Not only did Tesla unveil “the fastest production car in the world” at its press event yesterday, but Elon Musk also revealed what is probably the quickest road-legal truck ever built. Early this year the CEO promised the semi truck would be “seriously next level,” and it appears that he wasn’t exaggerating.
Able to travel 500 miles on a single charge, the class 8 semi truck can go from zero to 60 mph in 5 seconds, or twenty seconds while carrying 80,000 pounds, and can comfortably travel at 65 mph. While no pricing has been revealed, Musk said it would cost 20 percent less per mile than a diesel truck.
Charging speed–a crucial factor when it comes to electric vehicles’ viability for commercial use—is also impressive. Musk claimed that 30 minutes of charging would give it a range of 400 miles. “By the time you are done with your break, the truck is ready to go. You will not be waiting for your truck to charge,” he said.
Drivers will be able to charge their big rigs using a new type of charging station called Megachargers, which will be even more powerful than the current Supercharger network Tesla has in place for its cars. The units will be solar powered and appear across the globe, allowing truckers to "travel anywhere in the world via the Megachargers."
The truck’s cab, which isn’t a sleeper, looks suitably futuristic, with two large touchscreens for navigation and blind spot monitoring flanking the steering wheel. While it’s not self-driving, the vehicle will feature Tesla’s semi-autonomous Enhanced Autopilot system.
The truck comes with a windshield made of “thermonuclear explosion-proof glass,” and the electric motors on each wheel means jack-knifing is impossible. The lack of transmission and diesel engine should make everything easier to maintain, too. “We’re guaranteeing this truck will not break down for a million miles,” Musk said. “You can use two of those four motors and it’ll still beat a diesel truck.”
Testing a tow hitch against standard truck glass vs. Tesla armor glass pic.twitter.com/UoDkBs6OUD— Tesla (@Tesla) November 17, 2017
Tesla estimates that its electric vehicle should cost $1.26 per mile, whereas a diesel truck comes in at around $1.51 per mile. The savings increase when Tesla trucks operate in convey mode.
Musk said the production of the truck would begin in 2019.