Tesla Semi

Tesla Semi

Out at the Jet Center in Los Angeles, California, Tesla revealed to the world its new "blow your mind clear out of your skull" semi.

In the build-up to the reveal, very little (if any) concrete information was known, so we were left wondering such things as:

  • What will its electric range be?
  • How much will it cost?
  • When will it be available?
  • What's the payback period?
Well, now that it's been revealed, we can begin to answer some of those questions. We'll start with range

Tesla Semi

Tesla Semi

Range

The Semi is said to have a range of 500 miles operating at GVW and highway speeds, which is generally further than a diesel-powered rig can go on a single tank. That’s aided by efficient aerodynamic designs for the rig, including a flat bottom and side flaps to all but close off the gap between truck and trailer. All combined, Tesla says its Semi has a drag coefficient better than that of the Bugatti Chiron. Musk says Megachargers will add 400 miles of range in just 30 minutes.

Tesla Semi

Tesla Semi

Availability

Tesla says the Semi will enter production in 2019 and is already taking reservations at $5,000 per truck. If this goes forward as-advertised, we aren’t shy about saying this machine could be a bonafide game changer in the automotive world – trucking or otherwise.

Tesla Semi

Tesla Semi

Payback & Price

As far as price, Tesla makes no mention of total cost but does claim owners can realize a $200,000 savings in fuel over the course of a million miles. That sounds like a ton of driving to mere mortals, but racking up that kind of mileage is par for the course in the trucking world.

Prior to the reveal of the semi, Bloomberg released an interesting post on this very topic. It's rather in depth, with interviews, math calculations and so forth, but the real highlight is this simple graphic showing possible prices and payback periods. We do suggest you read the entire article for the necessary background though, but the gist is that payback is what fleet operators look at most, so the figures need to make sense from a financial standpoint.

<a href=via Bloomberg" draggable="false">

via Bloomberg

Tesla Semi

Tesla Semi

Tesla Semi

Tesla Semi

Tesla Semi

Tesla Semi

Tesla Semi

Tesla Semi

Tesla Semi

Tesla Semi

Let's not forget about the fun stuff ...

The Tesla Semi will go zero-to-60 mph in five seconds. With 80,000 pounds in tow, it can still do it in a mere 20 seconds. How about 65 mph uphill? Typical semis are lucky to pull off an uphill at over 45 mph. If Tesla pulls this off, it's now clear why Musk is so excited.

*Christopher Smith contributed to this article