Tesla Semi Truck, Tesla Roadster 2.0, Tesla Pickup — Hot! From Unveiling Event! (101 Pics)

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Surprise! Tesla Pickup Truck Concept & Roadster 2.0

Extra notes for other vehicles:

  • There’s a pickup truck version of the Tesla Semi that can carry a normal pickup itself.

  • Next Tesla Roadster (just the prototype) breaks practically every record for a production vehicle that you can think of. 0-60 in 1.9 seconds. 8.9 seconds in a quarter mile. 200 kWh battery pack. 620 miles of range. Can drive LA to San Francisco and back without recharging. “The point of all this is just to give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars.” Driving a gas sports car will be like driving “a steam engine with a side of quiche.” 4-seater. Available in 2020.

Official Tesla Roadster 2.0 photos from Tesla:

More info on the next-gen Roadster here and on the Tesla site.

Tesla Semi Truck — Video, Specs, Competition

Here’s a video of the livestream:

Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the highly anticipated Tesla Semi Truck tonight in Hawthorne, California. This truck promises to transform not just the trucks that move goods around the world but the entire shipping industry.

Tesla’s Semi Truck was built as a reimagining of what a semi truck can be, putting the driver front and center in the experience. Just as the Tesla Model S and X have in their respective market segments, the Tesla Semi Truck offers an attractive proposition across the board and is an attractive option for both fleet managers, who will see cost savings, and drivers, who will benefit from the amenities in the cab.

The Tesla Semi Truck sets the high bar for what an electric semi truck can and should look, feel, and drive like. Not only does it bring numerous safety improvements to drivers and their cargo, but it is likely to come in at a lower cost to operate as compared to traditional internal combustion semi trucks.

The first thing you notice when stepping into the Tesla Semi is the complete redesign of the cab. It puts the driver front and center with fishbowl-like visibility out of the front and sides of the cab. Where traditional trucks have a dash, the Tesla Semi has only glass — with all of the gauges, navigation, music, and climate controls that would normally live in the dash having been moved off to two side-mounted 15″ touchscreen displays, borrowed from the Model 3.

Some key specs added live during the event:

  • 20% cheaper than a diesel truck. Diesel truck = $1.51/mile. Tesla Semi = $1.26/mile all-in. Tesla is guaranteeing a 7 cent/kWh price on electricity.
  • In a convoy, a diesel truck is twice as expensive as a Tesla Semi. And a Tesla Semi is even cheaper than a train. Can be deployed today and is 10 times safer than with a driver. Brings the cost per mile down to $0.85.
  • Drag coefficient = .36 for Tesla Semi. Diesel truck = .65–.70, Bugatti Chiron = .38. Bottom of the truck is completely flat. Automatic system pulls truck container closer to the cab while driving.
  • 500 mile range at GVW & highway speed. (80% of routes are less than 250 miles)
  • Tesla Semi can maintain 65 mph up 5% grade. Diesel semi trucks can only go 45 mph up a 5% grade.
  • 0–60 in 5 seconds vs 15 seconds for a diesel semi. With 80,000 lb load, 0–60 in 20 seconds.
  • Charging: 400 miles of range in 30 minutes at “Megachargers.”
  • Drivetrain guaranteed to last 1 million miles.
  • Because the 4 motors are redundant, the Tesla Semi can operate with just two of the four motors … and still beat the diesel truck in acceleration.
  • Thermonuclear explosion-proof glass. “It survives a nuclear explosion or you get a full refund.”
  • No transmission, emissions, scrubber or differentials.
  • Production begins in 2019

Tesla Semi images from Tesla:

Screenshots of event livestream:

Pictures by Kyle Field, CleanTechnica, from the event:

Safety of the Tesla Semi Truck

Tesla continues to put safety first with its vehicles. While a semi truck is a completely different animal than the Model S, safety is again a primary theme with the Tesla Semi Truck. It was designed from the ground up to have a higher safety standard than any other heavy-duty truck on the market.

The start of the safety standard includes an extremely low center of gravity, courtesy of the reinforced battery pack that lives at the bottom of the vehicle. The driver’s compartment is also shielded, but not with the same armor as the battery. Rather, the windshield is made of impact-resistant glass (“Tesla Armor Glass”) that protects the driver from projectiles. More notes on the glass from the event:

Truck windshields are huge and typically break once per year. If the windshield is broken, you can’t legally drive. Strong glass matters a lot, equals more time spent on the road vs getting windshield fixed.

Tesla Semi brings high tech to the world of trucking with a suite of onboard sensors that detect any instability and actively react with positive or negative torque to each wheel independently, with braking as needed to actually prevent the vehicle from jackknifing. That’s a game-changer in safety that shows how, yet again, Tesla has not just built an electric semi truck but, rather, has taken the semi truck and significantly improved the fundamental design.

