Jay Leno's Garage - Tesla Semi
Jay Leno had an episode of his YouTube series, Jay Leno's Garage, and he brought Tesla's Chief Designer, Franz von Holzahausen and Tesla's Senior Manager of Semi-Truck Engineering, Dan Priestly to talk about the new Tesla Semi Truck.
Tesla is all about safety, and the trucking industry isn't very well regulated when it comes to safety - so Tesla has done many things to make it safe.
Tesla has also spent time making the Tesla Semi as aero-dynamic as possible. Compared to most trucks, the Tesla Semi is about twice as aero-dynamic as a regular Semi Truck. Tesla takes models from the engineering team to simulate what happens on the road with headwinds and Tesla makes the vehicles to accommodate.
Jay asked the Tesla employees about making the Tesla Semi familiar with features that truckers would like. The most important thing according to them was the routine that a trucker has. Tesla made it very easy to get in the Semi as it opens from the rear, and you just climb in that way.
You can still open the door in a normal way, and there are a couple steps that you can take to get into the Tesla Semi. There is a standard handle that isn't flush with the door, and you can actually stick your hand in and pull the door open. That will be familiar with most truckers.
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More About the Tesla Semi - Costs, Production, etc...
What is the cost of the Tesla Semi? This seems to be something that is not widely publicized. The Tesla employees said that the cost is competitive with existing trucks on the market and that the savings more than make up for it over time, with over $200,000 saved in fuel over 5 years.
We know that Pepsi Co. is using the Tesla Semi and is the first company to use it in any meaningful volume. A Tesla Semi at its most advanced model can drive 500 miles and for most people, that allows for about 11 hours of drive time. This is plenty, and you can charge once a day with this.
If you have heavier loads and need to drive faster, you can charge at a Tesla Megacharger and get about 70% to 80% of your battery in about 30 minutes - just like a normal Tesla vehicle.
Battery packs made for the Tesla are made in Reno, Nevada. My guess is that the Tesla Semi won't be made in a huge volume until batteries are more available. Right now, Tesla has made between 60 and 70 Tesla Semis, according to their employees in the video.
Inside the Tesla Semi, there is a center seat, and Jay Leno felt like he was Captain Kirk sitting in the captain's chair.
All the controls are familiar for anyone who knows how Tesla's work. The steering wheel and screens are all familiar. There are two screens showing maps and status of the vehicle.
Tesla hasn't yet put Autopilot on the Tesla Semi, but I expect it to be available eventually. There are cameras that make it very easy to drive, back up, and more.
The Tesla Semi is also very quick for a giant truck and much faster than a standard truck. There is no shifting and it's purely electric. There is no jerkiness from shifting and this simplifies the driving a lot.
The cabin ceiling is very high so that someone can stand up. The cabin ceiling matches the height of the trailer. There are 3 people in the cabin and they fit comfortably.
All in all, it looks like a very safe, comfortable, and efficient truck that will fit the needs of the trucking market.
What do you think of the Tesla Semi - would you get one?
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Jeremy Johnson is a Tesla investor and supporter. He first invested in Tesla in 2017 after years of following Elon Musk and admiring his work ethic and intelligence. Since then, he's become a Tesla bull, covering anything about Tesla he can find, while also dabbling in other electric vehicle companies. Jeremy covers Tesla developments at Torque News. You can follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn to stay in touch and follow his Tesla news coverage on Torque News. Image Credit, Jay Leno's Garage