Tesla Semi Rendered

Tesla Semi Rendering


Tesla Semi Rendered By Peisert Design

Some seven months agos, Tesla released Part 2 of its Master Plan.

Included in that plan was this:

“In addition to consumer vehicles, there are two other types of electric vehicle needed: heavy-duty trucks and high passenger-density urban transport. Both are in the early stages of development at Tesla and should be ready for unveiling next year. We believe the Tesla Semi will deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate.”

That means at some point this year we should see the Tesla Semi, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the priority right now is the Model 3, so perhaps the Semi is on the back burner at the moment.

In the meantime, maybe this Tesla semi rendering from Jan Peisert can satisfy our Tesla trucking desire. Peisert states:

“full windshield version / electric powered autonomous Tesla semi truck: Model T / “The Musk”

As Motor1 explains:

“Peisert imagines the Tesla Semi with a huge glass face and strongly creased design. High-mounted rear-facing cameras replace traditional mirrors. The angular styling looks very futuristic, but we’re not sure if it’s quite something Tesla would put on the road. Looking at the automaker’s existing products, the firm seems to favor flowing, more organic shapes.”

In the time-lapse video below, you can watch the Tesla semi, aka “The Musk” come to life from its starting point as the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025.

Source: Flywheel, John Peisert Facebook via Motor1

Category: TeslaTrucks


58 responses to "Tesla Semi Rendered"
  1. przemo_li says:

    Where is solar roof top???

    1. tftf says:

      That was last week’s or last month’s idea.

      Elon Musk’s attention span is usually too short to focus on an idea and execute.

      Now tunnels are his next hot thing.

      Too bad for solar roofs.

      1. mx says:

        Got it. You think Musk is the only employee of Tesla. Riiiiight.

      2. Michael Will says:

        Trolling much?

        I drive around in a well executed Model X 🙂

        1. Anon says:

          He’s just angry his “Shorts are in a Bunch” right now. 😉

          1. floydboy says:

            Yeah I get cranky when my portfolio gets squeezed like that too!

      3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        tftf said:

        “Elon Musk’s attention span is usually too short to focus on an idea and execute.”

        I guess tftf is trying troll here, but that’s the most pathetic attempt at trolling I’ve ever seen!

        It’s like accusing an Olympic Gold Medal winner of not being any good at sports.

        Not merely FAIL, but FAIL SQUARED!

      4. Nombre says:

        Attention span too short???

        Let’s see, he’s been publically planning for Model 3 since 2006 it was stated in the original “master plan”.

  2. Mister G says:

    I hope to see the day of non-polluting electric semis on the road instead of the diesel belching toxic pollution clouds that we inhale today.

    1. jerry says:

      The one shown is nothing like what Tesla would do and an insult Tesla would.
      Tesla makes clean flowing line aerodynamic EVs, not messed like shown which only show the ignorance of the artist..

      1. BenG says:

        Yeah, not close. The aerodynamics of that design look atrocious.

  3. tftf says:

    I get the rationale for EV passenger cars, EV buses, EV minivans etc., especially in 2020+ with better infrastructure (rapid chargers up to 350kW etc.) and cheaper batteries.

    But a pure EV semi-truck over long distances?

    Incredible weight needed to just carry the batteries – unless we are talking future battery tech beyond Li-Ion.

    I don’t see why Tesla started this project already. A project where Tesla will waste focus, time and money (much like Musk’s tunnels and the bleeding SCTY remains..).

    PS: And if you want green(er) transport for heavy weights over long distances? Use a freight train, well-proven for over a century…

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Good heavens, a Tesla-related post from tftf that contains only truth? 😯 You’d better sit down and take a tranquilizer, tftf; surely that was a great strain for you!

      But seriously, this has been heavily discussed in previous comment threads here. The consensus is that Tesla is planning only a short-range semi tractor.

      Personally, I think what we’ll see will be only a prototype, not a production-intent vehicle. The only real market for such a vehicle is as a low-speed “yard truck”, yet Tesla seems intent on producing a highway-capable semi tractor. So, most likely a prototype only.

      1. John says:

        I believe the ideal solution will be moving freight coast to coast via the HyperLoop, and then last few miles will be given to the short-range electric semi.

