By Tara Yean
When power meets sophistication
Once upon a time, when the world was still buzzing with talk of automation and driverless automobiles, Tesla created a beautiful beast that promises to deliver a far better experience for the drivers. The Tesla Semi, a truck that is ready to outperform any other regular diesel truck, also boasts of increased safety while reducing the costs of cargo transport.
While we’ve all heard about self-driving trucks, that’s another story. Tesla’s Semi is a truck that is designed for the convenience of those wishing to drive it. Judging by the looks of this massive beast, people would gawk in awe just from the sight of it.
Once inside, you could see that the wide cabin has a driver-centric design, with touchscreen displays positioned symmetrically on both sides of the driver to provide easy navigation, blind spot monitoring and electronic data logging. It even has built-in connectivity to integrate directly with a fleet’s management system to support routing scheduling and remote monitoring.
When it comes to safety, the Tesla Semi’s all electric architecture features a higher safety standard than any other heavy-duty truck on the market, with a reinforced battery that shields the Semi from impact and windshields made of impact-resistant glass.
Enough about the beauty. Let’s talk about the beast.
Without the trailer, the Semi is able to achieve 0-60mph in five seconds, compared to 15 seconds with the average diesel truck. It can still reach 0-60mph in 20 seconds even with a full 80,000-pound load, which would normally take a whole minute for other diesel trucks.
The truck also does not require any shifting or clutching to get a smooth acceleration and deceleration. It even allows for regenerative braking that recovers 98% of kinetic energy to the battery, which would basically give it an infinite brake life. Overall, the Semi is more responsive and covers more miles than a diesel truck in the same amount of time.
Its Megacharger feature, a new high-speed DC charging solution, can add up to 400 miles in 30 minutes and can be installed at the origin or destination points as well as along heavy traffic routes, to enable recharging during loading, unloading and driver breaks.
With fewer moving parts, having no engine, transmission, after-treatment system or differentials to upkeep, the Tesla Semi requires significantly less maintenance. Its battery is similar in composition to the batteries of Tesla energy products and is designed to support repeated charging cycles for over a million miles.
As for its motors, they are derived from the motors used in Model 3 and have been validated to last more than one million miles, even under the most demanding conditions. However, the biggest immediate cost-advantage comes from savings in energy costs, as it consumes less than two kilowatt-hours of energy per mile and is capable of 500 miles of range at GVW and highway speed.