Tesla, a company that invests in electric cars to renew the car market, announced yesterday a truck that has the same goal of revolutionizing the freight sector. The Tesla Semi has a futuristic appearance, a panel composed entirely of two touch screens, autopilot functions and is entirely powered by electric power.
According to The Verge, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said at the event that the truck has a range of about 800 kilometers when its batteries are fully charged. In addition, he said the truck can walk for about 640 kilometers with only half an hour of cargo. With this autonomy, it promises to save more than $ 200,000 in driver fuel over its lifetime.
Unlike traditional trucks, the driver’s seat occupies a central position in the hitchhiker. On each side of the steering there is a touch screen that works as panel and as control of the truck. The left controls vehicle functions such as power consumption and load factors; the right, in turn, has more traditional controls such as navigation and radio. An image of the panel can be seen below:
The truck has two mirrors mounted on the outside of each side of the cabin, which function as traditional mirrors. But they have cameras mounted on their bottoms that show the images on the two screens on each side of the steering wheel. These cameras, as well as others mounted at the base of the windshield and facing forward, should aid the autopilot and semi-autonomous steering system of the truck.
As for the rest of the ride, there is a passenger seat behind and to the right of the driver’s seat. This is different from most trucks, in which the two seats side by side, but according to Tesla, this allows more room for storage in the cabin. In fact, next to the passenger, there is a space for objects, or for movement. For now, there is still no model with sleeping accommodations in the back of the hitchhiker.
There are four electric motors that move the axles of the truck, two in the front axles and two in the rear axles. They are all powered by the same set of batteries, which is at the bottom of the hitch. This, according to the company, helps to make the center of gravity of the truck lower than that of traditional trucks, which should ensure more stability in the direction at high speed.
With these engines, the truck can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in just five seconds when it is empty. When it’s loaded with 80,000 pounds, which is the maximum weight that can be carried on US roads with trucks of this type, it takes 20 seconds to reach that same speed.
There is, for now, no information on how or when it will be possible to buy trucks of this type. Availability has traditionally been a tricky issue when it comes to Tesla products. Model 3, for example, a car the company launched this year and replacing the keys with the user’s smartphone, is yet to be delivered to the more than 500,000 customers who bought it – each of which made a US $ 1,000 to book the vehicle.
But according to Bloomberg, market chain Meijer Inc. of Michigan in the United States has already booked four trucks of the company. For each of them, according to the website, the company had to make a $ 5,000 deposit.