Automotive

Tesla Semi takes off with its first load

Tesla Semis leave the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada
Tesla Semis leave the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada
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Elon Musk on Instagram
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Elon Musk on Instagram
Tesla Semis leave the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada
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Tesla Semis leave the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada
Tesla made quite a statement when it finally unveiled its all-electric long hauler last year
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Tesla made quite a statement when it finally unveiled its all-electric long hauler last year
Elon Musk announces the Tesla Semi in November 2018
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Elon Musk announces the Tesla Semi in November 2018
When announcing the Tesla Semi back in November, Elon Musk claimed the truck would be able to accelerate to 97 km/h (60 mph) in five seconds flat when empty
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When announcing the Tesla Semi back in November, Elon Musk claimed the truck would be able to accelerate to 97 km/h (60 mph) in five seconds flat when empty
A look at the inside of the Tesla Semi
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A look at the inside of the Tesla Semi
Tesla Semis leave the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada
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Tesla Semis leave the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada

Tesla made quite a statement when it finally unveiled its all-electric long hauler last year, listing some truly impressive numbers in terms of range and acceleration. The might of the Tesla Semi's is now being put to the test, with a production model rolling out of the Gigafactory with a load onboard for the very first time.

When announcing the Tesla Semi back in November, Elon Musk claimed the truck would be able to accelerate to 97 km/h (60 mph) in five seconds flat when empty, putting it in the realm of some sports cars. When fully loaded to its capacity of 80,000 lb (36,288 kg), it would still only take 20 seconds.

Range, meanwhile, is listed at an astonishing 500 mi (805 km) on a single charge, while fully loaded and traveling 65 mph (104 km/h). Musk said that this range should cover the majority of round trips, noting that 80 percent of long-haul routes are less than 250 mi (400 km).

But not the trip from Tesla's Gigafactory in the Nevada mountains to its factory in California. Well, not quite. The production model Tesla Semi has now started hauling battery packs along the 260-mi (420-km) route today, Musk revealed on Instagram, marking the truck's first real outing with cargo onboard.

Elon Musk on Instagram
Elon Musk on Instagram

There's no telling yet how the trucks performed en route, or whether they had to stop to be recharged along the way. But with hundreds of the trucks already on preorder from a clientele that includes Walmart, UPS and DHL, time will tell how well it stands up (if Tesla can overcome its manufacturing issues, that is).

Source: Elon Musk (Instagram)

7 comments
Douglas E Knapp
There one thing that would seem very obvious, if a long haul truck needs more power you can just put a pallet or two in the back with a big battery or two. Sure you lose a bit of space but it would work.
guzmanchinky
Solar panels on the top of the trailer? Maybe not enough to make a difference?
Grunchy
You might be able to fit 500W of cells on a typical car (roof + hood + maybe trunk or something). I heard a typical car uses about 20hp (about 15kW) to drive at 60mph. So the car couldn't power itself from the sun like those solar challenge races. However, if you drove a little bit each day and kept your car parked outside and you live someplace sunny and you could keep the panels clean, you might not need to plug in very much.
ljaques
This is only half (or less) of the story. Truck leaves factory with battery load. END. Why didn't anyone wait less than 24 hours (as little as 10) to hear how it performed, if it broke down, how it ran, what it was like, etc? Is everyone CNN now? <sigh>
Nik
I would like to see an analysis, of the cost of electricity, converted from oil or gas powered power stations, and how much of that power is used hauling the batteries, and then compare that to an oil powered truck, without the attendant power production and transmission losses. Electric forklift trucks, used on a 24 hr basis, use a spare battery pack to swop for at the end of each 8 hour operating shift. It would be likely that operators of these trucks will do something similar, as the cost of having a truck idle for several hours on a recharge would not be economic, so that if they do regular trips between the same start/finish points, spare packs could be held at a midway station.
frankspeaking
Do take into consideration this is real world testing of a prototype so that any issues that may arise can be addressed. 3B's (Big Blue Beast) range is 500 mi laden, the one way journey is 260 Mi effectively downhill as the hills cancel out with regeneration on the fully laden section of the round trip. At destination it will take time to unload, during which time plug er in while the driver freshens up and has a meal. Should with a high capacity supercharger manage at least 80% capacity if not 90+. The return trip is effectively uphill, but not fully laden. So all in all potential to be expected issues (it is real world not test track) taken into account should be a breeze. Do note the Solar Panels being installed on the roof of the Giga factory, big Battery next, don't forget up to now they have had to use ICE trucks so setting up for the new world. Can't wait to see the videos of 3B speeding past the ice trucks laboring up the steep hills at 60mph
frankspeaking
NIK those figures are available, however for comparison the all electric ferries in Sweden (Passed a law requiring all ferries to be EV within a time frame) - However the first ferry conversion has been in service for 2 years and reports 95% CO2 reduction and 80% fuel/energy cost reduction. A lot of interest for purely economic reasons from operators