Electric lorry can tow 36 tonnes and is claimed to be capable of hitting 0-60mph in 20.0sec when fully loaded

The Tesla Semi electric lorry will be capable of travelling up to 600 miles on a single charge, even when fully loaded, company CEO Elon Musk has claimed.

According to Electrek, Musk said during Tesla's first quarter results conference call that he was "optimistic" the Semi would beat the 500-mile range announced at its reveal last year.

His claim follows Daimler lorry division boss Martin Daum's suggestion that the Semi's statistics "defied the laws of physics".

The Semi with the 600-mile claimed range costs $180,000 (£132,720 at today's rate) in the US. A lower-spec variant with a 300-mile range will be priced from $150,000 (£110,565). Prices for diesel lorries in Britain start at about £85,000 by comparison.

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Several US companies, including supermarket giant Walmart (which owns the Asda chain in the UK), have already reserved Semis, putting the model on course to enter service as soon as it makes production in 2019. The price to reserve a Semi quadrupled from $5,000 to $20,000 shortly after its reveal.

During its November reveal in Hawthorne, California, where Tesla also showed a new Roadster sports car, Musk said the Semi, which was previously referred to as the Tesla Truck, was capable of accelerating from 0-60mph in 5.0sec.

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He also said it was able to hit 60mph in 20.0sec when the trailer is fully loaded with 80,000lb (almost 36 tonnes) of cargo. This beats the average sprint time for regular diesel-powered rivals by around 40 seconds.

The Semi's energy recovery systems are claimed to be capable of recovering 98% of kinetic energy to the battery. For regular charging, the lorry can be connected to Megachargers – a new high-speed DC charging solution – that are said to add about 400 miles in 30 minutes and can be installed at origin or destination points, much like the existing Superchargers.

Efficiency is boosted by a low wind resistance, with Tesla claiming the Semi has a drag coefficient of 0.36Cd. It states that most of its competitors are closer to 0.65Cd.

Tesla has refrained from going into further detail about the lorry's drivetrain and battery but has revealed that the vehicle features advanced autonomous technology to prevent jackknifing of the trailer. Onboard sensors are installed to detect instability and can adjust torque sent to each wheel and independently actuate all brakes to avoid jackknifing.

Additionally, surround cameras provide autonomous object detection and reduce blindspots, alerting the driver to safety hazards and obstacles. The lorry also introduces a new Enhanced Autopilot system, with automatic emergency braking, automatic lane keeping, lane departure warning and even event recording.

The Semi can travel in a convoy, allowing one or several Semis to autonomously follow a lead one.

Alongside the claims for performance and safety, Musk said the Semi would provide users with massive savings. Figures produced by the company state that owners "can expect to save $200,000 or more over a million miles based on fuel costs alone".

Production is due to start next year, at which time Musk believes Tesla's "production bottlenecks" will be history.

These production issues related to supply difficulties with the Model 3. They caused the reveal of the Semi to be delayed by several weeks.

Read more about the Tesla Model 3's production bottlenecks here


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Join the debate


2 May 2017
Lorry! Bonkers British word. It's a truck! ;-)

25 August 2017

Yeah Ia gree I hate "lorry" truck sounds much better.

XXXX just went POP.

16 November 2017
geed wrote:

Lorry! Bonkers British word. It's a truck! ;-)


In the US a truck is what we in the UK call a pick up. The US call an articulated lorry a semi.

iIn the US the best selling vehicle for decades has been a truck, the Ford F-150.

27 November 2017
Campervan wrote:

geed wrote:

Lorry! Bonkers British word. It's a truck! ;-)


In the US a truck is what we in the UK call a pick up. The US call an articulated lorry a semi.

iIn the US the best selling vehicle for decades has been a truck, the Ford F-150.

It's not a lorry or a truck, it's a Tractor Unit. When connected to a trailer then the combination is a lorry. A truck is the wheels of a skateboard.

2 May 2017
Musk also claimed that the Tesla truck could be driven around ‘like a sports car’

What the hell is the point in that? What will be the top model, the GT3 RRS

2 May 2017
Long haul trucks have 12L diesel engines. Carry 1400L of fuel. Few hundred litres of ad-blue. Add to it a heavy transmission etc and Tesla making a truck or lorry as we call it here begins to make complete sense just like his sensational cars do.

15 September 2017

Where I live trucks (road trains) need a minimum range of 1,0000 km. Tesla won't deliver that in the near future.

14 November 2017
Downunder wrote:

Where I live trucks (road trains) need a minimum range of 1,0000 km. Tesla won't deliver that in the near future.

In Europe all lorries have a maximum range of 220 miles.

That is four hours at 55mph.

Once the lorry has travelled that far the drive must take a break. (I think this is similar in most rich countries)

220 miles is a feasible range for an electric truck, the battery would weigh around 5 tonnes, but the rest of the truck will be much lighter than a diesel so the difference in carrying capability will be pretty minor.

You will require a charging standard that will recharge the truck in around 30 minutes or so or be able to swap batteries (much easier with trucks as they have similar form factors across manufacturers).

This requires a charging or swapping network.

The key reason Tesla are doing this is scalability, a charging network does not need to be that extensive to be useful for at least some operators. Their model is likely to be that they will sign some deals with some large hauliers, they will be able to plan a portion of their fleet to workaround a swapping or "ultracharger" network.

The data and experiance they achieve with this will put them in a leading position and also demonstrate utility, as the number of customers grows it will support more and more chargers eventually there will enough that they do not impact operations at all for most operators.

2 May 2017
... that increasingly, the word 'lorry' is becoming restricted to older generations and official literature: I've noticed the majority of younger people prefer the word 'truck', seeing it as a cooler option in comparison. This follows a general trend for creeping Americanisms in our everyday speech and it's only a matter of time before 'lorry' becomes archaic. To people of my age a truck is a light commercial vehicle and a lorry is, well, a lorry, but I guess I'm becoming archaic too.

Wide cars in a world of narrow.

2 May 2017
Ignoring the truck/lorry debate,two questions spring to mind,what will be it's range and how long will the batteries take to recharge? Say if it had a 300 mile range and took an hour on a fast recharge then an independent operator could get a full day's work out of the vehicle and with a slow overnight trickle charge back to 100% battery output by the next day. It's going to mean that Tesla Inc has got to put some serious money into putting the charging infrastructure on to the highways and interstates so that the unit can compete with it's petrol/diesel equivalents. However from this first glimpse it looks terrific and I look forward to the LCV minibus,pick up & van to appear as well.


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