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Tesla unveils new line of Semi Trucks

Thursday, Nov. 16 marked another momentous day for Tesla Motors as Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, rolled out groundbreaking new vehicles that are meant to change the public’s perspective on the future of electric vehicles and the role they will serve in society. 

Tesla is known for its fully electric, stylish, efficient, sporty vehicles, its confidence in tackling new market segments and taking risks that many auto manufacturers would steer away from. As the company has grown profitable, currently producing the Model S sedan, Model 3 sedan and Model X crossover, Tesla has readied itself to tackle new market segments and continue to re-imagine what an electric car can be.

At Thursday’s event, Tesla did just that by unveiling its first Semi truck. This new truck caters more to the trucking industry than traditional car shoppers, proving Musk’s vision for transportation extends beyond personal vehicles. 

The new Semi truck is meant to make truck driving far more economical, efficient and environmentally friendly. Tesla was able to eliminate nearly every issue that current diesel Semi trucks face, and with such, has created a new vision for what the trucking industry may look like. 

Tesla’s Semi Truck will achieve a claimed 500 miles of emission-free range on a full charge in higher end models, and will regain up to 400 miles of that charge in 30 minutes at Tesla’s new Megachargers, which will be rolling out cross country. Given that 80 percent of most truck trips are 250 miles or less, this range offers more than what is required for most freight journeys. A 300-mile range version will also be available.

Power is delivered to the truck via four independently driven motors, which can accelerate the truck to 60 miles-per-hour in five seconds when no trailer is attached, or 20 seconds while towing an 80,000-pound trailer.

The Semi also brings trucking safety to a new standard. All models come equipped with Tesla’s enhanced autopilot system, including automatic emergency braking, automatic lane keeping and forward collision warning features. This new system takes the currently offered autopilot system to a new level, allowing the truck to drive semi autonomously on the highway.

Some other highlighted features include an aerodynamic design with a lower coefficient of drag than a $2 million Bugatti sports car, a lower center of gravity that prevents rollover, “thermonuclear explosion proof glass,” according to Musk and a drivers seat perched in the center of the vehicle to improve driving visibility. 

The truck may be loaded with tech and features, but Musk says it will be a reliable and efficient truck, virtually paying for itself over two years. It is estimated to save $200,000 in fuel costs and comes with a warranty of 1 million miles.

While the Semi was the main topic of the reveal, Tesla also had another surprise up its sleeve. Musk pulled wraps off the all new, second generation Roadster, which he said will be the “fastest production car ever produced.”

The Roadster will rocket from zero to 60 miles per hour in 1.9 seconds and can sprint from 0 to 100 in only 4.2 seconds. With 620 miles of range and top speed exceeding 250 miles-per-hour, Tesla is prepared to take reign of the supercar segment. 

Musk said this will prove to be another "hardcore smack down to gasoline cars” and will make traditional sports cars feel like “a steam engine with a side of quiche.” 

The Roadster has four seats, a removable roof, three electrically driven motors and all wheel drive. It will also show off Tesla’s new driving mode “plaid,” which provides even faster acceleration than “ludicrous” mode found in current models. For those wondering, these names got their inspiration from the movie "Spaceballs." 

While Tesla may be perched to re-imagine two market segments in the auto industry, these offerings will not come cheap. Pricing for the Semi has not been announced yet, but individuals can reserve them for $5,000 a piece, and delivery will begin in 2019. 

Those wanting the Roadster will have to get their wallets ready, as a reservation on this $200,000 sports car will cost $50,000. If one wants one of the first 1,000 production models produced known as the “Founders Series,” they will have to shell out $250,000. Great performance does not come cheap. The Roadster is expected to roll out of factories in 2020. 

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