Tesla and PepsiCo announce the delivery of the first batch of all-electric Tesla Semi Trucks at today’s event in Nevada. Tesla CEO Elon Musk acknowledged that the company announced the EV Semi Truck five years ago. Now, the first production truck is being delivered.
The event brought to light several Tesla Semi Truck specifications we didn’t have before.
The first is about the motor configuration and total power output. Tesla says that the new production semi-truck produces about three times the power of a standard turbo-diesel semi-truck. The exact power specs were not shared. A typical high-output class 8 turbo diesel engine produces between 400-600 horsepower and between 1,000-2,000 lb-ft of torque.
The Tesla Semi Truck uses a tri-motor configuration that is similar to the one used in the Tesla Model S Plaid and Model X Plaid. One of the rear drive axles is equipped with one electric motor that Tesla says is by itself more powerful than a typical semi-truck turbo-diesel engine. This motor is about the size of a football and can be carried by a person, according to Tesla. This single motor is called the “Highway Drive Unit”. This motor is meant to support a steady speed on the highway at or near the total Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of 82,000 lbs. The second drive axle is equipped with two electric motors that are referred to as “Acceleration Drive Units”. These are there to provide power for acceleration and to help recoup energy on the way downhill through regenerative braking.
Tesla confirms that its semi-truck will be able to maintain the speed limit up a 6% grade at or near its maximum combined weight. It also will be able to recoup energy on the way down a mountain highway and keep the friction brakes cool.
Next, Tesla confirms the maximum driving range of a fully-loaded EV semi-truck at 500 miles. The company recorded a real-world test where they drove a truck that was loaded near capacity from Fremont, CA to San Diego, CA on a single charge. It left with 97% charge in the battery, went 500 miles in approximately 8 hours (with a mandatory driver break), and completed the trip with a 4% state of charge. This trip included climbing the Grapevine pass with a summit of 4,136 feet above sea level.
Tesla confirms that the semi-truck is using a 1,000 Volt architecture that also allows the big rig to charge at a maximum speed of 1,000 kW or a 1 MW. This makes it the quickest-charging production electric vehicle to date. This is done with a liquid-cooled charging capable that is about the same diameter as a V3 Tesla super-charger cable.
Currently, the GMC Hummer EV pickup truck is the quickest charging truck with an 800 Volt architecture and a charging speed of up to 350 kW.
Here at TFL, we decided to build our own electric truck. We call it Chargezilla, and Tesla battery packs power it. Thanks to Legacy EV, 101 Motors, and FOX Shocks for making it possible. Watch the latest episode below.