Out of all the impressive features of the Tesla Semi, one that hasn’t been talked about much is a drivetrain guaranteed to last 1 million miles.
This a goal that Tesla has had for a long time for its passenger cars too and now Tesla Semi could be clearing a path for it.
Electric vehicles have long had the promise of needing less maintenance thanks to having fewer moving parts.
It’s true for the most part, but there are still things that can go wrong.
Tesla has improved on this, but early Model S vehicles required more maintenance and even drivetrain replacements on many occasions.
As the company has improved on its motors and overall powertrain, Tesla vehicles started to require less maintenance and certainly fewer drive unit and battery pack replacements.
Musk started to set his eyes on a very ambitious goal to make Tesla’s powertrains even more reliable.
In 2015, Musk said that they “want drive units that just never wear out” and they changed their endurance test to aim for 1 million miles:
“We are very happy with the quality of the drive unit. We changed the goal of the drive unit endurance from being approximately 200,000 miles to being a million miles – just basically we want drive units that just never wear out. That’s our goal. I think we made really good progress in that direction. the drive unit that are going out now and for the last several months have been excellent.”
Some Tesla owners have pushed their cars quite hard, like this Model S at now over 400,000 miles, but as far as we know, no one has managed to get 1 million miles on the same motor yet.
Now Tesla Semi could help clear a path for that goal.
Musk said that the drivetrain is guaranteed to last 1 million miles and it happens to share many components with Tesla’s passenger vehicles.
For example, it uses four Model 3 electric motors. The Tesla Semi development program itself should prove to be an important endurance test for those motors.
Tesla benefits from a quick feedback loop to production without the model year system and could quickly introduce improvements if they find room for it from pushing the drive units hard on the Tesla Semi prototypes.
The battery pack of the Tesla Semi could also lead to improvements that could benefit Tesla’s other vehicles.
An electric semi truck needs a very impressive energy storage system to be able to propel 80,000 lbs. for 500 miles on a single charge and do it up to 2,000 times without breaking.
No one knows how Tesla is doing yet as the battery pack remains the biggest mystery about the Tesla Semi.
Nonetheless, it’s exciting to think what kind of improvements the Tesla Semi program could bring for other electric vehicles.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.