We’ve talked before about how electric HGV’s are on the horizon, waiting to bring us into the future. Since the huge success of electric and hybrid cars, coupled with the ban on diesel fuels and increasing concerns for the haulage industry’s impact on the environment, electric HGV’s were an absolute no brainer. And now, Tesla has become the first to bring out a fully electric, commercially focussed HGV to the haulage market. And boy, is it incredible.
First things first, we want to take a second to appreciate just how stunning these vehicles are. As far as HGV’s go, they would take the beauty award in a heartbeat. They have been designed by the same minds that bring us super cars, so it’s not surprising that the casing of this machine looks like a high-end, luxury car. It’s just another step towards that ultra futuristic look we’ve all been promised.
But we know what you really want. You want to know about what’s under to hood. After all, a car could look absolutely amazing, but have a concrete block for an engine. So let’s get down to it. During the launch event, which featured 2 of the new HGV models, we also saw the Class 8 aerodynamic prototype and a new, never before seen low roof version of the HGV, which would allow the vehicles greater access around the country. Each model shown had achieved a drag coefficient of 0.36, which is unheard of for a large goods vehicle, and even for some commercial passenger cars. Even more impressive, the semi is equipped with 4 independent electric motors on the rear axels, which enables insane torque for a 0 to 60 mpg acceleration with a full load in just 20 seconds. The powertrain feature also enables another interesting performance spec: a speed of 65 mph going up a 5% grade. Elon Musk himself characterised the semi’s as a ‘bad ass mother f**ker, and we have to say, we agree. The specs of this vehicle have exceeded and even crushed our expectations. There were also murmurings of a semi-autonomous driving capacity, which shows that Tesla is steering clear of full self-driving HGV’s for now. Instead, the semi’s will feature enhanced autopilot features to create semi-automated convoys, making the Tesla semi the safest HGV yet.
All of that high performance is very impressive, and it will have many HGV drivers lining up to test drive one. But one question towers above them all, and that’s how long one of these beats will run on a single charge. After all, electric charging stations aren’t a national standard yet, and even those that are in place aren’t equipped to serve HGV’s. But Tesla have thought of that too. During the announcement, Musk revealed that there would be 2 types of configurable battery unit for the HGV, which would enable drivers to tailor their journey times from between 300 to 500 miles per charge. Per charge! Not only that, but they also announced that they would be bringing out the fabled ‘megacharger’, which will add 4400 miles to the range of the Tesla HGV in just 30 minutes. Using the same metrics that Tesla released for energy consumption, that translates to roughly 1.6 MW charging, which is around 10 times more powerful than Tesla’s superchargers. There is no doubt that Tesla are moving ahead in leaps and bounds.
Overall, the launch was pretty impressive. And the haulage industry obviously agrees, since the reservations and pre-orders have been flooding in. More than 200 units have been reserved since the launch event, with more orders coming in every day. The haulage industry has been waiting for an electric alternative to petrol and diesel HGV’s, so this latest innovation has peaked a lot of interest. For more information, or to find out how you could start a career in this exciting, evolving world, just get in touch with us today.