Tesla Opens Up Semi Reservations To All


Tesla has updated its Semi page to include a reserve now button, so it appears as though the automaker truck maker is ready to open the floodgates.

To date, Tesla has likely logged a few hundred Semi orders. On record, we know of at least 190 orders from companies including Meijer, Walmart, Anheuser Busch, Sysco, J.B. Hunt and so on.

But now that its Semi page is public facing and seemingly open to orders from anyone, perhaps that figure will shoot up even more.

Below are some screen grabs from Tesla’s Semi page. Included is a spec sheet, followed by terms and condition for Tesla Semi reservations. Of note from this section is that reservations can be cancelled and refunded at any time up until a purchase agreement is signed near the date of production (a few years from now).

Tesla Semi

Tesla Semi

Tesla Semi

Tesla Semi

Tesla Semi

Categories: Tesla, Trucks

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25 Comments on "Tesla Opens Up Semi Reservations To All"

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So in a “normal” passenger vehicle, energy usage anywhere from 250Wh/mile to 400Wh/mile is pretty typical, with even higher energy consumption values with heater use etc.

How does Tesla think a huge semi can run on “less than 2kWh/mile” or no more than 5 times what a normal car takes to drive down the road?

That seems far too ambitious of a number with a payload that can be 35 times that of a normal passenger vehicle.

No big deal dude and first cargo mission to Mars will be in 2022

You’re going to freak when you learn that a train can move 400 ton-miles per gallon vs 140 ton miles per gallon for trucks.

No, that’s not very surprising at all given they are on a near frictionless surface of rail. Once they’re up to speed the rail is nominally without friction (or as close as you can get without mag-lev) and nominally all flat or near-flat grades within very gradual turns.

That is a very different scenario than a semi on roads and highways, even with improved aerodynamic features.

That is the main point of trains.

A regular 60-ton truck uses about 8 times as much diesel as an efficient diesel car.

With some added Tesla efficiency and extremely low drag it seems very much possible with 5 times the energy.

The future will tell, but it is far from impossible.

Also keep in mind these trucks are designed for long haul, steady state driving. Get up to 65 – 70 mph and hit cruise for the next 3 hours. I have a 1st gen Volt and we all know how inefficient that car is compared to newer offerings. Still when I get up to 55 and hit cruise its pulling only 4 or 5 kW. 65 is 8- 10 kW.

I imagine when you put the pedal down on a Tesla Semi you’ll draw something bonkers like 700 kW to accelerate.

If you’re pulling 4-5kW at 55mph you’re going downhill, with a tailwind. 🙂

Put another way, if you only pull 8-10kW on average going 65mph (let’s call it 10kW, i.e. the “less efficient” datapoint you provide) then that means at 65mph speeds your Volt has a 65 mile range before the engine kicks in. 😉

Some of the new hybrid semi’s get 10-12 mpg. Its in that space that Tesla will compete. I tend to discount the 7 cent/kwh figure since every analysis I’ve seen to date (including the one article here) assumes 100% charge/discharge efficiency, when a typical model “S” owner on TMC gets 82% efficiency when charging his car, since you pay for the juice, not by what the touchscreen says in the car but by the Revenue Meter on the back of your house. And this is assuming all parasitic drains don’t exist, vampire or otherwise. I’d assume most charging would be done while the driver is sleeping so a charge time on the scale of what a BOLT ev would charge at. FAST recharging over a 30 minute period would be quite less efficient all due to the ESR of the batteries, and all the complications that gets into. For people who say “Tesla is different, and they don’t have to worry about that kind of thing” can explain to me why, when supercharging an “S”, there are billows of heat coming out of the corral’s charging bay, and the refrigeration in the car itself is also removing heat – none… Read more »

Agree Bill. Tesla gets a lot of “free passes” by many. I suppose if they can come close to these numbers and disrupt this industry, then all the more power to them.

Hopefully it doesn’t backfire. Obviously your area of expertise makes you a lot more familiar with things like i-squared*R, whereas many here wouldn’t understand the subtleties of that power dissipation and additional loads to cool batteries.

But hey, sometimes I feel like Tesla doesn’t get it either when their cars use so much energy while in a garage plugged in and already charged. It’s a bit ironic to say the least that a company that many perceive as being very green, uses so much energy while a machine designed for transportation sits idle. So I’ll continue to view their “efficiency” claims with skepticism for the time being.

Hopefully they keep improving though.

CC, thanks for the comment… If you had not said anything I’m sure I would have gotten at least 8 comments from the big experts and ‘mommy’s basement’ guys who know so much more than someone with familiarity with the subject matter.

