Tesla Semi - 1st look (electrek)

Tesla Semi - 1st look (electrek)

Unconfirmed, however comparing to the teaser image it looks quite plausible

KP in NPT | October 3, 2017

Kinda bummed the image leaked, spoiling the surprise. :)

Link to top photoshopped on.

carlk | October 3, 2017

Yes I can't believe that Tesla did not camouflaging it.

ReD eXiLe ms us | October 3, 2017

Very interesting. Good article too.

El Mirio | October 3, 2017

These 4 red columns look like a charging station of some sort, cables look to be quite thick.

Iwantmy3 | October 3, 2017

Any chance that the hood is a huge removable / swappable battery pack that plugs into the top of the cab?

ReD eXiLe ms us | October 3, 2017

Iwantmy3: Nope.

El Mirio | October 3, 2017

lawntmy3 might be bad for overall center of gravity, however maybe behind the cabin some vertical packs.

Yodrak. | October 3, 2017

I hope not. The center of gravity would be way too high and I'd pity the occupants of any other vehicle that thing tipped over onto.

"Any chance that the hood is a huge removable / swappable battery pack that plugs into the top of the cab?"

andy.connor.e | October 3, 2017

The battery will most certainly be in the chassis.

RedShift | October 3, 2017

That's fucking cool, if true.

gar1116 | October 3, 2017

Haha! I first read the title as 'Tesla Salami' (I guess I'm hungry).
It would probably be the best tasting salami, but after you order it, it is made fresh for you. So you have to wait a year for it to cure.
I've got my mustard and swiss cheese laid out on my blackbread waiting for my Tesla Salami to get done......

andy.connor.e | October 3, 2017

The salami gigafactory would be "truly enormous".

Ehninger1212 | October 3, 2017

Probably changing my reservation to this beast..

ReD eXiLe ms us | October 3, 2017

Hmm... Hamster Salami? Intriguing.

Rocky_H | October 3, 2017

Why is this in the Model 3 section of the forum? Is this the new dumping ground instead of the Model S section?

andy.connor.e | October 3, 2017


If you're new to the club, Model 3 has been the dumping ground.

ReD eXiLe ms us | October 3, 2017

It actually has a sort of 'Cadillac' vibe to the design, I think.

Rocky_H: Yes. I think this is a dumping ground now.

Iwantmy3 | October 3, 2017

I think they should build a cab at the back and market this as a FULL SIZE pickup truck. Take that Ford and Chevy.

jordanrichard | October 3, 2017

Look more closely at those red columns, those are moveable lift posts. Look at the tops, you can see an electric motor.

Iwantmy3 | October 3, 2017

Sorry, build a truck bed at the back.

dd.micsol | October 3, 2017

They are taking this to race a lambo in NV.

cascadiadesign | October 3, 2017

"They are taking this to race a lambo in NV."

Now that would be a major embarrassment to ICE manufacturers.

Seriously, I'm encouraged that Tesla is using Model 3 motors in the semi.

dd.micsol | October 3, 2017

I think there are 2 new big motors with more torque.
Hot swap leased batteries so it won't matter which one you have.
You can change them hot-swap them at coming soon mega tesla charging stations along major interstates.
Musk wants them to use hyperloop as much as possible when it goes live. This would save juice once them come out of hyperloop and give drivers a rest.

cascadiadesign | October 3, 2017

During the 1st quarter conference call with analysts, Elon said," there are “a bunch” of Model 3 electric motors in the Tesla Semi truck".

By sharing parts with the M3, he expects high gross margins on the truck.

Carl Thompson | October 4, 2017

I don't know any truckers but I'm not sure the styling is something that many who own their own rig would prefer.

ReD eXiLe ms us | October 4, 2017

I know truckers. What they care about is Performance, creature comforts, and WiFi. Oh, and cost. Lower running costs will resonate with them, big time, as long as it works. They'll be happy to do custom paint jobs with lightning bolts instead of flames -- as long as it works. And once it works, they'll never shut up about it. Ever.

Iwantmy3 | October 5, 2017

These first trucks are all aimed at fleet operators. What the drivers think of the looks won't matter much.

If I was a trucker, it wouldn't be the looks that would bother me. I suspect it would be the potential for self-driving that would be my primary concern.

hoffmannjames | October 5, 2017

@Iwantmy3 You are not far off the mark. Elon Musk actually teased not too long ago that they could turn a smaller version of the semi into a pick up truck.

jordanrichard | October 5, 2017

For companies and independent truckers, running costs are the number one factor. I recently met a truck driver for Fed Ex and he said their trucks get 5-7 MPG on diesel that Fed Ex gets for $2.50 a gallon. That is $.35- $.50 per mile.

Carl Thompson | October 5, 2017

"If I was a trucker, it wouldn't be the looks that would bother me. I suspect it would be the potential for self-driving that would be my primary concern."

You've got that right!

But if your a trucker _and_ the owner of your rig then self-driving might not be so bad (as you'd be the one to profit from it).

ReD eXiLe ms us | October 6, 2017

My Uncle owns a trucking company and we discussed autonomy a couple of years ago. He was very doubtful of the possibility that it would ever work for heavy transport. He was certain that human drivers would have guaranteed careers for the next thirty years, at least. I'll be sure to direct him to the Tesla Semi demonstration as soon as we have a date and time. It would be prudent, I think, especially if he intends to leave the business to his Sons.

