Elon Musk seems excited about the new Tesla Semi truck he’s unveiling this month. After driving a prototype earlier this year, Elon declares it handles “like a sports car” but has more torque than a full-size diesel. So what does Musk’s truck mean for the future of hauling, delivery, and truck drivers?
The Tesla Semi is an all-electric full sized semi-truck, made to haul and deliver cargo. While Elon Musk’s new Semi only has a maximum distance range of 200 to 300 miles before needing to recharge according to TechCrunch, 200 miles is well within the route distance of most local delivery trucks.
That is the market Elon Musk is targeting with the Tesla Semi truck, at least for now. Architectural Digest explains urban delivery trucks have an average route of only about 70 miles. Local deliveries will likely be the first use of the Tesla Semi, but eventually, as the technology grows, expect to see The Tesla truck take to the open road.
Elon Musk spoke on the Ted Talks video below earlier this year, explaining the capabilities of Tesla Semi trucks. The Tesla fully electric Simi can handle the weight capacity of the largest diesel semi-trucks on the market, Elon Musk explained.
“This is a heavy duty long range semi-truck so it has the highest weight capability with long range. Essentially it is meant to alleviate the heavy-duty trucking loads.”
Elon Musk becomes excited as he explains the Tesla’s torque, Musk is nodding and his eyebrows are up in the video below as he proudly explains just how powerful his Tesla Semi is. It’s not what people would expect Elon Musk says.
“An electric truck actually can out torque any diesel semi. If you had a tug of war competition like the Tesla Semi will tug the diesel semi uphill.”
There are few things on earth that can out torque a diesel semi-truck. Yet Elon Musk is confident his Tesla Semi can drag a normal tractor trailer truck uphill, even when it is fighting back with all it’s got. That is an impressive accomplishment, but then it seems most of Elon Musk’s goals and accomplishments are extraordinary.
Elon Musk says his Tesla Semi has an advantage because the electric motor in the truck gives it a flat torque RPM curve, rather than one that needs to build up.
“You’ve got a flat torque RPM curve with an electric motor whereas with a diesel motor or any type of internal combustion car you’ve got a torque RPM curve that looks like a hill.”
The way Elon Musk describes the Tesla Semi truck sounds awesome, but how will truck drivers like it? Elon Musk says the Tesla is a fun truck to drive.
“This will be a very spry truck, you can drive this around like a sports car. There are no gears, it’s like a single speed. You’re driving around and you’re so nimble. And you’re in this giant truck.”
Elon Musk goes even further with his tease of the Tesla Semi. Elon says his new electric truck is capable of “Mad maneuvers.” Elon Musk makes the new electric Semi sound fun and appealing. The Tesla Semi is also silent, burns no fossil fuels, and gives off no emissions, but what about the price?
The battery pack alone costs about $158,000. While that is more than the average cost of a diesel semi-truck which costs about $120,000, the price of Elon Musk’s Tesla Semi truck remains cost competitive with Diesel trucks due to many long-term cost advantages according to Technology Review.
The Tesla Semi truck’s advantages include an increase in the potential cargo weight, from 16 ton capacity of a diesel semi-truck up to 25.5 tons for the Tesla Semi truck. In addition, the energy cost will be slightly less, and Elon Musk’s electric truck will require considerably less maintenance says Technology Review.
Elon Musk will unveil his Tesla Semi truck on November 16.
[Featured Image by Alex Millauer/Shutterstock]