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Tesla semi truck: everything we know so far

Tesla is gearing up for the launch of its first all-electric semi truck on Friday as the company expands into vehicles outside the consumer car market. See related In a recent tweet, company founder Elon Musk revealed that fans would be able to tune in to the truck’s unveiling on 17 November.

He announced that the launch would be livestreamed on the company’s website. “This will blow your mind clear out of your skull and into an alternate dimension”, he said.

Tesla Semi Truck unveil to be webcast live on Thursday at 8pm!

This will blow your mind clear out of your skull and into an alternate dimension. Just need to find my portal gun … — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 12 November 2017[1]

The electric car company has remained tight-lipped over details of the vehicle, with only a handful of teaser shots of the truck surfacing in the run-up to its official launch.

Nevertheless, leaked images of the vehicle and market analysts have provided a sneak preview of what fans can expect from the electric lorry. Here’s everything we know so far:

When does it come out?

Tesla will livestream the launch of its new semi-truck on its website on 17 November. Fans will need to get up early as the conference begins at 4am GMT.

An official release date for the vehicle is expected to be announced during the event.

Design

While only a couple of shadowy teaser images have been released so far, it’s possible to see what shape the yet-to-be-named semi truck will take. Unlike conventional trucks, which often have boxy designs, the Tesla lorry has a curvy, streamlined silhouette. This design should help reduce aerodynamic drag, helping the electric truck get more miles on one battery charge.

The truck sports LED headlights and a relatively low windscreen. But the top secretion of the cabin is large, suggesting it will provide long-distance truck drivers with a spacious area for sleeping and resting. Along with the official teaser images, Tech Crunch[2] says a spy shot posted on Reddit appears to show the vehicle on the back of a flat-bed truck.

The vehicle shares the same swooping wheel arches and LED headlight design as the truck in Tesla’s teaser images, but the top section of the cabin is significantly shallower compared to the truck in the official picture. Unfortunately, the spy shot has since been removed from the chat forum.

Performance

What separates the Tesla semi truck from other haulers is that it’s expected to be powered exclusively by a battery-electric system. Little is known about the performance of the vehicle and Musk has been unusually quiet about this on his social media accounts.

But he did say during a TED Talks interview in May that the truck is “heavy duty” and “long range”.
Video of The future we're building — and boring | Elon Musk
It should be fast as well, he says, as the electric motors provide better acceleration performance than a conventional diesel-engined lorry.

“You could drive this around like a sports car”, he joked.

Teslarati[3] reports that analysts believe the vehicle will have a battery range of around 450 miles on a single charge.

While the site says this doesn’t quite match the “500-600 miles driven per day traveled by long-haul trucks”, the vehicle’s electric powertrain should make it significantly cheaper to run than a combustion-engined lorry.

References

  1. ^ 12 November 2017 (twitter.com)
  2. ^ Tech Crunch (techcrunch.com)
  3. ^ Teslarati (www.teslarati.com)



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