After announcing a planned unveiling in September 2017 for Tesla Semi, Tesla’s all-electric semi truck, CEO Elon Musk released the first teaser image of the truck today.
Musk is currently giving a TED talk today about his projects and after releasing the concept for his new ‘Boring Company’, he talked briefly about Tesla Semi.
He confirmed that the prototype is already working and he even got a quick test drive around the parking lot. He added that the truck “feels like a sports car”.
The CEO also confirmed that the vehicle will be capable of long hauls, which was previously uncertain due to its expected all-electric powertrain which requires an incredibly large battery pack in order to travel hundreds of miles with a large payload.
A teaser released during the talk gives us our first glimpse at the vehicle:
It definitely seems to have the same size and form as a class 8 truck, albeit with a more modern look and also no side view mirrors. Autonomous driving sure seems to be built into the design?
Since Musk announced that Tesla plans to unveil the truck in September, analysts have warned truck makers not to laugh because they believe Tesla’s electric truck is going to be disruptive in the industry.
The driver and the fuel are the two most important costs of operating a heavy-duty truck and Tesla’s product is expected to eventually eliminate the role of the driver and significantly reduce the cost of fuel with an all-electric powertrain.
Tesla could leverage his expertise in solar to put a solar roof on these trucks which with the large area over hours on the road could add significant mileage.
During the talk, Musk also reiterated Tesla’s plan to demonstrate its self-driving technology with a coast-to-coast fully autonomous drive on the second generation Autopilot. The same technology is expected to be leveraged in Tesla’s semi truck.
The details about the truck are still scarce. We don’t know what Tesla has in mind for the charging infrastructure and if it integrates with Tesla’s current infrastructure for its passenger vehicles, but all should be revealed in September.