Tesla Semi Truck One Of Its Kind
In true #Tesla fashion, CEO #Elon Musk held an amazing event in Hawthorne, California on Thursday evening to reveal not just one, but two varieties of the all-electric semi truck; a standard model and another with an aerodynamics package that the company has been teasing for months. The vehicle is designed to take on the industrial trucking market by leveraging electric motors and self-driving capabilities. They were shown off for the first time, featuring a fair amount of borrowed parts and design from the company’s Model 3 sedan and new twists.
The Design is certainly part of that statement, as Tesla makes it clear that it wants to do things differently — showing off a full media event blitz event further proves the point — it is perhaps the first reveal of an 18-wheeler to take the stage like trance music. Telsa is taking a page from its Model 3 playbook but its one that tends to generate tons of hype and whip the media into a frenzy.
Tesla semi truck’s streamlined look is made possible by the battery pack mounted under the floor of the cab, and the driver’s seat mounted significantly more forward than of those of International trucks. Two rear axles have electric motors attached on either side, for four in total. They also come off of existing Tesla models. The design gives the Tesla semi truck a lower center of gravity than diesel-powered models, something the company has said about its cars that makes them stand out. This unlikely to make a semi-truck handle like a sports car, but it does have that high-speed stability.
Inside it, the driver’s seat is centrally mounted with a passenger’s behind and to the right of it. This contrasts with the conventional trucks that have two seats mounted side by side, but with little room left in the cab for other storage. Tesla designers say they maximized the space left over from the battery pack’s positioning to create more space to walk around inside, as well as creating more storage. A future model change might include the feature with sleeping accommodations too.
It's clear Tesla hopes its innovative packaging and approach will resonate with truck drivers and fleet managers who are tired of the way the vehicles have been designed for decades. It won’t be alone in the electric truck market though, because companies with experience in large trucks, such as Cummins and Daimler, have already announced plans for electrified models, with immense pressure coming from cities and countries anxious to reduce air pollution in heavily populated areas.
Through the design and packaging alone, Tesla is applying some of its most notable brand cues to a type of vehicle it’s never made before. And it is selling. #Walmart says it’s preordered 15 of Tesla’s new semi trucks already, which is fast.
"We have a long history of testing new technology – including alternative-fuel trucks – and we are excited to be among the first to pilot this new heavy-duty electric vehicle," the company said in a statement. “We believe we can learn how this technology performs within our supply chain, as well as how it could help us meet some of our long-term sustainability goals, such as lowering emissions.”
Musk said the truck would enter production in 2019. Trucking industry veterans are watching closely to see how Tesla addresses some of the big hurdles in its path, such as per-mile cost, gaps in EV charging infrastructure, and maintenance issues. We hope all goes well in this grand Tesla style!