Tesla's largest vehicle will incorporate parts straight from its smallest car.
The actual word from Musk is that the Tesla will use "a bunch" of Model 3 electric motors. Maybe 2, 4, or even 6. It's anyone's guess at this point, really. Assuming each motor puts out a minimum of 200 hp, the result with 6 would be plenty enough power to move a big rig along at a decent clip. Gobs of torque would be on hand too.
Musk went on the say that the Tesla semi isn't really as ambitious a project as some might think. Tesla fully intends to use lots of parts in the semi that are found in its other vehicles. This interchangeability helps to drive down costs across the board.
Here is Musk's 2p on the topic from yesterdays conference call directly when asked about the Semi-Truck project (and partnering with another manufacturer to get it done) by Consumer Edge Research analyst James Albertine:
"No, we will manufacture that ourselves. Most of that semi is actually made out of Model 3 parts by the way. It's actually using a bunch of Model 3 motors, without revealing too much about the future of it, so we are able to use a very high volume vehicle, and then combine several motors to have (pause) I think it's actually going to have a very good gross margin like...not something that the other...it's like you can't do that with a traditional truck. So effectively (the Semi-Truck) was just a very compelling product that has low unit cost."
The battery is the biggest question mark right now. But using this interchangeability idea, Tesla could actually be utilizing multiple Model S, X or 3 battery packs in the Tesla semi.
What's very apparent to us is that Tesla is taking this semi idea seriously.
The Tesla semi will be officially unveiled this September, but surely there will be leaks here and there from now 'til then.
Source: Clean Technica