Tesla on Thursday finally took the wraps off its much anticipated semi truck, which the automaker hopes will turn the industry long-hauling on its head. Given the information Tesla CEO Elon Musk shared, it might do just that.
The truck’s design takes a modern approach to the traditional 18-wheeler, introducing a more futuristic look. It looks very Tesla-y, like the company melded together its fleet of vehicles and this was the result. It almost looks like a bullet train, giving it a really aerodynamic look.
Musk said it also features “armor glass,” which should protect the driver from hazards along the road. On the company’s Twitter it shows off a comparison with standard glass, and Tesla’s armor glass withstands against a tow hitch
Two Model 3 engines drive each of the rear axles (total of 4 engines), with two Model 3 displays in the cabe and door handles that require drivers to press in so they pop out. If you’re sensing a theme here, that’s because Tesla’s new semi truck was built on the Model 3’s platform.
The driver sits in the middle of the cabin with the two screens on either side of the steering wheel. It looks like an advanced gaming simulation—each screen displays key information, such as vehicle diagnostics, navigation, and even a live-camera feed of each side of the truck.
The massive vehicle is capable of going from 0 to 60mph in just five seconds (that’s without any cargo). With max cargo (80,000 pounds), the truck can go from o to 60mph in just 20 seconds. Tesla relayed this information while showing how fast its semi truck is compared to a diesel truck, and the comparison in speed was laughable.
Up a hill (with a 5-percent grade), the truck can still maintain a speed of 65mph at max gross. This is all good for a possible 500 miles on a single charge, even with a max load.
As expected, the truck will feature some of Tesla’s enhanced autopilot system, which will include emergency braking, lane detection, and lane departure warnings. These are features that will help drivers be aware of their surroundings, especially when they’re feeling sleepy during longer drives.
To accommodate Tesla’s new fleet of massive trucks, the company is planning to introduce megachargers, which can add 400 miles of range in just 30 minutes of charging. One can expect these megachargers to be placed in major thoroughfares across the U.S.
Tesla is taking reservations right now with plans to put these into production by 2019.