Tesla’s new Semi truck will do 500 miles on one charge | Top Gear
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Tesla’s new Semi truck will do 500 miles on one charge

It’ll also do a claimed 0-60mph in FIVE SECONDS without a trailer

Published: 17 Nov 2017
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Tesla revealed a couple of new things which probably won’t be of interest to you. One was a Roadster – a supercar that promises 0-60mph in 1.9s and a top speed of over 250mph.

The second – and main focus of yesterday’s launch – was the Tesla Semi truck. An all-electric truck that promises “a far better experience for truck drivers, while increasing safety and reducing the cost of cargo transport”.

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Only this is no ordinary truck. With an 80,000lb (that's 36.3 tonnes) load, Tesla reckons this electric Semi (no laughing at the back) will go from 0-60mph in 20s. Sans trailer, it’ll go from 0-60mph in FIVE SECONDS. Yes, ladies and gents, an electric truck will outrun a Golf GTI.

Look at it. All futuristic lines and a drag coefficient lower than a Bugatti Chiron and promises of a 500 mile range. That, says Tesla, makes it handy for American truckers because apparently 80 per cent of freight in the US is moved less than 250 miles.

We’re told the battery on this truck is similar in make-up to other Tesla cars, designed to be repeatedly charged for over – cue Dr Evil close-up - one million miles. The motors are those used in the Model 3, “validated to last more than one million miles under the most demanding conditions”.

We’re told ‘Megachargers’ will add around 400 miles of range in 30 minutes, which is a fairly substantial ask.

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The battery, Tesla says, is reinforced, and the whole thing is said to have a lower centre of gravity than a conventional truck. The windscreen is composed of impact resistant glass, and ‘jack-knifing’ is prevented thanks to many onboard sensors that detect instability and reduce/increase wheel torque and manage braking to counteract it.

There’s more safety kit on board too. Included is ‘Enhanced’ Autopilot: lane keeping assist and departure warnings, emergency braking and event recording. Tesla even reckons it can travel in convoy with other Semi trucks too.

The travelling experience is centred specifically around the driver. There are a pair of touchscreen displays mounted either side of the wheel, and a whole raft of connectivity to help scheduling and routing and other such things.

You can reserve one for a mere $5,000 per truck, with production slated to start in 2019. Model 3, this by 2019 and the Roadster by 2020: Elon’s got a fair bit on his hands...

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