Date
12 December 2017
Tesla's long-awaited electric semi truck can go 500 miles at highway speed. It will go 0 to 60 mph in just five seconds. Photo: Elon Musk/Twitter
Tesla's long-awaited electric semi truck can go 500 miles at highway speed. It will go 0 to 60 mph in just five seconds. Photo: Elon Musk/Twitter

Elon Musk unveils Tesla’s electric semi truck and a new roadster

Tesla unveiled its long-awaited electric semi truck, as well as its second-generation roadster that surprised the market.

With a slick design that will allow truckers to stand in the cab, the electric semi will give drivers a far better experience, while increasing safety and significantly reducing costs, TechCrunch reports, citing Tesla chief executive Elon Musk.

The Tesla semi will go 0 to 60 mph in just five seconds. It can go 0 to 60 mph towing 80,000 lbs, its maximum tow load, in just 20 seconds. And for range, it can go 500 miles at highway speed, and less than 80 percent of trips are at 250 miles.

It offers a transmission that requires no shifting of gear (as is normal for fully electric vehicles) with regenerative braking that provides “basically infinite” brake life.

In addition, Tesla said each truck will have built-in connectivity that integrates directly with a fleet’s management system to allow routing and remote monitoring.

It also uses a number of Model 3 components to maximize production efficiencies, including individual Model 3 motors for each wheel, Model 3’s touchscreen panels and even Model 3 inset door handles.

As TechCrunch noted, one of the biggest differences between the Tesla semi and other Class 8, i.e. the largest heavy-duty freight trucks, is the location of the steering wheel and the driver. Instead of being on the left-hand side (or on the right side in Europe), the steering wheel is in the centre of the cab with one touchscreen panel positioned on both sides of the driver.

The Tesla semi trucks will be charged via so-called “megachargers”— similar to Tesla’s supercharger network — which will generate the energy required to charge the battery via solar panels.

As Forbes reports, Tesla is guaranteeing the drive train for one million miles, Musk told a raucous crowd.

Tesla has also built enhanced autopilot features into its semi, which allows Tesla vehicles to keep within lane, match speed to traffic conditions and automatically change lanes without requiring help from the driver.

In a surprise unveiling, Musk introduced Tesla’s next-generation roadster in the same event, which he described as “the fastest production car ever made, period”.

The base model will be able to travel from 0 to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds, which would be a record. It will go 0 to 100 mph in four seconds. It has a 200 kWh battery pack that offers 630 miles of highway driving range.

That 1.9-second 0 to 60 mph time is well beyond the 2.5 second time the Tesla Model S P100D can achieve in “ludicrous mode”, according to TechCrunch.

“This will be the first time that any production car has broken nine seconds in the quarter mile,” Musk said.

According to TechCrunch, the new roadster is a 2×2 four-seater, and it is expected to be available in 2020 for an unspecified price.

“People have asked us for a long time, ‘when are you going to make a new roadster?’” Musk said. “We are making it now.”

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BN/RA

In a surprise unveiling, Musk introduced Tesla’s next-generation roadster, which he described as ‘the fastest production car ever made, period’. Photo: Elon Musk/Twitter


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