Image Source: autoexpress.co.uk
Tesla has revealed their new electric articulated lorry, the Tesla Semi, which they hope will be a replacement to the diesel-guzzling trucks currently in use by 3.5 million truck drivers in the US. It is the first electric truck to be revealed amongst several companies making similar electric vehicles including Daimler AG, Volkswagen, Cummins and Nikola.
CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, revealed that the Tesla Semi can also reach an impressive speed; an empty trailer can go from 0 to 60mph in just 5 seconds! The truck will have a central driving position (not on one side like we currently drive) with touch screens on either side of the driving seat. The truck will also have cameras instead of wing mirrors.
Safety is a big concern for Tesla. The truck will come with an enhanced version of Tesla’s current semi-autonomous driving system called AutoPilot which is installed in all Tesla vehicles – this gives them self-driving capability which is safer than human driving. The new truck is also said to have lane-keeping technology and be impossible to jackknife.
For truck drivers, the range the truck can travel on one charge is an important factor. The Tesla semi will be able to travel 500 miles on one charge whilst full and at highway speeds. Despite this impressive range for such a large vehicle, this is still significantly less than the range of current diesel trucks on a tank of diesel, with refilling much faster than recharging a truck’s battery.
No price has yet been revealed, but Tesla says that the vehicle will work out cheaper per mile (about 20%) than a diesel equivalent once all costs are accounted for including fuel and maintenance.
Do you think the Tesla Semi is enough to convert diesel truck drivers?
The Government announced last week that no petrol or diesel cars will be made from the year 2040, as part of the £3bn clean air strategy. This is part of a longer term goal for almost every car on the road will be zero emission by 2050.
At the moment, many cities in the UK are constantly breaching the legal limit of nitrogen dioxide levels (which is 40 micrograms per cubic metre), with air pollution believed to be the cause of premature deaths totalling around 40,000 every year.
Unfortunately there are no plans to introduce scrappage schemes to eliminate current diesel cars on the road at this stage, which has come as a bit of a blow to diesel drivers.
Hopefully in the near future electric cars will be more affordable than they are now, and that there will be more of a suitable infrastructure in place to allow drivers to charge up during long distance journeys. There have already been significant upgrades to the possible distances that current electric cars can travel (The Tesla Model X can reach up to 295 miles on one charge!*). Although, even the most enthusiastic about electric vehicles may struggle to afford the high price tags of the vehicles currently on offer.
What do you think of the 2040 cut off point?