that shields the Semi from impact and gives it an exceptionally low center of gravity.
Surround cameras aid object detection and minimise blind spots, automatically alerting the driver to safety hazards and obstacles.
With Enhanced Autopilot, the Tesla Semi features Automatic Emergency Braking, Automatic Lane Keeping, Lane Departure Warning, and event recording.
Tesla Semi can also travel in a convoy, where one or several Semi trucks will be able to autonomously follow a lead Semi.
Production is expected to begin in 2019.