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Tesla Semi lorry to have a 966km range

12th May 2018 6:00 am

The electric lorry can tow 36,000kg and is claimed to be capable of hitting 0-96.5kph in 20sec when loaded to full-capacity.


According to US-based portal Electrek, during Tesla's conference call for its first quarter results, the company's CEO Elon Musk said that he was "optimistic" the Semi would beat the 805km range announced at its reveal, last year. Musk's claim followed Daimler lorry division boss Martin Daum's suggestion that the Semi's statistics "defied the laws of physics".

The Semi with a claimed 966km-range has been priced at $1,80,000 (around Rs 1.21 crore) in the US. A lower-spec variant with a 483km-range will be priced from $1,50,000 (around Rs 1.01 crore).

Several US companies – including supermarket giant Walmart – have already reserved their fleet of Semis, putting the model on course to enter service as soon as it makes production in 2019. The price to reserve a Semi quadrupled, shortly after its reveal.

During its November reveal in Hawthorne, California, where Tesla also unveiled a new Roadster, Musk said that the Semi (previously referred to as the Tesla Truck) was capable of accelerating from 0-96.5kph in 5sec. He also said it was able to hit 96.5kph in 20sec when the trailer is fully loaded with a little more than 36,000kg of cargo. This beats the average sprint time for the Semi's regular diesel-powered rivals by around 40sec.

The Semi's energy recovery systems are claimed to be capable of recovering 98 percent 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 644km in 30min and can be installed at origin or destination points, much like the existing Superchargers.

The Mini's efficiency gets a boost by a low wind resistance. Tesla claims that the Semi has a drag coefficient of 0.36Cd. It also claims 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. The system can also independently actuate all brakes to avoid jackknifing.

Additionally, surrounding cameras provide autonomous object detection and reduce blind spots, alerting the driver to safety hazards and obstacles. The lorry also introduces a new Enhanced Autopilot system which features automatic emergency braking, automatic lane keeping, lane departure warning and even event recording. The Semi can also now 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 of "$2,00,000 or more over a million miles, based on fuel costs, alone".

Production for the Semi is due to start next year, at which time Musk believes Tesla's "production bottlenecks" will be history. These production issues are related to supply difficulties with the Tesla Model 3. They caused the reveal of the Semi to be delayed by several weeks.

Copyright (c) Autocar UK. All rights reserved.

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