During the presentation in Hawthorne, Southern California, Tesla Managing Director Ilon Mask presented the Tesla Semi Truck to the international community. The novelty of the cargo transportation industry can drive on one charge up to 806 kilometers. To charge a Tesla truck for a distance of 643 kilometers, it will take only 30 minutes to charge it. The whole model range is Tesla.
The first time Ilona Mask’s company was working on a truck, it became known in the middle of 2016. At that time, the car manufacturer declassified a “secret plan” in which the development of this car was announced.
In the same document it was described that Tesla plans to produce an electric bus, a pickup and a compact crossover. In the spring of 2017, Ilon made a statement that the supercar Tesla Semi Truck will debut in September. But in the end, the show of the model was postponed several times for various reasons.
This machine opens a new chapter in the history of a well-known manufacturer of electric cars. The presentation was broadcasted online on the website and on the YouTube channel of the company. Many have been waiting for this appearance for a long time, journalists and various websites wrote a lot about the truck, but only on November 16 in the United States of America Tesla presented a high-tech electric truck Semi Truck.
Together with the first truck without an internal combustion engine, Ilon Mask unexpectedly presented the fastest serial electric sports car Roadster, which can also be found on our website. During his speeches at the company’s hangar, the founder noted that the production of such an electric truck would be a new step towards freeing the economy from the use of fossil fuels. According to The Verge, the air before the event was full of excitement and the company’s employees were very worried, but it went well as a result.
Tesla’s debut truck looks almost the same as it was shown in recent images, except for some strokes such as other shaped side windows. Before the beginning of the presentation, the American company demonstrated not only one, but two unmanned trucks at once – a standard model and version with air suspension.
Some “trucks of the future” parked in the hall in the same row as their direct rivals with diesel engines. These were Freightliner and International. If you pay attention to all the cars standing there, the unmanned truck is distinguished by the presence of streamlined shapes. The panels are smoothed out and cover all the electrical equipment, where you can take the front grille.
This may sound unusual, but Tesla Seven in front even has a luggage compartment that provides quick access to a variety of components.
The cabin is so streamlined in design thanks to the design with the placement of the battery pack under the cab. It is also interesting that following the completion of the presentation, the official Twitter page told that the Tesla truck even surpasses the aerodynamic performance of the Bugatti Chiron.
This coefficient is only 0.36. In comparison, existing commercial vehicles have a ratio greater than 0.4, which means that extra energy needs to be spent on “pushing” the air. In addition, we would like to note that Seven’s glasses are not simple – they are made of special reinforced glass, which has increased strong characteristics. Therefore, theoretically, the glass should remain intact after a stone has been thrown out from under the wheels of another car.
Among the unusual differences of Tesla Seven can be distinguished driver’s seat, which decided to place right in the center and move much further to the windshield (similar to the sports car McLaren F1). Based on the photo, it is clear that inside the electric truck will be installed 2 displays that support touch control, between which will be the steering wheel.
On the left there is a screen for displaying all the necessary information on the main indicators and controlling various functions, the right display serves for the usual navigation system and control of the multimedia system. In general, the interior of the new car was designed with a driver’s cabin for one person.
Interestingly, the director of Tesla emphasized that the novelty received explosion-proof windshield.
You can use the stairs to get into the salon. Unusual, but the windscreen also has a lifetime guarantee. Most likely, it was carried out according to the same standards as created “tile”, where there are built-in solar panels. And in this case, and in this engineering staff was based on the production of transparent and, at the same time, durable material.
The technical component of the Tesla Semi electric truck is the most fantastic one the automotive market has seen in the last 10 years. Before the official presentation, many critics and discussion participants said that the truck of the future will have a small power reserve, will be too heavy and the charging time will be uncomfortable.
But all the experts made a mistake. Based on the words of Tesla’s manager, Semi got a range of up to 806 km on one charge, and this, given the full payload of 36,287 kg. If someone says that these figures are not so large, we can compare the novelty with the electric trucks of Cummins and Daimler, which also want to produce such vehicles. However, their limit is resting on 350 km, which is at least 2 times less than the Tesla Semi truck.
Why is range so important for a truck? Because its daily mileage exceeds the mileage of the cars that Ilona worked on. According to calculations, the average truck in the niche of Class 8 (and Tesla Seven just gets into this group) in the United States of America travels 160,000 km or about 400 kilometers a day. For one day the driver has no right to cross the line of 800-900 km, as in America the “rule 11/24” works.
Based on this rule, the driver of the car should not exceed the time of driving the car more than 11 hours a day, unless he makes a 10-hour break for sleep and food. In reality, it is hard to drive more than 900 km in eleven hours, so many American drivers drive even less.
This suggests that the new product will have long range in order to go on an equal footing with any diesel-powered truck. It is clear that in countries like Russia, where some restrictions in the working time of the driver’s van are present only on paper, the run is longer. But it doesn’t matter as much, as there is a fast replenishment of battery capacity on the road.
An American company promises to install a “mega-charger” at its own filling stations. Only in 30 minutes, during which the driver will have time to rest a little and have a snack in a cafe, the batteries will be charged at 643 km of run, which is very impressive! Batteries consume no more than 125 kWh of energy for every hundred kilometers.
This figure is very acceptable, because in America a diesel-powered truck consumes about 36.75 liters of diesel fuel for every hundred kilometers. A liter of such fuel is estimated to be much more expensive than 1 kWh of electricity, but provides only about 3.5 kWh, taking into account the efficiency of combustion engines.
These savings have been achieved through regenerative braking, where the excessive speed of the braking vehicle is used to charge the batteries rather than the brake pads. In addition, as mentioned above, the vehicle has a streamlined cab with a very modest aerodynamic drag coefficient.
