Tesla Semi electric truck spotted testing

A company backed by Nest co-founder Tony Fadell is taking Andy Rubin's startup to court.


Tesla Inc. debuted the Semi electric truck in a grand occasion last month. At the time of unveiling of the electric truck, Musk states that the trucks will go into production in the next two years. While the event did give us an idea of what the Tesla Semi electric truck would look like, it has been recently spotted doing rounds around one of Tesla’s facilities.

The all-electric Tesla Semi truck tolerates a distinct design thanks to the elasticity afforded by the lack of a big diesel motor under its hood. The Tesla Semi has enough power to push itself to 100kmph in 5 seconds, and this timing with its max payload of 36,000kg stands at 20 seconds. The Semi truck can even climb up a 5 % gradient at 105kmph, somewhat a diesel-powered competitor will accomplish at no more than 72kmph. The aerodynamics of the Tesla Semi result in a lower drag coefficient than on a supercar, claims Tesla Inc. Tesla plans to reveal the truck on Oct. 26 and have it operating on public roads by 2020. The truck will be the first foray into heavy-duty trucking for the Palo Alto, Calif., automaker, which focusses in electric traveler vehicles and battery technology.

The truck is expected to be fully electric and feature autonomous driving capabilities, according to industry analysts. Such features could radically reduce the operating cost of owning the truck associated to conservative semis, making the Tesla more appealing to shipping fleets. Analysts also estimate the truck will have 200 to 300 miles of electric driving range, and cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000 to $240,000. Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has said that the truck will have “a very good gross margin” compared to competitors, because it will borrow existing technology from the company’s passenger vehicles. “What they are suggesting from a technology standpoint is really cool,” said Fred Andersky, director of client solutions for Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems at the North American Commercial Vehicle show in Atlanta. Tesla faces many challenges ahead, such as increasing electric range without adding too much weight from extra batteries, and avoiding the pitfalls that prevented more widespread adoption of alternative fuels such a natural gas, Andersky said. However, he agrees with analysts who say Tesla and electrified trucks can achieve 10 % market share within the next 5 years. “Tesla is making a lot of companies that have been in this industry a long time look at the ways they’re doing stuff and changing them,” he said.