Elon Musk has now revealed the new Tesla semi truck, a tractor that’s more aerodynamic, more environmentally friendly, and faster than any semi truck ever built, showing graphs that made regular tractors appear to be barely moving compared with the fast-accelerating Tesla option. Truckers, can you imagine a fully weighted 0-60 in 20 seconds?
Of course, the first thing people wanted to know was how expensive it would be — how could semi truck owner/operators and companies purchase such a truck, given Tesla’s high price tags? While the final cost of the vehicle is unknown as of yet, Musk gave out an estimate that because of the lower costs associated with owning one of the semis, owners could make back what they paid in two years or less.
The loss of the engine is the truck’s gain, as it allows the vehicle to be roomier. It is also upgraded with the Tesla AutoPilot feature, with two screens on each side of the driver (the driver will be seated in the middle of the truck as opposed to the left side). With the ability to go from 0-60 in five seconds as an empty truck, and 0-60 in twenty seconds with a full load, the semi’s appearance and performance put it squarely in the future of trucking.
While truckers still hold some reservations (the biggest being that the truck can travel for 500 miles without needing a recharge while diesel-fueled vehicles can go for much longer and take a shorter time to fuel), Musk continues explore how best to serve the trucking industry in ways that will make it more efficient and better for the environment. If he manages to solve the fueling issue, we might well be on our way to highways full of responsibly fueled semi trucks. Another issue is the lack of a sleeping area, but since this is the first step in introducing the world to an electric semi, it is assumed that there will be arrangements and redesigns made in the future.
With the drive system guaranteed for a million miles and future upgrades in the works, Tesla might just have created a vehicle that will compete with the likes of Peterbilt and Kenworth. Though the semi will not be available until 2019, there are already large companies like JB Hunt, Loblaw and Wal-Mart that have signed on to try out a limited number of these trucks.
Musk also showed the updated Tesla Roadster, which can go from 0-60 in under two seconds, which gives it the distinction of being the only production car ever made to accelerate at that speed. It’s to be expected that Musk and Tesla would want to improve on the sports car — there are plenty of people with enough money to buy these beautiful, environmentally friendly vehicles to make it profitable. What was unexpected about the night was that this was not the only announcement made about a new Tesla vehicle.
Tesla already has orders for at least 45 vehicles, some that will be put to use in Canada and others that will be driven in the United States. Whether they will continue to be sold and used, and if they will be sent elsewhere remains to be seen, but Musk’s confidence in the product and the innovations used seem to have inspired a new wave of exploration into environmentally conscious products.