Tesla electric truck

Elon Musk unveils Tesla's first electric truck

The Tesla Semi is the Californian firm’s first venture into the commercial market, with production expected to begin in 2019.

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Elon Musk – CEO of Tesla - is not one to do things in halves, so it comes as little surprise that the HGV he earlier promised has now become reality.  

Named the Tesla Semi, it presents an entire new outlook on the future of HGVs, boasting incredible performance figures that laugh in the face of its conventional diesel counterparts.

The Semi was shown alongside a new Roadster concept last night at an unveiling in Hawthorne, California.

Without a trailer, it is said to be able to get from 0-60mph in a sports car-rivalling five seconds and even with a fully laden trailer, it can accelerate to 60mph in 20 seconds – substantially less than a diesel lorry currently, which can take up to a minute to get to the same speed. It can also achieve a constant speed of 65mph on 5 per cent gradients, 20mph faster than a typical diesel HGV can.

It boasts a 500-mile range, and Tesla will also launch ‘Megachargers’ – a new high-speed DC charging solution – that can add 400 miles of range to it in just 30 minutes. The scheme will work in a very similar way to how Tesla Superchargers currently operate.

Its efficiency is also helped by its aerodynamics – it is said to have a drag co-efficient of just 0.36Cd - most lorries have a coefficient of nearly double.

Being a Tesla, it also features a range of autonomous technology, including features that can stop it from jack-knifing as well as autonomous object detection that helps reduce blind spots, provided by all-around cameras. Tesla Semis will be able to follow each other autonomously, too, providing there is a lead vehicle.

While no prices have yet been announced, Tesla is currently taking deposits of $5000 for the truck, with deliveries expected to begin in 2019.

Elon Musk also added that “production bottlenecks” that are currently delaying the manufacture of the Model 3 will be history by then.

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