        However, all of the mock-ups I’ve seen for the HyperLoop all look to small to handle a standard 40 foot container…

        1. floydboy says:

          Electric rail would work just as well. You wouldn’t necessarily need the speed of a hyperloop.

    2. MTN Ranger says:

      There is plenty of local and intrastate shipping where a BEV truck would work. Even if they get a small piece of this pie, they will be successful.

      1. tftf says:

        “There is plenty of local and intrastate shipping where a BEV truck would work.”

        How do you make local deliveries with a semi-truck?

        As I mentioned above I get the rationale for EV buses (passengers), EV minivans etc. (Renault and Nissan offer them in Europe, with bigger batteries they will be successful) but this is a SEMI-TRUCK.

        What about car and freight weight relative to battery weight – this vehicle category is non-sense with current Li-ion batteries.

        But I welcome Tesla to waste money on this project.

        Maybe they can build a tunnel digging machine powered by batteries next…or a Mars rocket powered by batteries. Makes even “more” sense.

        1. tftf says:

          “EV minivans”

          That should of course say “delivery vans” above because I was talking about smaller, shorter-distance vehicles.

          Example: Reanult Master ZE…


          That makes sense for local, urban deliveries as batteries get cheaper/density increases, a pure EV long-distance semi-truck doesn’t.

        2. Rob Stark says:

          Ask the Supermarket chains how they deliver from regional distribution centers to local supermarkets with a Semi.

          The food manufactures deliver to the regional supermarket distribution centers. The supermarket chains buy large numbers of 18 wheelers just for local deliveries.

          Supermarket chains buying Tesla Semis is an absolute no brainer.

    3. Someone out there says:

      My guess is that this is a very low priority project for Tesla. My guess is that they are interested in seeing what they could do but they are likely not planning production anytime soon.

      1. tftf says:

        Read Musk’s Master plan again:


        I welcome Tesla to spend as much time as possible on this non-sense – same for the SCTY bailout.

        They will hit the reality wall sooner, especially during the next downturn or recession (and that time will come).

        1. tftf says:

          Quote from link:

          “In addition to consumer vehicles, there are two other types of electric vehicle needed: heavy-duty trucks and high passenger-density urban transport. Both are in the early stages of development at Tesla and should be ready for unveiling next year. We believe the Tesla Semi will deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate.”

          That was written in 2016, so next year means 2017.

          1. Ambulator says:

            Elon has been known to be late. Maybe not every time, but likely here he will be.

            1. JH says:

              I have actually done quite a bit of calculations on this (you know, math). And I have based the input on fairly conservative readily available data, and I have come to the conclusion that it certainly is doable to create a big rig that can play on equal level with a traditional diesel, As long as the driver follows the ordinary ruleset enforced by law in regards of driver rest (at least they look out here in europe). Heck I even calculated with overweight to 60 tonnes, in bad weather, and it still panned out. This is just waiting to be happening.

              1. tftf says:

                I would like to see your calculations then, post a link comparing a BEV semi-truck with a modern mild hybrid semi-truck, especially at current gas prices and with lots of cargo for distances of 100, 200 and 300 miles per day.

                Again: BEV minivans and BEV commercial delivery vans (see Renault links above) make sense imho in coming years, a semi-truck doesn’t – at least not until next-gen battery tech (solid state etc.) is widely available.

              2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                JH said:

                “…I have come to the conclusion that it certainly is doable to create a big rig that can play on equal level with a traditional diesel, As long as the driver follows the ordinary ruleset enforced by law in regards of driver rest (at least they look out here in europe).”

                Are you assuming a 30 minute lunch break to recharge the semi tractor’s battery pack in the middle of the workday?

                Here’s my “napkin math” analysis of the problem. I came to a very different conclusion than you did. I’d be interested to see your comments on my analysis.


