Tesla is one name that is synonymous with electric cars, and it is not shocking to hear that the company is about to diversify its offerings -- through the introduction of an all-electric truck, that is. Known as the Tesla Semi, this is truly a one of a kind vehicle, where you can be sure that all of the diesel proponents would not be too happy with such a development. After all, trucks tend to offer plenty of torque with their diesel engines, which is not too good for the environment, but can an electric truck like the Tesla Semi be able to make the cut?
The official unveiling of the Tesla Semi is set to happen some time in September this year, but a teaser image of the Tesla Semi has already been put forward. According to Elon Musk in his TED Talk, he brought up the Tesla Semi after sharing a concept concerning his new ‘Boring Company’. A prototype of the Tesla Semi has been confirmed to be in existence, and is fully working. In fact, Musk even mentioned that he had already given the Tesla Semi a brief test drive around the parking lot. Perhaps he might be biased in his opinion about the Tesla Semi, but he claims that it “feels like a sports car”.
Will the Tesla Semi be as capable as a full fledged truck that we see in the market today? How about long haul trips -- does it have the capability of getting the job done? These would be the nagging questions that many people have on their respective minds, taking into consideration how battery technology has not quite yet progressed to such high performance levels. After all, is Tesla’s all-electric powertrain be able to be matched to a really large battery pack that will enable it to travel for a few hundred miles at a stretch, while carrying a relatively heavy load?
What cannot be denied is this -- the Tesla Semi would most probably share a similar size as well as form as that of a class 8 truck. Class 8 trucks carry a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) that passes the 33000 lb (14969 kg) mark, making it a 15-ton monster, if you will. It will arrive with at least 3 axles, although 5 axles would be more realistic. You can be sure that the Tesla Semi will not arrive in a boring design and format, since this is a future forward company that many people have come to know and love. The missing side view mirrors do raise some concern, as it will take a while for long term truck drivers to get used to the new way of seeing whether there are other vehicles or people on both sides of the truck through a new system. Perhaps incorporating solar panels will be able to provide the Tesla Semi with more 'kick'.
Another question is this, “Will autonomous driving be part and parcel of the Tesla Semi?” If so, then everyone should keep their fingers crossed that Tesla does a flawless job with its autonomous driving algorithm, otherwise we would be looking at a 15-ton disaster waiting to happen.