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…