                FACTS & FIGURES

                A modern diesel semi pulling a load gets 6.5 MPG; therefore uses 0.1538 gallons of diesel per mile

                1 gallon of diesel contains 40.7 kWh of energy

                diesel semi typical engine weight 2880 lb

                Tesla Roadster upgrade battery pack: 70 kWh in ~10 cubic feet

                standard sized semi trailer dimensions: 110″ high x 96″ wide, or 9.167′ x 8′

                DOT weight limit for a six-axle semi tractor-trailer: 80,000 lbs

                Typical price of a relatively high-end new semi tractor: $150,000

                Typical trucker may drive as much as 600-700 miles in a day, and can legally drive up to 11 hours per day.

                * * * * *

                PREMISES & ASSUMPTIONS

                What we need is a BEV battery pack for our semi tractor which will allow it to pull a load for ~750 miles. This should allow the trucker to complete a daily run on one charge. We assume at the end of the run either the battery pack is swapped out for one that’s charged up, or the pack is charged during the hours the trucker is sleeping. Either way, we avoid the need for fast charging and very high current.

                Our hypothetical BEV semi will have an energy efficiency 2.6 times that of a diesel semi. (An EV car is about 3.5 x as energy efficient as an average gasmobile, but diesel engines are about 30-35% more efficient than gas engines.)

                Therefore, our BEV semi pulling a load needs (0.1538 x 40.7 / 2.6 =) 2.4 kWh of energy to run 1 mile.

                Estimated weight of a 2016 Tesla battery pack using 18650 cells: 11.5 lbs / kWh

                Estimated price for a Tesla battery pack (not just the cells): $180 / kWh

                * * * * *

                We need to look at three limiting factors for the BEV semi tractor’s large battery pack: Space, weight, and cost.

                SPACE ANALYSIS

                The space behind a long-haul trucker’s cab, the space now devoted to storage and sleeping space, is about 4.1 feet long, at least on the diagram I looked at; I’m assuming the height and width are the same as a typical semi trailer. (At least, the dimensions should be close enough for this ballpark estimate.)

                Let’s use that space for the battery pack. I don’t see losing this space as a problem. Since we no longer need a long nose for the diesel engine, which isn’t there, we can shove the cabin forward, and leave room for the battery pack behind. The tractor now looks more like a “cab-over” tractor with an extended space behind the cabin, rather than a long-nose tractor.

                So I estimate that space at 4.145 x 9.167′ x 8′ = 303.977 cu.ft.

                An upgraded Tesla Roadster’s battery pack has 70 kWh and measures ~10 cubic feet.

                Assuming a similar configuration, that gives us (303.977 / 10 * 70 =) 2127.8 kWh.

                At 2.4 kWh per mile, that’s 886.6 miles.

                This is comfortably beyond our needs of ~750 miles.

                Space isn’t an issue.

                * * * * *

                WEIGHT ANALYSIS

                Weight *is* an issue, altho perhaps not a deal-killer.

                At 2.4 kWh per mile, enabling a range of 750 miles requires our BEV semi tractor to carry a (750 x 2.4 =) 1800 kWh battery pack. At an estimated 11.5 pounds per kWh, that’s 20,700 lbs. We save just a bit by losing the diesel drivetrain; maybe 3000 lbs or so, which brings us down to an estimated 17,700 lbs. That’s 22.1% of our maximum weight limit of 80,000 lbs. And note that various State laws may reduce the maximum weight even further, depending on what States our long-range truck travels through.

                Now, that’s not to say this makes the idea impractical. It may well be worth sacrificing some shipping capacity as a tradeoff for lower cost per mile of moving the freight. But it does limit the market for our BEV semi a bit, or perhaps more than a bit, depending on what the customer’s needs are.

                * * * * *

                COST ANALYSIS

                Cost for the battery pack is the real issue here. And that cost is almost certainly why, for example, UPS, FedEx, Wal*Mart, and other companies with large trucking fleets have not already started switching to heavy BEV trucks.

                That 1800 kWh battery pack, at $180 / kWh at the pack level, will cost an estimated $324,000. And that’s Tesla’s estimated cost, not price, so you can likely add another 15-25% to that. Note a reasonably high-end diesel semi tractor costs $150,000, so adding that battery pack is more than tripling the cost. With a 20% markup, it’s $388,000, which is 259% of the diesel semi tractor’s $150,000 price. Sure, Tesla will save some money by using an EV powertrain instead of the much more complex, and more expensive, diesel powertrain. But as a percentage of the price of that battery pack, I doubt losing the diesel engine, exhaust, etc. etc. will make much of an impact on price.

