Without a trailer, the Tesla Semi goes from zero to 60 miles per hour in five seconds, compared to 15 seconds in a comparable diesel truck, Tesla said, and does zero to 60 miles per hour in 20 seconds with a full 80,000-pound load.
So, yes, the Tesla Semi will be able to drive itself, on the highways at least. "This could present another distraction from really just making sure that the Model 3 is moved along effectively", said Bruce Clark, a senior vice president and automotive analyst at Moody's. Musk has said it should take about two years for the semi to go on sale.
You can check out the event over on Tesla's website. Using four separate electric motors, the Semi will go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in five seconds, compared with 15 seconds in a diesel cab, Musk said.
Tesla Semi. Image source: Tesla.
Tesla Semi will be available in 2019, with no prices revealed by the company yet.
The release of the new vehicle prototypes comes two weeks after Tesla reported its biggest-ever quarterly loss as the company delayed by months a production goal for its critical Model 3 sedan. And so is a startup called Nikola Motor, which just so happens to be the first name of the famed inventor that Tesla is named after.
The truck should be able to maintain a speed of 65 miles per hour going up a 5 percent grade, compared to a maximum 45 miles per hour for a diesel power train, Musk said. The pilot program will see the electric truck join Walmart's existing fleet of around 6,000 vehicles. It's unlike anything you will see in a similar segment, and Tesla gets complete points for standing out in design.
Musk said Tesla will guarantee the big rigs will not break down for a million miles because they have will have multiple motors.
Automotive News quoted Karl Brauer, executive publisher of Kelley Blue Book, as saying that "Elon's showmanship remains intact". These are the words used by Tesla's head honcho, who also mentioned the workhorse is based on the semi and that it can be legally driven with a regular driver's license, admitting it's "kind of wrong". These are just concept vehicles, really, but it's Tesla, and nothing is really ever as it seems. Hirsch said that the decision to have the driver sit in the center of the truck will improve the aerodynamics of the vehicle and that other truck manufacturers may follow suit. By the end of it, the truck will be ready to go for another trip. "A more appropriate target for the electric-vehicle maker would be the short-haul, or so-called last-mile delivery, which would benefit from regenerative braking, low noise and emission-free EV motoring".