Tesla Semi on test track filmed

By: Ben Dillon, Photography by: Tesla, Video by: Tesla


Tesla has released a short video of its electric heavy-duty truck – the Tesla Semi – cruising around the Fremont-based company’s test track.

Tesla Semi on test track filmed
Tesla Semi video on track released by the company on Twitter

What Tesla hopes to do with this footage is unclear but at a time when Tesla’s stock price is being hammered any news of the Semi, which we've seen little of since its 2017 launch, should add interest for companies who have put a US$20,000 (AU$25,500) deposit on the truck which Tesla says will carry a US$150,000–180,000 (AU$191,000–230,000) price tag depending on configuration.

With touted ranges of 300 or 500miles (500-800km) from the two battery pack options, Tesla says the Semi can do the 0-60mph (0-97km/h) sprint in just over five-seconds (unladen) thanks to four independent motors in the rear axles, which for reference is about the same as supercars from the late '90s/early 2000s including the Porsche 911 and Honda NSX. According to Tesla with a trailer on and at its quoted full capacity of 80,000lbs (36-tonne) it will do the same 0-60mph dash in 20-seconds.

Central driving position of the futuristic Semi likely an Australian Design Rule headache

The Semi's performance ability is also down to its shape with Tesla saying the truck has an SUV-like drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.36 which compared to the industry average of 0.6 as measured in a study published in International Journal of Automotive Engineering and Technologies in 2016 puts it in a different league of aerodynamic ability compared to its rivals.

 

Development of the Semi is being handled by ex-Daimler engineer Jerome Guillen who oversaw the Cascadia program during his time at Freightliner but jumped ship to head up the Model S for Tesla in 2010.

Sleek body lines give the Semi SUV-like aerodynamics without a trailer, loaded will probably be a different story

Range has always been an issue for any electric truck so real-world testing of the Semi, especially when fully loaded, will sort the PR hype from fact, but with Tesla expecting to release the Semi this year in the US, the probability of seeing it in Australia any time soon, if ever, is low.

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