3 reasons to be interested in a Tesla Half even if you’ve never bought one
It is unlikely that you will buy a Tesla Simi. There are reasons to be interested in the massive electric vehicle.
CEO Elon Musk showed off the truck Thursday night to announce the first shipments of the massive machines to… PepsiCo, which ordered 100 Tesla Semis in 2017 When the truck first appeared. Tesla missed the initial deadline to start Selling Tesla Semis in 2019but is now building it at a factory in Sparks, Nevada.
“It’s a beast,” Musk said of the Tesla Semi, showing a video of one truck passing another truck going uphill with a fully loaded 82,000 pounds.
So no, it’s not a machine most of us would ever drive. But Tesla’s 18-wheeler may be important to us, anyway, as the company continues to drive major change in the auto industry. Here’s why.
Electric vehicles don’t directly emit carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas causing climate change, and as the electric grid gets greener, neither do power plants. Transportation accounts for 27% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, so electricity is a critical step in reaching net carbon emissions goals.
Trucks are a major part of this change, which is why the US Post Office, UPS, and Amazon is all embracing electric trucks for domestic shipment. Long-distance charging is trickier, though, as larger batteries are required to reach the Tesla Semi’s 500-mile range.
Musk said semi-trucks account for only 1% of the US auto industry, but they account for 20% of emissions. “You have a huge vehicle,” he said, “and it gets driven all the time.” “The company’s mission is to accelerate sustainable energy.”
This carbon footprint advantage is linked to the truck’s success. It’s not clear how much the Tesla Semis will cost or how much Tesla will cost, although the company promised a starting price of $150,000 in 2017.
A big limit will be the charging infrastructure. Truck drivers are required to stop periodically, which is a good time to recharge, but until there are plenty of charging stations available, Tesla Semis will be limited to a limited geographic area.
The Tesla Semi’s electric drivetrain, which is computer-controlled and can respond quickly, offers advantages in traction and stability control to make trucks safer for anyone on the road, at least in principle. Musk said the truck’s software control system would stop the truck from being stabbed with blades.
All of this has yet to be tested, so it’s not clear how well the Tesla Semi will live up to these ambitions, but it’s true that EVs do offer some advantages.
The Tesla Semi, like all electric cars, uses regenerative braking that pumps power back into the battery when decelerating. When driving on long grades, this means that the brakes do not overheat.
“This is why there are lanes for runaway trucks,” said Dan Priestley, Tesla’s senior director of truck engineering, speaking at the event. With regenerative braking, “it’s a safer system for everyone on the road.”
Another potential safety feature could come with Tesla’s self-driving vehicle technology. Although it has not yet fully delivered Level 4 Self-driving car technology Tesla is shipping cars that can use the same system for safety features like automatic braking and steering, alerting drivers if they appear drowsy, and tightening seat belts if the car is anticipating a collision.
Musk did not provide any details about the Tesla Semi’s self-driving technology.
Fast Charging for Tesla Cybertrucks
To charge the massive Tesla Semi battery, Tesla will power new chargers that can pump out more than a megawatt of power. This is enough to charge 10,000 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops at the same time and much higher than regular Supercharger Stations currently offering 150 to 250 kilowatts.
Musk said high-powered charging stations will be available to drivers of Tesla’s Cybertruck, the sharp-angled pickup model that has also suffered years of delays. Its larger size compared to Tesla’s Model 3, Y, S, and X vehicles means it has a larger battery.
To handle this large electrical flux, Priestley said, the charger’s power cables use internal liquid cooling. “We can push a lot of current into a very, very small space,” he said.
Priestley said Cybertruck customers will be able to deliver the megawatt supercharger starting next year. Tesla plans to start shipping Cybertrucks in 2023after two years Initial start date 2021.
If Tesla chooses to open up these high-powered charging stations to other automakers, as it gradually does with its regular superchargers, it could help encourage others to make electric trucks and prompt Tesla to build more charging stations.
As with all things related to Tesla and Musk, there are always a lot of unknowns. Musk faces new aberrations with the Twitter takeover, has yet to deliver the promised benefits of Tesla’s fully self-driving cars, and struggles to revolutionize transportation with his Boring Company tunnels.
But Musk has been generally successful so far with Tesla and his rocket company, SpaceX. Especially in the long run, the Tesla Semi could be a big deal.
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