The Tesla Semi & Roadster Reveal

Accelerating towards the electric revolution...

Once again Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk has given his fans a semi. At a recent event the tech billionaire unveiled the Tesla Semi, an electric truck that puts diesels to shame. And as if the fanboys weren’t zealous enough, the Tesla Roadster 2.0 emerged from the trailer, which was received by the crowd as though Jesus himself had returned. And I’m not even sure if that comparison can be drawn… we all know the limelight would stay on Musk.

So what do these vehicles have to offer? Let’s start with the Semi. Musk claims 0-60 in 5 seconds, or 20 if it’s fully laden with a 40-ton load. Even then it will climb a hill with a five per cent gradient at 65 mph; compared to a diesel which might reach 45. One of the most astonishing claims is the Semi’s range, which Musk purports to be a jaw-dropping 500 miles; a number that reflects a ‘worst-case scenario’. At this point in the event truckers had to readjust their trousers.

Musk went on to introduce ‘Megachargers’, which are roughly 10 times more powerful than the current Superchargers and capable of providing the trucks with 400 miles of range in 30 minutes. The trucks come standard with ‘Enhanced Autopilot Features’, including automatic emergency braking, lane keeping, forward collision warning, and the possibility of semi-automated convoys. And to list a few more things, the truck boasts: a drag coefficient of 0.38 (less than some supercars), a thermonuclear explosion-proof windscreen, a jack-knifing prevention system, a central driving position with two massive touchscreens, and a cockpit that’s ‘incomparably better than any truck in the world.’ And  let’s not forget a verbal guarantee from Musk that it won’t break down for a million miles.

The central driving position means that Tesla won’t have to produce different trucks for left- and right- hand traffic.

He went on to introduce the Roadster 2.0 which will do 0-60mph in 1.9 seconds. I feel like that’s ‘nuff said, but it’s too early to go home, so I’ll keep going. The Roadster will do a quarter mile sprint in 8.9 seconds and boasts a top speed of approx 250mph, making it faster than the McLaren F1. Musk later alluded to the fact that it could go even faster. In a tweet he wrote: “Should clarify that this is the base model performance. There will be a special option package that takes it to the next level.” 

‘Special option package’ aside, the Roadster’s specs are equatable if not more impressive than most multi-million pound hypercars – including the Bugatti Chiron – and yet it’s priced at only $200,000. To top it off the Roadster has a range of 620 miles, so it’s the perfect getaway car too. It’s quite understandable why the motor world is abuzz with talk of the Tesla reveal. The Semi truck & Roadster seem to point to a future where electric dominates on all fronts, leaving petrol and diesel with no choice but to slip into a shadowy past.

Marc Ward

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