El Mirio | October 6, 2017

@Red what where his concerns specifically?

Similar to Air Force drones, I could imagine a scenario where you have a fleet operator managing multiple autonomous trucks, the trucks do 90% or more autonomous, if needed the fleet operator can intervene and steer the truck or interact with law enforcement.

jordanrichard | October 6, 2017

Full autonomy is a long way off for cars, never mind 80,000 lbs trucks. For those with AP cars, think of the times the car asked you to take over because of something it didn't like. Now, think of there not being anyone in the car to take over. What would the car do, shut down?

Mike83 | October 6, 2017

Any idea as to the cost of one of these EV monsters?

Rutrow | October 6, 2017

@ jordan. That's what L4 autonomy is. From Wikipedia: "automated driving system of all aspects of the dynamic driving task, even if a human driver does not respond appropriately to a request to intervene"

Iwantmy3 | October 6, 2017

Consider this as an intermittent solution.
Trucks are designed to be operated by remote control. "Driver" uses a virtual reality control setting to operate the truck for trickier situations. However, the truck operates itself on the highway (majority of the time involved). One "driver" could be responsible for multiple trucks.

Frank99 | October 6, 2017

jordan -
Level 4 autonomy permits exactly that - the vehicle gracefully manages situations that it can't handle, which may involve pulling to the side of the road and stopping. As an example, perhaps the roadway is covered in snow and the car can't tell where to drive.
Level 3 doesn't require the vehicle to gracefully handle the situation - it's perfectly OK for the vehicle to tell the human to take over.

jordanrichard | October 6, 2017

Ok, I wasn't really asking what the car/truck will do or what each level of autonomy meant. My point is that driverless vehicles will not operate smoothly causing traffic issues. For example, when in driverless mode, what speed will the car travel at, the posted limit? If so, that is going to piss off a lot of people.

El Mirio | October 6, 2017

I think there are potentially fuel savings not accounted for, long haul usually happens at night, during the day drivers tend to sleep in their cabin with running engine for AC.

Frank99 | October 6, 2017

jordan -
Semis already mostly drive at the speed limit on interstates - getting tickets against your CDL becomes a problem real quick, so the drivers that are left in the business tend to be the conservative ones.

As long as the autonomous car chooses the right-hand lane for traveling the speed limit, I've got no problem with it. Once autonomous cars become 10% or more of vehicle traffic, everyone will be adjusting their driver patterns to work with the new reality (whatever that is), just like they do when anything else changes. Humans are good at that.

Autonomous cars/trucks on rural interstates is going to be the easiest thing to do - for the most part, it's driving a straight, well-marked road with no obstructions or cross-traffic, and other vehicles are going relatively slowly relative to it. Autonomous driving on urban freeways is going to be a bit tougher - a lot more speed variation, road quailty variation, construction, and car movement, but they should still be able to seamlessly blend with human-driven vehicles. Urban street driving is going to be the tough one for them to blend in with seamlessly - all the unwritten rules of behavior (that change from area to area) on all the badly marked streets with all the unpredictable humans.

hoffmannjames | October 6, 2017

Musk just tweeted that the semi truck reveal has been pushed back to Nov 16 in order to focus more on Model 3 production and helping Puerto Rico:

Elon Musk‏Verified account @elonmusk 32s33 seconds ago
Tesla Semi unveil now Nov 16. Diverting resources to fix Model 3 bottlenecks & increase battery production for Puerto Rico & other affected areas.

Mike83 | October 6, 2017

I like Tesla and Elon.

noleaf4me | October 6, 2017

Delayed again........oh well - not sure why they went this route first.....A Tesla Pickup would have been better to be introduced next IMHO

ReD eXiLe ms us | October 7, 2017

El Mirio: Nothing too specific at all. He just didn't believe it was possible. Too many crazy drivers who are constantly trying to kill themselves under the truck. People who never took Physics and somehow don't realize that larger vehicles with many multples more mass require more room to stop, but expect a bus or truck not to kill them from behind after cutting them off and hitting the brakes. Too many delivery locations with horribly placed loading bays. Too many sites you must go to that offer no maneuvering space and are often crowded with refuse and/or random placement of obstacles. Not all roads are of well marked modern construction, not all delivery sites are spacious and well organized.

Heck, you know the signs that read 'TRUCK MAKES WIDE RIGHT TURNS' on the back and side of trucks...? People should understand what that means if they are experienced drivers. Still didn't stop a cop from trying to go between my Uncle's truck and the curb once when he was signalling a right turn. Absolutely mangled the police cruiser, but the cop admitted it was his own fault.

People do stupid things that make life much harder for truck drivers than it would be if everyone followed the rules of the road. Human truck drivers are aware that no one is likely to follow the rules and will most often break them at the most inopportune moments. So an autonomous truck would have to be taught how stupid and suicidal human drivers are and to expect the worst, always.

I think that covers his primary point of view. Though I'm certain that if it worked, he'd love the opportunity to make money remotely without having to be behind the wheel. The ability to not have to worry if a driver will call in 'sick' when they have a hangover and want to keep drinking. Or to know his own Sons will be safe and sound instead of risking themselves on the open road.