For those of you who don’t know Tesla, it may seem strange to you that the car manufacturer has just unveiled an electric semi-truck model. For those of you who do, it will probably be no surprise that the truck is the first in its class. Why?
It’s completely electric. And, it’s a Tesla.
Tesla’s a code name for other things besides electric cars, things such as “expensive” and “extremely cool. In reference to the new semi, comparisons have been made between it and the menacing visage of Darth Vader. If that’s not cool, we don’t know what is.
What Makes It Special, and Will It Be Enough?
Will the unveiling of the semi be enough to redeem Tesla from a surprising “financial crisis”? We think not, but only time will tell. Currently, Tesla reported worst financial quarter yet, losing as much money in one quarter as it did in all of 2016. It’s also behind schedule on delivering the Model 3 sedan, which about 500,000 people paid $1,000 to reserve. The Tesla semi’s go for five times that, with a reservation price tag of $5,000. As of this writing, many major players, including Walmart, UPS and PepsiCo, have secured reservations. What are they hoping to offer their drivers? Trucks that feature:
- A lower center of gravity than other trucks of its class, making it more stable at higher speeds and allowing it to handle more sportily (Wow, spell check says that’s a word!)
- A front trunk space with extra storage
- A range of 500 miles before it needs to be recharged
- One of two models, either “standard” or “aerodynamic”
- A total of four electric engines, with two in front and two on the rear axles (from what I could gather…)
- A centrally-positioned driver seat, with a passenger’s seat to the side and behind it
- Lots of space to walk around in the cab, and more for storage thanks to seating and battery pack positioning (the battery pack is located under the floor of the cab)
- No sleeping quarters (Wait, whaaaat? We have a feeling this little fact, will give commercial drivers some serious pause for many good reasons… Supposedly, this feature may be added in the future.)
- Two screens to the right and left. (No, not one for WoW and one for SWTOR, for you gaming fans out there. One’s for navigation and radio controls, the other is for vehicle and trunk controls.)
- Two traditional mirrors mounted with cameras that display the sides of the truck onto the two interior screens (There’s also a forward-facing camera.)
So, cool, right? Well… maybe. We’ll see if it changes the market, or if it was an expensive and excellent distraction from the belated Model 3 sedans. Also, we’d like to point out that Tesla’s not the only name in the electric semi hat. Due to popular demand for non-smog-spewing trucks that contribute to massive amounts of city pollution, Daimler and Cummins have also made plans for electric semis. Our money is that they don’t look as cool as Tesla’s… but they’ll cost less and drive about the same. Your thoughts? We know what Elon Musk would say…
People experience significant life changes every day. For example, statistics show that nearly 5700 and may be getting married and nearly 11,000 you may be welcoming a new baby into the world. You may find yourself in the 14,500 buying a new home or in the nearly 43,000 getting a new car. Speaking of those 43,000, only 30 of you will be getting this car, the first Tesla Model 3.
The First Ones Are Finally Here
If you were one of the 130,000 people who thumbed your nose at the calendar on April 1 last year, today might be your day. You decided it would be foolish not to drop a thousand bucks worth of down payment for the promise of owning one of Elon Musk and company’s new marvel for the masses, the Tesla Model 3. The first of these rolled off the assembly line 2 weeks ago, and 30 of them are being delivered today. Tesla says that production will increase exponentially moving forward projecting a hundred completions in August. That number will grow to over 1500 by September, and it may be possible that we see 20,000 more Model 3’s hit the road every month from December onward.
An Overnight Sensation Over a Decade in the Making
Back in 2006 when Musk didn’t have much going on (besides trying to figure out how to get to Mars), he outlined his “secret plan” for producing an affordable electric car for the masses. The first step of his vision was to build an all out, high-end luxury sports car. Proceeds from this step would then be combined with the knowledge gained from the process to build a mid-level luxury car that he could sell even more units of and that money would allow him to develop a vehicle that could be sold at a price point competitive with the average new car.
Will There Be Proof in this Pudding?
The better part of two years is a long time to wait for the car to put a down payment on to show up in your driveway. Will be 130,000 April “un-fools” be disappointed? From the looks of things, probably not. The patient Teslaheads will soon be the envy of their fellow motorists once they find themselves behind the wheel of a car with features such as:
- Rear or all-wheel drive
- Unique, advanced safety features
- A 15-inch touchscreen for navigation, entertainment and other tasks
- Autopilot hardware
- A full glass canopy
The car is designed to carry five adults comfortably with an emphasis, promises Musk, on “comfortably.” The car also boasts more cargo space than any other auto with the same external dimensions.
While he may never get us to Mars (though if anyone can…) Elon Musk and the Tesla Corporation are on the leading edge of making ownership of next-generation electric cars attainable for the average American. It will certainly be interesting to watch the full impact of Musk’s 11-year-old brainchild in the months to come.
- Published in Vehicle