Tesla revealed that with its new Semi, truck drivers can expect better experience especially with heightened safety and the lower cost of transporting cargo.
Indeed, the cabin of the new Tesla Semi is designed to focus on the driver. Thus ingress and egress is easier because of the unhindered stairs. Full standing room is also offered inside and by having a centered driver position, visibility is optimized.
There are two displays, both of which have touchscreen capabilities, placed symmetrically on each of the driver’s side to allow for easy access to electronic data logging, blind spot monitoring, and easy access to navigation. Then there is the built-in connectivity, which by being directly integrated to the management system of the fleet, allows for remote monitoring and support scheduling and routing.
As a Tesla model, safety and reliability are guaranteed. Given the all-electric platform, the new Semi offers higher safety standards compared to other heavy-duty trucks available on the market. A reinforced battery helps the Semi to be protected against any impact and it also results in a rather low center of gravity. A number of diesel trucks generally face the issue of jackknifing.
This is prevented in the Semi due to onboard sensors that initially detect any instability and then immediately react by putting on each wheel either negative or positive torque. It does so while actuating all the brakes independently.
Reliability is assured as the Tesla Semi has fewer moving components compared to a typical diesel truck. Specifically, there is no engine and no transmission. There are even no differentials or after-treatment system that needs upkeep. Overall, the Semi needs less maintenance.
Acceleration, and even deceleration, is guaranteed to be smooth since there is no need for any clutching or shifting. Further while diesel trucks can climb a 5% grade at a maximum of 45 mph, the Tesla Semi can do the same at a steady 65 mph. A regenerative braking system is included and ensures that 98% of the kinetic energy is recovered and sent back to the battery.
As mentioned at the start, the Tesla Semi offers the lowest cost of ownership. While it does deliver large savings when it comes to reliability, efficiency, and performance, the biggest would be on energy costs. For one, the Semi has a range of 500 miles at highway speed and GVW. Even with a full load, it uses at most 2 kWh per mile. This means that the new Semi can offer a wide range of shipping applications. And this is significant because the movement of around 80% of freight in the U.S. does not exceed 250 miles. Combined with the stable and low nature of electric prices, owners can expect to save at least $200,000 on fuel costs alone.
Reservations for each Tesla Semi cost $5,000 with production scheduled to begin in 2019.