As should be expected of Tesla, the Semi Truck is loaded with cameras that are used to actively detect objects and the truck alerts the driver to any potential collisions it detects. The cameras are not just a visual aide for backing up, but are used as part of the Enhanced Autopilot suite that brings along Tesla’s standard Automatic Emergency Braking, Automatic Lane Keeping, and Lane Departure Warning solutions into the world of trucking.

Much to the relief of truck drivers, Tesla designed the camera system to minimize blind spots in a vehicle class that chronically suffers from blind spots. The cameras and the active monitoring systems Tesla has built into Tesla Semi Truck will deliver savings directly to the bottom line for trucking companies, where claims from truck, trailer, and cargo damage from minor bumps and scrapes continually eat away at the bottom line.

Notes on the app from the event:

Tesla app includes remote diagnostics, predictive maintenance, location tracking, communication and dispatch.

Performance of the Tesla Semi Truck

The Tesla Semi Truck took 4 motors straight out of its Model 3 and slapped them into the rear of the semi truck, driving one wheel each, but with different gearing between the motor and the wheels. Paired with independent brakes for each rear wheel, the two systems give Tesla unprecedented control over traction.

Because the semi is fully electric, Tesla was able to do away with the transmission, eliminating the need to shift through numerous gears just to get the vehicle up a hill, onto the freeway, or into a faster lane. Improving beyond that, it offers regenerative braking that translates the kinetic energy of the vehicle back into battery power.

Compared to a traditional semi truck, that feature alone will drive savings, because energy spent getting up a hill will be recovered on the way back down through regeneration instead of just grinding it away as brake dust and heat from the brakes. Regenerative braking will also drastically extend the life of the brakes in the vehicle to the point where brakes should almost never have to be replaced. That means more time on the road and less cash spent on maintenance.

These improvements also mean that the Tesla Semi will be able to cover more miles than a diesel truck in the same amount of time while also being able to easily merge into and keep pace with traffic in a wider range of scenarios than traditional semi trucks.

The Competition is Heating Up

Leading up to the event, the trucking industry has been in an uproar, with several companies announcing new electric trucks. Cummins, a semi truck powertrain manufacturer, showed off a new Class 7 electric semi truck powertrain that gives truck body manufacturers an option for injecting a competitive powertrain into their products with minimal fuss.

BYD has a full-blown Class 8 semi truck and recently delivered one to Canada’s largest retailer, Loblaws. It is now out running around on public streets. Building on the announcement, Loblaws committed to migrating its entire company-owned fleet of delivery trucks to electric. BYD has a full range of electric trucks ranging from bare flatbed trucks to electric refuse trucks, all the way up to the big boy Class 8 truck that Loblaws purchased.

Daimler is also pushing its way into electric heavy-duty trucks with its new Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck that boasts a 26 ton hauling capacity. It is expected to come to market sometime in the early 2020s. As such, it will face headwinds from competitors that already have products on the market — like BYD and possibly Tesla. From the Urban eTruck press release, Daimler sounds committed to the transition to electric powertrains, noting that, “a considerable part of the future investments by the truck division in the fields of research and development flow in the further development of the full electric drive.”

The Long Game

Tesla’s mission all along has not been to be the most successful company (financially speaking), but rather to disrupt the entire automotive industry and catalyze the inevitable transition to renewably powered electric vehicles as rapidly as possible. With that in mind, it is clear that Tesla is not taking aim at the most logical or financially lucrative markets to introduce new products into – it is instead attacking the market segments with the most dense emissions footprints (that are practical today for electric powertrains to disrupt).

After proving out the foundational principles of developing an electric vehicle — one that was so far superior to current internal combustion vehicles that people would buy Teslas NOT because they were electric, but just because they were the best vehicles around — Tesla’s moving into some of the largest vehicle markets.

Said another way, the Tesla Model S and X are the safest, quickest, quietest, most technologically advanced, and many would say most beautiful vehicles in their respective classes, and all signs point to the Model 3 being of the same pedigree when Tesla finally gets the production kinks ironed out and starts churning them out to the tune of thousands per week.

There is no doubt that the prototype Tesla Semi shared tonight sets the bar for what trucking customers will expect from other automotive manufacturers with regards to electric semi trucks, but it’s not perfect. Fleet managers and truckers are not the same consumers as the people who buy Model S and Xs. They are fiercely loyal to their brands, with perhaps the only exception being their commitment to the bottom line, which is Tesla’s ace in the hole. If Tesla Semi can deliver a better product at a lower cost of operation, it has a shot at redefining shipping as we know it.

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Kyle Field

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. As an activist investor, Kyle owns long term holdings in Tesla, Lightning eMotors, Arcimoto, and SolarEdge.

Kyle Field has 1657 posts and counting. See all posts by Kyle Field