Tesla Unveils Its Electric 'Semi'

November 17, 2017
Tesla all-electric big rig that can haul 80,000 pounds up to 500 miles without charging.

Thursday evening, Elon Musk streamed the unveiling of the new Tesla Semi, an all-electric big rig that can haul 80,000 pounds up to 500 miles without charging.

The carbon fiber cab is designed to slip through the wind, able to do 65mph on a 5 percent upgrade pulling 80,000 pounds.

Suicide doors make it easy to get in the cab where the driver's seat is in the middle of the cab with a jump seat at 4 o'clock to the driver. Two touchscreens take the place of old school knobs and buttons.

Tesla says the dipped-nose front of the truck positions the driver far forward enough to see the ground just in front of the truck, increasing visibility and control. The cab is six-and-a-half-feet tall inside.

IoT features include enhanced autopilot that keeps the truck in its lane and safely away from other vehicles, using sensors and camera embedded around the truck. If the truck seems to be headed for a jackknife, traction controls adjust power to the individual wheels to correct the problem.

The battery bank is reinforced to make it crash safe and sits under the cab, giving the truck a low center of gravity. Four electric motors are positioned behind the cab, two dedicated to each axle.

According to Tesla, on a 100-mile run the Semi will cost $1.26 per mile to operate, compared to $1.51 for a standard diesel. Tesla's website says that because the Semi has fewer systems to maintain, owners will see  $200,000+ in fuel savings and a two-year payback period. Semi will be available in 2019.

VIDEO: To watch the Tesla stream, click here.