At the same time, Tesla Seven, which is already a tradition for the American company, is the most dynamic vehicle in its category. What features have helped to achieve this? The novelty has four electric motors, which are installed on Model 3, the total power of which is equal to 1,032 horsepower.
To reach the first hundredth of an empty electric truck Tesla Semi will be able to in 5 seconds – exactly so much will be required for an expensive version of the passenger car Audi. If the truck is fully loaded with 36 tons, it will be possible to accelerate to the speed mark of 100 km/h in 20 seconds
Although this number seems to be very slow for “cars”, but for trucks with internal combustion engine this figure seems unattainable. It is clear that no one was surprised by such characteristics, because on the same evening of presentation Ilon Mask showed information on Roadster 2, which is released by the same company.
Video overview of the electric truck
Just think about it – acceleration up to a hundred takes only 1.9 seconds – this indicator is the fastest in the world among all existing or newly designed cars. The maximum speed is more than 400 kilometres per hour, which, of course, is also unattainable for a truck.
As mentioned above, the technical part has four electric motors from the passenger car Tesla – all of them together weigh less than one “truck” diesel “engine”. The lorry has been simplified and the transmission has been made easier because the electric motor simply does not need large gear ratios.
The novelty has a carbon fiberglass cabin, the weight of which is significantly lower than the standard one. In addition, large batteries are built into the design in such a way as to give it additional strength. Thanks to this, the overall weight has been reduced, making the body lighter.
In addition, the solid weight of the batteries successfully compensates for the enormous torsional moment that is typical of electric vehicles. Of course, despite many tricks in technical terms, the car is heavier than the competition, but it does not play such an important role, because the huge traction of electric motors allows you to demonstrate a solid dynamic performance.
The development department has also taken care of safety. This includes a reinforced shock-proof battery, an impact-resistant front glass and a list of sensors that inform the operator of all system faults and brakes.
Large cameras detect objects and minimize blind spots, automatically alerting the driver to safety and obstacles. As previously mentioned, the Tesla Semi electric truck received an autopilot with automatic emergency braking options, and the system is able to hold the vehicle in the lane, warn the driver when it leaves the lane and record events.
Among other things, the car is able to move independently in a column, which consists of several similar electric trucks Tesla, following the leader. The engineers have developed a special system to prevent the folding of the trailer.
To date, the exact cost of the truck with electric motors is not yet available. But you can make an assessment if you compare the figures. With the aforementioned consumption for every 100 km of travel and a range of 806 km, the American should have on board batteries at 1,000 kWh.
The cost of the battery for Tesla is 1 kWh, just under $190. The company aims to reduce this figure to 125 dollars next year. The company will start producing electric trucks in 2019. If we take into account Ilona’s attitude to deadlines, the mass construction of models may not begin until 2020.
It turns out that the Tesla Semi Truck should become more expensive than a standard diesel truck by 125000 U.S. dollars (at least because of the powerful battery). Some experts estimate the “brainchild” of the mask at about $250000 or less. It is clear that such a car will be able to compete with the “diesel” without much trouble.
This is easy to explain: although the price policy of cars with internal combustion engines is lower, the money spent on maintenance and refueling of cars is simply colossal. After all, the annual mileage is very high and often the price of fuel exceeds the cost of a new vehicle.
Pluses and minuses
- Unique, stylish and modern look;
- Low drag coefficient;
- Ahead there’s a luggage compartment;
- Light cab;
- Magnificent dynamism;
- Ease of operation;
- Good visibility;
- There is an energy recovery system during braking;
- Ecological transport;
- It has a fast charging function (in 30 minutes the battery is charged so that it lasts for more than 600 kilometers);
- Managed parts and elements that may break;
- There are 4 small electric motors taken from an ordinary Tesla;
- If something goes wrong, the car will be able to move even on 2 motors;
- There are two large touchscreens;
- Inside, you’ll love minimalism;
- A variety of security systems are in place to monitor the road and ensure an adequate level of safety;
- There is a semi-trailer stabilization system;
- Full charge is enough for 806 kilometers;
- Good stability on the road;
- Correct location of the battery pack;
- Rightening the position of the battery pack
- Batteries protected against overheating by water cooling;
- Belower centre of gravity;
- Hazardous glass;
- Belower “refueling” price;
- 1600000 kilometers warranty provided by Tesla.
Cons of a car
- Bit strange is the interior decoration;
- Unusual driver’s seat arrangement;
- Slightly narrow cabin;
- The cabin itself is designed for one person;
- On the territory of Russia, the car will reach very, very long time.
We sum up
It may be too early to say anything firmly and convincingly, as it was just a concept. But Ilon Mask has managed to create a real sensation in the automotive market. It seems as if when the novelty is put into mass production, it will be bought by many drivers and freight forwarding companies.
The American has a lot of advantages, but the main ones are lower maintenance costs, low price for electric refueling, possibility of fast charging of batteries, good dynamic characteristics and a big guarantee (1 600 000 kilometers), as well as a function that allows the car to be driven on the road.
It is also important that the truck can predict when it will need maintenance and knows how to notify the mechanics in advance, which significantly reduces downtime. But time is an important criterion for companies and truckers. Do not forget about the high-tech braking system, which is able to restore energy reserves and reduce wear and tear of brakes.
Very soon, it will be very difficult for typical trucks with internal combustion engine to compete with the novelty. And the point is not even in the fast acceleration, which is not so important for the truck, but in the cheap operation, good safety and lack of hazardous waste. Ilon Mask, together with his company, are going in the right direction, so I want to believe that they will succeed!
We advise you to read the article: Tesla Motors history