Tesla Unveils Truck of Tomorrow
Last week, Elon Musk revealed Tesla’s very first electric truck, wowing audiences at the event in Los Angeles.
The Tesla truck has some impressive stats; 0-60 mph in 5 seconds (20 seconds with a full load), a 30-minute charge time to give a 400-mile range, and an 80,000lbs maximum load. The truck has two drive axles, each with twin motors.
Musk claims that the overall cost of owning a Tesla truck would be 20% cheaper per mile than a standard diesel truck; he backed up his claim with some impressive features. The new vehicle is set to produce a ‘worst case scenario’ 500-mile range with maximum weight, quicker acceleration and better uphill performance than a diesel truck. He also promised improved safety features, such as enhanced autopilot with improved lane keeping technology, ‘thermonuclear explosion-proof glass’, and a design that makes the truck impossible to jack-knife.
Tesla have designed the trucks to be semi-autonomous, with a manually operated truck leading a convoy, using a local wi-fi connection. Musk went on to say that continuing to use diesel trucks would be ‘economic suicide’ as this convoy system would cut shipping costs considerably.
The driver will sit positioned in the centre of the cockpit, with a large touchscreen display on either side, giving the driver standard engine data, blind spot monitoring, navigation and connectivity to the fleet management system. The significant redesign on the cockpit has greatly improved visibility for the driver, this has been possible because of the lack of diesel engine taking up space below the cab.
Tesla are planning to build a network of ‘Megachargers’, similar to their current car ‘supercharger’ stations which will charge the solar powered truck batteries in the promised 30 minutes.
Production on the new Tesla trucks is set to begin in 2019, with reservations already being made for less than £4000. However, Tesla aren’t the only company hoping to change the future of the truck market; Toyota, Daimler and Volkswagen have all started work on their alternative versions of diesel powered HGVs.
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