                There is also the matter of battery life. A Tesla battery pack may be expected to last the life of the car, but the typical car is only driven about 5-10% of the hours in a day. Contrariwise, a long range truck is expected to be on the road as much as possible. A truck just sitting around still has to be insured, and the owner still has to pay all those fees for a heavy commercial vehicle. A truck just sitting around is losing money for its owner.

                So we need to ask: Just how many times will that very expensive battery pack have to be replaced, over the lifetime of the truck? A semi truck is expected to last an average of 20 years, significantly longer than the average life of a passenger car. Will the truck save enough on fuel costs to justify the amortized cost of buying replacement packs?

                That’s a subject beyond the scope of this analysis.

                1. BenG says:

                  Hi Pu-Pu, thanks for taking the time to write up your analysis. It looks good, but I would say that your requirement for a 750 mile range is way off base. Truckers need to stop for bathroom and food breaks just like everyone else, and we know that Tesla is working on ~ megawatt scale fast charging, so I’d suggest that absolutely no more than 1/2 that range is required, and really a 300 mile range should be entirely workable.

                  A 300 mile range drops your 1800 kwh battery down to 720 kwh.

                  If Tesla delivers a 1 MW UltraCharger for truck-stop installation, then the truck would be able to add ~70% of it’s full range in 1/2 an hour: that’s 210 miles, or 3 hours driving at 70 mph. A 30-40 minute break every 3 hours is entirely reasonable to stretch your legs, bathroom break, have a meal or snack. It’s no problem to cover 750 miles a day with this routine.

                  The 720 kwh battery costs ~$130,000 rather than $324k, and weighs 8280 lbs rather than 20k lbs. These are huge differences. And with the annual fuel cost for a big rig in the ball-park of $150,000/year, it’s not hard to see how savings would rapidly cover the additional cost, IMO. I think a reasonable guesstimate at fuel cost savings would be 50%, so the batteries pay for themselves in less than 2 years of operation.

                  1. BenG says:

                    Of course these comments don’t change the fact that MW-scale fast charging is just an idea and a long way from implementation, much less a national network that could support widespread adoption of long-range BEV trucks.

                    Still, it illustrates that we might not be as far away from practicality as most would think. Tesla built out the SuperCharger network to cover most the nation in only 5 years, and that was as a cash-strapped early stage company.

                    Say Tesla takes 5 years to bring the Semi to production. If the Model 3 rollout has gone well, probably by then we’d have the Model Y selling big numbers as well, then the cost to build out UltraChargers laid out for trucks, at or near existing truck-stops would be a drop in the bucket compared to cash flow.

                    On the other hand, everyone is right that local/regional shipping is the logical place that BEV semis could first be adopted.

    4. Josh Bryant says:

      I am baffled by this also. Hyperloop would be a better idea for cargo transportation.

      1. Someone out there says:

        … if it works. So far it hasn’t been all that impressive but maybe they will get it working eventually. It turns out making huge vacuum tubes is pretty complicated.

        1. Josh Bryant says:

          Well it has only really been worked on by a couple start-ups (with in-fighting) and some college engineering teams.

          If Musk put the top relevant engineers from Tesla and SpaceX on the technology, we would see something more compelling.

          All those people have their hands full at the moment…

        2. SJC says:

          Just like air trucks are A to Z and everywhere in between, the Loop is just A to B.

    5. mx says:

      Because trucks use a lot of diesel, an Electric Truck has great economic benefit for anyone who can do Operational Expense calculation.

      And because they put out so much cancer causing soot, it would be the best solution for society, making American Great Again.

    6. ffbj says:

      It’s a big problem. Somethings, like the mails use rail vans, semi trailers loaded onto flatcars. In this case as with big freight hubs trailers are moved in toto, and it’s a local deliver. So you need to specify what you mean by local, say it’s for small load local delivery, yeah that is not done by semis. Then in some places full trucks are loaded onto special rail cars.

    7. Nombre says:

      “But a pure EV semi-truck over long distances?”

      Simple, it’s because normal semi trucks put out tons of pollutants and gas prices are expensive.

