From its origins as a small company turning out two-seat electric convertibles for the wealthy, Tesla sure has come a long way. Tomorrow, the California automaker will officially expand its offerings to include semi trucks. Rumors and hints of this new all-electric vehicle have been in the air for a long while. Now we finally get to see what the fuss is all about.
Tesla Semi Truck unveil to be webcast live on Thursday at 8pm! This will blow your mind clear out of your skull and into an alternate dimension. Just need to find my portal gun …
That’s some hyperbole there from Tesla CEO Elon Musk. As we wait for the official details, here’s what we know (or think we know) about the Tesla semi:
- The truck will be a Class 8 semi prototype. As you can see in the teaser image above, that means it will look at least a little like the many semis barreling down the highway across the U.S.
- The powertrain, though, will be unlike anything on the road today. Powered by at least two electric motors and some big batteries, there won’t be a hood to house all of the bits.
- The truck’s range, some say, will be 200-300 miles, but Musk says the specs are, “better than anything I’ve seen reported so far.”
- A 300-mile range might mean a battery pack cost of around $160,000 and $210,000, according to researchers at Carnegie Mellon University. They estimate that 300 miles of range would need a battery pack that weighs almost nine tons.
- Some sort of autonomous driving ability is expected, given Tesla’s Autopilot technology. Developed and tested in Tesla’s passenger cars, this is a “neural net for vision, sonar and radar processing software” that “provides a view of the world that a driver alone cannot access, seeing in every direction simultaneously, and on wavelengths that go far beyond the human senses.”
- It might look like this.
- Musk said that his truck team spoke with trucking experts as they were designing the truck, so one would think it should meet the needs of at least some segment of the industry.
For all the hype – and there is a lot of it – Tesla has pushed back the semi truck’s reveal at least twice.
Tesla Semi truck unveil set for September. Team has done an amazing job. Seriously next level.
Tesla Semi truck unveil & test ride tentatively scheduled for Oct 26th in Hawthorne. Worth seeing this beast in person. It’s unreal.
It’s likely Tesla will have at least one feature no one outside the company knows about yet, one that will dominate the news cycle for a few days. That’s the company’s style.