- Tesla unveiled its semi on Thursday evening.
- The big rig has an impressive range of 500 miles per charge.
- Tesla will begin production of the vehicle in 2019.
Tesla is getting into the trucking business.
On Thursday, CEO Elon Musk took the wraps off the company’s first electric big rig, a semi the company claims is safer and more efficient than any diesel-powered heavy duty truck on the market. (Tesla also unveiled a working prototype of its new Roadster. You can read more about that here.)
Here’s a basic breakdown of some its key features:
- 500 miles of range per charge.
- Can charge up to 400 miles in just 30 minutes when using a Megacharger, which is a new high-speed charger.
- 0-60 miles per hour in five seconds without a trailer attached.
- 0-60 miles per hour in 20 seconds while hauling 80,000 pounds of cargo.
- Can travel in a convoy where one semi leads other vehicles autonomously.
- 4 motors on the rear axles.
- Windshield is made of impact resistant glass.
“Overall, the Semi is more responsive, covers more miles than a diesel truck in the same amount of time, and more safely integrates with passenger car traffic,” the company said in a statement.
Tesla is so confident in its truck it is guaranteeing that the truck will not break down for one million miles. Musk said production will begin in 2019 and reservations can be made for $5,000.
The truck is safer than other semis because it was designed with a reinforced battery that helps prevent damage upon impact and also gives the truck a very low center of gravity, the company said.
“Its windshield is made of impact resistant glass. Jackknifing is prevented due to the Semi’s onboard sensors that detect instability and react with positive or negative torque to each wheel while independently actuating all brakes,” Tesla said in the statement.
But one of the truck’s most striking features is the interior of the vehicle, which is designed specifically for the driver.
For starters, there’s enough room in the cabin for the driver to stand. And instead of the driver position being on the left, Tesla has centered it so that the driver has better visibility all around the vehicle.
Two touchscreen displays, one on each side of the driver seat, provide access to things like navigation and blind spot monitoring.
Tesla’s big rig also comes with built-in connectivity, which allows the truck to seamlessly integrate with the fleet’s management system to help with routing and scheduling.
Among its other high-tech features, the truck has Enhanced Autopilot which enables automatic braking, lane keeping, and lane departure warning. Cameras on the outside of the vehicle also help detect blind spots and alert the driver when there is a dangerous situation.
Tesla, though, isn’t the only automaker making a push into electric trucks. Earlier this year, Daimler also showed off an electric heavy duty truck concept that has a range of 220 miles per charge. However, the company has not said when the truck would hit the market.