      If there was a cost effective way to replace semi trucks on the road and if it saves companies money, then you’re going to see widespread adoption. It’s a low hanging fruit if battery costs are low enough.

  4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    The Tesla BEV semi has a SpaceX logo on the side? Possibly, from the apparent shape of the trailer, a tanker carrying rocket fuel?

    Is that some cognitive dissonance going on there… or just nepotism? 😉

    1. ffbj says:

      It’s a family affair. One child grows up to be somebody who just loves to learn, and another child grows up to be somebody who…

  5. peteybabes says:

    the Nikola truck can go 100-200 miles in full electric depending on load if the fuel cell runs out…will need some huge amount of batteries. 🙂

    1. Nombre says:

      No, the Nikola Two range is 800-1200 miles but 100% of that is from hydrogen fuel cell to battery. They are recommending not plugging it in at all.

  6. MT says:

    It’s not even an attractive render, much less a realistic one.

    InsideEVs certainly does have a thing for second-rate independent render studios.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Indeed. As Jerry noted above, we can be sure Tesla’s BEV semi tractor will be much more streamlined than shown in this unconvincing “artist’s concept” render.

  7. Jimmy Limo says:

    Forget the trucks and busses…. I want my TESLA FLYING CAR !!! (been waiting 65+ years !)

    1. tftf says:

      Given Elon Musk’s attention spans he could announce it on Twitter next car, once tunnels becoming too boring.

      He will just have to raise another few billions from the shareholders and sell them another story…

      Selling the Dream (with more shares or debt).

      1. floydboy says:

        THERE YOU ARE! Whew! You had me worried there for a bit!

  8. mx says:

    That semi, designed like a brick will NEVER be built by Tesla.

    1. mx says:

      Oh, I get it. Someone’s a MAC truck fan.
      Ok, MAC truck might build this, but not Tesla.

  9. Kdawg says:

    I was expecting something more aerodynamic.. like the bullet trains.

    1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      Well, it’s just another pointless rendering by someone not from Tesla so it doesn’t matter.

  10. Someone out there says:

    In Sweden, Scania and Siemens have been experimenting with overhead lines for long haul trucks along the highway. When a truck gets close to these overhead lines it raises a pantograph to pull power and charge a battery that is used on sections with no overhead lines. At first I dismissed the idea but thinking of it more it might not be a bad idea after all. You’d only need sections of these overhead lines, like a couple of/10 miles every 50 miles or so and do the rest on battery power. Since you’re going at a constant speed while charging you don’t use as much power as you would do in start and stop traffic.

    With these overhead sections you would dramatically reduce the battery capacity needed for EV trucks. Having battery power for 700 miles would be too heavy to be practical but if you only need batteries for 70 miles that changes the equation quite a bit!

  11. Tyrone says:

    A beautiful design, but if I may be devils advocate for a moment. The front glass, beautiful on a town buss, wont be very practical in the outback of Australia or South Africa if a large animal jumps in front of you. The semi also needs double wheels at the back. If you are pulling a large weight uphill for example on a snow covered road and the truck looses traction, you can engage the diff lock on the double axle rear wheels.Semi’s also use the engine brake to slow down. Your beautiful design will be better suited for Europe.Just a few thoughts to help your design

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      I hadn’t even noticed the semi tractor in the picture only has one drive axle. So that could only haul relatively light loads.

      It’s a poor design all around.

  12. ffbj says:

    Where are the steps?

  13. Mike I. says:

    Third party renders are meaningless.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:


  14. That truck is neither practical nor attractive nor revolutionary. Actually, it looks like up a touch up of the Mercedes electric truck.


    Tesla will build a GREAT truck. It’s true. A really fantastic truck that everybody will love. You’ll see.

    A bigly amount of the truck will be built right here in the US by American workers… not those Mexicans or Chinese guys.

    It will be HUUUuuuuuge.

    1. floydboy says:

      It’s, YUUUuuuuuge! Don’t forget the exclamation at the end, this IS Donald Trump after all!

  15. John says:

    Trucks don’t have to be so big if they don’t have the cost of a driver to spread over the cargo. “Less than load” shipments can just go in a more reasonably-sized vehicle.