Tesla has indeed entered the heavy-duty delivery trucks segment. Aside from surprising the motoring public last week with the all-new Roadster, Tesla also unveiled the hotly-anticipated Semi. Billed by the company as safer and more reliable than traditional delivery trucks, the Semi will offer a lower cost of ownership for delivery companies and is capable of hauling goods for more than 800 km.
Starting with its design, the Tesla Semi dons a sleek shape while retaining the signature looks of a big rig. Dominating the front are a set of vertical headlights that come with LED daytime running lights (DRLs). Without an engine sitting up front, Tesla was able to make the Semi have a more flowing design.
Instead of having a vertical windshield, the Semi has a canopy-like glass that surrounds the cabin which makes it more aerodynamic and aesthetically pleasing. Even more so, the Tesla Semi's rear wheels are covered with cleverly-designed side flaps which allows the wind to pass by easily.
Inside, the Semi's is built-around the driver and features a clear view of the road and a centered driving position. In addition, the driver can also fully stand inside the Semi for easier ingress and egress. Two large monitors flank the driver's view which can display navigation, multimedia functions, blind-spot and cross traffic alert systems and electronic data logging as such.
Driving the Semi are Model 3-derived electric motors that Tesla claimed are capable of lasting more than 1.5 million km. Meanwhile, the batteries are sourced from Tesla's energy products and are designed to withstand repeated charging cycles for more than 1.5 million km as well.
It is capable of going from 0 – 97 km/h in 5 seconds without a trailer. When coupled to a fully-loaded 36,300 kg trailer, the Semi can pull itself from 0 – 97 km/h in 20 seconds. Traditional trucks are slower in comparison according to Tesla as they need a minute or so to reach 97 km/h. Its maximum range is rated at more than 800 km.
To keep commerce moving, Tesla will even deploy new charging stations dubbed 'Megachargers'. With it, the Megacharger can recharge the Semi's batteries for nearly 650 km in just 30 minutes. Tesla added that these can be installed along truck routes or at destination points while loading, unloading or during driver breaks.
As far as safety features are concerned, the Tesla Semi has the following: impact-resistant windshield, onboard sensors that monitor and react accordingly to avoid jackknifing, surround-view cameras, enhanced autopilot function, automatic emergency braking, automatic lane keeping and lane departure warning as such.
Production of the Tesla Semi will begin in 2019 while reservations are now open.