The 2019 Tesla Semi truck has been unveiled in California, with some staggering range and performance claims amid dizzying fanfare.
The aerodynamic vehicle boasts a drag co-efficient of 0.36, which, said Musk is superior to the 0.38 of the Bugatti Chiron. Driving range estimates pegged at 200-300miles before the debut were blown out of the water, with a real figure of 500 miles (804km).
Most impressive was the promised acceleration figures. An unladen Tesla Semi Truck is claimed to manage 0-60mph (97km/h) in a rather astonishing 5.0 seconds. This was compared to an average of 15.0 seconds for a comparable diesel truck of today. Furthermore, with a 36-tonne load, this figure was pushed out to a still-impressive 20.0 seconds, while the equivalent diesel semi took well over a minute.
Additionally, while on average a current diesel truck can only manage 72 km/h on a five per cent grade, the Tesla Semi Truck can manage 104 km/h.
Its low centre of gravity and central driving position should imbue it with a sports car-like driving experience. Other sensational claims include a 1.6 million kilometre service life ( 1 million miles), over which it is said to deliver US$200,000 (AU$264K) of savings compared to operating a similar diesel truck.
All Tesla Semi Truck variants will come with Autopilot capability, with a “quasi-infinite” lifespan of the brakes thanks to the regenerative braking system of the truck. There is also a sophisticated system to protect the truck against jack-knifing, utilising the individual wheel-mounted electric motors. It even has ‘explosion proof’ glass, which was demonstrated in a video at the launch.
The timetable for release is late 2019, after which time Tesla will hopefully have any production issues with the Model 3 well and truly sorted. Expect an Australian launch after the turn of the decade. Check out the photo gallery and launch video below.