The New Tesla Semi Might Be the Biggest Trucking Development in Decades

Tesla semi

Whether the cars of the future will be electric or gas-powered used to be up for debate. Not anymore. California is moving to have all new vehicles sold in California be electric or plug-in hybrids by 2035. Not everyone is happy about it since electric vehicles remain less affordable than gas models, but the perks of driving electric are undeniable. Elon Musk recently announced that a new Tesla Semi is in production, and the good news couldn’t have come sooner. 

A quick look at the Tesla Semi’s specs

Originally intended for release in 2019, the Tesla Semi is finally coming out in December 2022. Pepsi is scheduled to have its first Tesla Semi on the road by December 1, and even with the three-year delay, the development is revolutionary. An electric semi is something no company has ever produced, placing Tesla (unsurprisingly) miles ahead of the competition. 

Interestingly, it’s one of Tesla’s most cost-effective vehicles yet. It’s also powerful enough to have real applications in the trucking industry. Reportedly, the new vehicle has the following features: 

  • The ability to haul the largest possible semi-truck payload of 80,000 lbs
  • Enough juice to accelerate 0-60 mph with a full payload in 20 seconds
  • Full highway speeds up a 5% gradient with a full load
  • A battery 8.5 times larger than that of the Model S
  • A range of 500 miles with a full payload
  • Recharging abilities to 70% in 30 minutes

For comparison, that’s faster than current, gas-powered semis, without the drawbacks of having to stop and charge for hours. It can operate like a standard semi, only without contributing to air pollution, and without costing trucking companies tens of thousands in gas. Admittedly, the new Tesla Semi can only hit those charging speeds if it’s plugged into a specific Tesla Semi charger. 

Considering Tesla’s massive reach, that won’t be a drawback for long. Unless the new truck has a malfunction a-la Samsung’s Note 7 exploding battery disaster, the launch will be a huge success. Drivers can expect charging ports to spread across the country like wildfire.

The coolest part? It’s not any more expensive than an average semi

Electric semi

An average semi-truck is about $150,000, or upward of $200,000 for a premium model. A Tesla Semi is currently going for $180,000. It’s on the upper end of the spectrum, but the savings render fleet owners’ initial investment more than worth it. 

Electric semis don’t need oil changes. They only need maintenance every million miles or so, and brake pads rarely need to be replaced. It still needs new tires, wipers, and washer fluid, but that’s about it. Charging the Tesla Semi is far less expensive than filling up the tank with diesel. It’s about 2.5 times less expensive to run than a normal semi. The company goes as far as to claim that the Semi will save $200,000 in just three years of operation. The savings across a large fleet would be astronomical. 

What about the Tesla Semi’s longevity? 

Thanks to its tricked-out electrical system, an EV semi should be able to operate with fewer breaks for maintenance. According to Tesla, their usual models still work at 90% battery capacity after 200,000 miles. With the semi’s comparatively larger battery, it’s feasible that it won’t even start to lose battery life or range until around 300,000 miles. 

Even then, the battery degradation happens slowly. The vehicles should be perfectly useable even after hitting 500,000 miles or more. Traditional semis would need brand-new engines at that point. Most fleet operators scrap them and buy new trucks instead. 

In a nutshell, we can’t see a downside to the Tesla Semi, and we can’t wait to try one ourselves

We can’t say for sure when BYX will be able to test out one of the new Teslas, but if their specs are as good in practice as they appear on paper, it’s only a matter of time. The benefits across the board, from less environmental impact to a reduced cost of operation, would put Tesla at the front of the evolving logistics industry in just a few years time, and we’re not mad about it. Love him or hate him, Musk’s latest innovation is a true gamechanger.

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