Published: Sun, November 19, 2017
Industry | By Dora Warner

Tesla unveils electric tractor-trailer

Tesla unveils electric tractor-trailer

Elon Musk presents Tesla Roadster 2020 within November 16th Launch Event.

The auto was presented in Los Angeles by Elon Musk with the company's first electric truck.

Tesla spent $1.1 billion on its auto business in the third quarter, and expects expenses of $1 billion in the current one.

No price for the trucks was provided, but reservations for the Tesla Semi cost US$5,000 per truck.

Megachargers, a new high-speed DC charging solution, will add about 400 miles in 30 minutes and can be installed at origin or destination points and along heavily trafficked routes, enabling recharging during loading, unloading, and the ideal opportunity for drivers to grab coffee and a doughnut during breaks. "You'll be able to travel from San Francisco - and back - without recharging".

Another innovation is the cab's design: the driver's seat is positioned in the center instead of to the side.

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Instead of the traditional console, there are touch screens for navigation, music and traffic data.

The inside has enough head and legroom to stand up and walk around in.

"We're confident that this is a product that's better in every way from a feature standpoint", Musk told a crowd of Tesla fans gathered for the unveiling. The lead vehicle would control the trucks behind it and also help cut congestion.

- Bumps in the road? Tesla has been known to over-promise and under deliver before right?

Tesla declined to identify any other Canadian buyers for the truck that it says can go from zero to 100 kph in five seconds without a trailer, compared to 15 seconds for a comparable diesel truck.

"People asked us for a long time, 'when are you going to make a new Roadster?'" Musk said. It still needs to get Model 3 production ramped up and presumably needs to finalize several items on the Semi. Musk said at the reveal. Fleet operators want reliable trucks, and Tesla will have to prove it can make them, said Michelle Krebs, executive analyst with the auto shopping site Autotrader.

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Tesla says that a fully loaded Semi consumes less than two kilowatt-hours of energy per mile and has a range of about 800 kilometres.

With its latest product, the USA e-car pioneer faces a much more crowded field for electric trucks than it did when it introduced its electric cars.

At least four companies have publicly confirmed having placed preorders for Tesla's heavy-duty electric truck.

Experts note that heavy goods vehicles and buses already are being powered with alternative energy sources like hydrogen batteries or natural gas.

Moreover, Tesla would first of all need to invest substantially to create a factory for those trucks.

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