Rather like everyone criticizing Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear for what I thought was a very accurate description of the original Tesla Roadster. I both think those guys were accurate (though a bit nitpicky), but I bought the car anyway since I can deal with something somewhat less than perfection.

Because it is about the same amount of energy measured at the axles as a diesel powered semi uses.

Electricity is far more efficiently converted into motion than diesel fuel.

Keeping a constant speed is about conquering air and rolling resistance. If that is about five times the energy needed for a regular car, than that sounds about right to me.

The energy needed to accelerate that mass to its cruising speed, that is another chapter.

Consider it highway at 60mph with regen braking and what Mikael posted. It’s probably a better or best case scenario but doable. Tesla may be late in getting to real production but they’ve been pretty good at hitting their spec numbers. You can be sure they’ve already done all the math.

“How does Tesla think a huge semi can run on ‘less than 2kWh/mile’ or no more than 5 times what a normal car takes to drive down the road?”

My own “napkin math” estimate for a generic BEV semi tractor — not one engineered by Tesla — was 2.4 kWh per mile. Tesla would only have to improve on that energy efficiency by 18% to get it down to ~1.97 kWh per mile. While Tesla’s numbers may be slightly optimistic, I certainly don’t think it’s unreasonable to believe that Tesla’s engineering is that good, especially with the innovation of those panels at the back of the cab which reduce the gap between tractor and trailer. Use of “super single” tires instead of double wheels on the tractor also gives a slight boost to energy efficiency.

We are, after all, talking about engineering by the world leader in EV technology.

“We are, after all, talking about engineering by the world leader in EV technology.” Meh, that’s a lot of hyperbole. A cynist would say Tesla’s “world leading” technology consists of a bunch of off-the-shelf battery cells crammed together in a pack, doors that don’t work, and vehicles you need to sign NDA’s to buy. There’s really no “secret sauce” in anything that Tesla does. Their brand image and design styling are both superior, and those two items buy them a lot of street cred. A Tesla uses orders of magnitude more energy when plugged in, so it’s not like they really have any claims to out of this world efficiency. As Bill notes above, charging losses and related cooling systems are real, can’t be ignored. If these design ideas are so straightforward that a Silicon Valley automaker can create them, why can’t Mack? Maybe truck drivers don’t want panels over the wheels, or in practice the tight trailer-to-cab will make it difficult to access hook-ups there. On the flip side, Tesla’s hype and brand image is sufficient to help them disrupt the semi industry, if the semi industry is ready for it. But this talk of them being a world… Read more »

I look forward to seeing the results in the real world. Hopefully their numbers will hold (max gross) weight.

Heavy loads and daily supercharging has to be tested for 100,000 miles.

Will be interesting to see for how long they actually honor the guarantee of 7 cents per kWh at their mega/giga(or whatever they’re called)chargers.

As much power as these things will use and the cost of the charging hardware alone could easily put a huge dent in to the semi’s business plan if it’s for very long.

How long? Longer than you can afford to keep throwing money away on shorting Tesla stock, that’s for sure! 😆

The 7 cents is a response to Nikola.

DJ: Here, Pushi’s calling himself an ‘armchair engineer’ again. He is clueless as to the equipment required, the capital expense, the numbers involved, or the operating expense or the nature of it. He doesn’t understand how cell-phones recharge, let alone this job of recharging a semi, which is a somewhat larger job. Although he has seen the cell-phone charging equipment.

He just says you are shorting the stock, since, someone who is clueless can’t say anything else.

During the Semi presentation Elon pronounced that no brakes need to be replace. In all the discussions I read about the energy use of the Semi I miss the effect of braking energy going back into the batteries.

Generally speaking, the biggest energy use in a semi tractor is when driving long distances on the highway, and that’s mostly at a steady speed, with little use of the brakes. Brakes are used a lot in stop-and-go traffic, but semi trucks avoid that when possible, and that’s mostly at low speed where the energy used is less anyway, other than the loss due to inertia of speeding up and slowing down.

Or to put it another way: The best we can do as “armchair engineers” is to make ballpark estimates, where the amount of energy recovered by regenerative braking is too small to affect the estimate.

Of course, Tesla has much, much more detailed numbers and analyses for its own internal use than we could ever hope to see.

As far as Charging Efficacy goes, I made a pitch for “Remote Battery Cooling” for the Tesla Semi while it is being fast-charged over a 30 minute period – over at the Pioneer 500 kw charging article.

If there was ever a vehicle needing remote cooling, the semi while 30 minute charging is it.

Not too far-fetched to consider that the companies placing “orders” for the Tesla semi are simply purchasing cheap “green” street cred.

Cheaper than mounting your own “green” PR campaign, and when the product turns out to be vaporware, or costs 3x what Tesla originally said it would, you can try to claw those deposits back.