Now some attention to Elon Musk’s other — and perhaps more better — ventures. His electric vehicles company Tesla, has finally made its full-fledged entry into the trucking industry on Thursday, after it lifted the veil of its first-ever heavy-duty Semi truck. The Semi truck was revealed in an event at the company’s Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada, where Tesla handed the first batch of Semi trucks to Pepsi.
The arrival of the Semi truck has been long in the making, and it has languished for five years before heralding its arrival into the arena.
Musk had first revealed the Tesla Semi in its concept form back in December 2017 – and Pepsi promptly placed an order for a hundred Semi trucks. The vehicle was originally slated to be due in 2019, but owing to a variety of reasons – such as the COVID-19 pandemic and a global shortage of parts – ensured that customers would have to wait for another three years to get their hands on it.
Brewing company Anheuser-Busch, retail major Walmart, and UPS are among the others who are still waiting to receive the Tesla Semi truck. The Semi is (coincidentally) the first new model that Tesla is making available to customers since early 2020 – the automaker had started delivering its Model Y vehicle at that time.
The reveal of the Semi truck lines up with an earlier tweet by Musk, which informed that the company had already started production on the vehicle. Tesla said on Thursday that it will use the Semi in its own supply chain to ship auto components, and that its other vehicles were coming up with the 1000-voy powertrain is was used in the Semi.
The event saw Musk drove one of three Tesla Semis. One was painted white, while one bore the Pepsi logo. The third bore the colours of Frito-Lay.
Speaking more on the Semi, Tesla revealed that the vehicle is powered by four independent motors on the rear axles and Musk has claimed that it can accelerate 0-60mph in 20 seconds. It is also equipped with a battery range of up to 500 miles, as well as new liquid-cooled charging connector that is capable of delivering 1 megawatt of direct current power. The latter will be used for the Cybertruck as well, Musk said at the event.
As a Class 8 vehicle, the Semi truck can transport more than 33,001 pounds of cargo, and is equipped with an automatic clutch for seamless highway driving. Additionally, it will be able to travel 500 miles on a single battery charge – when it is fully loaded – and has completed a test drive from Fremont to San Diego. Tesla plans to increase the production of Semi trucks to produce 50,000 truck in North America in 2024.
However, the Semi is missing Tesla’s Autopilot, which was supposed to be present at the vehicle, as per Tesla’s announcement in 2017. Additionally, the Semi features regenerative braking and is the first Tesla vehicle that aims to cut down on the emissions. Musk also claims that the Semi has three times the power of any diesel-powered truck.