Ever since Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors electric sports roadsters began plying the roads 10 years ago, the EV vehicle company has branched out into a number of directions. This includes incorporating “driverless” artificial intelligence (AI) into its total electric sedans; including planned test runs on the power grid of Israel’s former Better Place electric car network.
Tesla has now gone a step further by developing an electric version of a large “semi trailer” truck that can carry full loads for hundreds of miles without needing a recharge. The new Tesla Semi truck is being acclaimed to have a fully loaded driving range of up to 500 miles. Tesla Semi prototypes were first shown at a press conference last November in which two models were displayed. Production is to begin in 2019. The Semi will use 4 electric motors similar to ones now being used in its new Model 3 sedan.
The Semi will use the company’s latest “Megacharger” battery charger that is being touted as able to provide a much faster battery charge of only half an hour for a 400 mile driving range. The Tesla Semi cab, which currently has only one seat, is also said to be much more comfortable than regular two seater diesel models
While perhaps not yet suitable as a cross country transport vehicle, the Tesla Semi can be great for shorter ranges of up to 250 miles; which is coincidentally the driving distance between Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 site in Nevada and its main vehicle production factory in Fremont, California. The Nevada Gigafactory 1, now under construction, is worth mentioning as Tesla will produce larger versions of its lithium-ion EV car batteries to provide auxillary electrical power for large cities such as Los Angeles, Ca.
Tesla’s semi-trailer truck plans are not without its skeptics, however. Critics say that producing such a vehicle is both “semi-impossible” as well as illogical, due to cost considerations and the need for special recharging infrastructure. Still, the idea of a quieter, less polluting vehicle to carry freight long distances seems like a good idea.
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