A video of one of Tesla’s highly anticipated big rigs has stirred excitement over the all-electric truck set to become available in 2019.
The rare glimpse of the prototype was captured by YouTube user Richard Fielder in the Bay Area where Tesla Semis are being tested.
The clip shows the Semi’s rapid acceleration and has generated buzz over the truck, announced by Tesla CEO Elon Musk last November.
Only those in the San Francisco area have a chance at getting a sneak peak at the vehicle.
Musk revealed his company’s plans to roll out the Semi by riding one into an airport hangar outside of Los Angeles.
The company had invited potential truck buyers to the event that subsequently got much media attention.
Musk said that the Tesla Semi is his company’s way of continuing to encourage the economy to avoid fossil fuels.
The Tesla Semi can travel 500 miles carrying its maximum weight load – 80,000 pounds – at highway speed, according to Musk.
This is compared to diesel trucks, which can go 1,000 miles on one tank of fuel.
The Tesla Semi can hit 60 miles an hour in just five seconds without cargo.
Elon Musk (pictured) announced his company’s Tesla Semi in November. Tesla has said the all-electric big rig will be available in 2019
If it is carrying its maximum weight load it will take the vehicle 20 seconds to reach that speed.
Musk said that the Tesla Semi will be easy to navigate, joking: ‘I can drive this thing, and I have no idea how to drive a semi.’
The truck falls into the Class 8 category, meaning it is among the heaviest trucks, and Tesla said it will be able to haul any freight type.
The Tesla Semi’s nose is less prominent than those on classic semis, and its battery is in the vehicle’s chassis.
It has a motor for each of its four rear wheels.
Additionally, the driver has a touch screen on either side, and the cab features a center seat.
The Tesla Semi can reach 60 miles an hour in five seconds if it is unloaded. That time jumps to 20 seconds if the truck is carrying its maximum weight, 80,000 pounds
WILL THE TESLA SEMI BE ABLE TO COMPETE IN THE TRUCKING INDUSTRY?
Elon Musk hinted at the concept of a heavy-duty, battery-powered vehicle, but Tesla’s stake in the truck industry was not made clear until the Semi reveal last November.
Tesla is hopeful their Semi can compete against conventional diesel trucks.
Musk usually does not hold back with the promotion of his company’s products.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk joked about the Semi’s capabilities after its reveal in California last year
He tweeted an image of the Semi after the product’s reveal, writing: ‘It can transform into a robot, fight aliens and make one hell of a latte.’
A separate tweet from Musk said: ‘This will blow your mind clear out of your skull and into an alternate dimension.’
However, the trucking industry is skeptical about the Tesla Semi.
One of the industry’s major companies, Old Dominion Freight Line Inc, said after the Semi’s reveal that it would not purchase the truck.
Old Dominion senior vice president Dave Bates said: ‘We met with Tesla, and, at this time, we do not see a fit with their product and our fleet.’
The truck comes with the latest version of Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving system, which was made to keep vehicles in their lanes without drifting.
This system also allows vehicles to switch lanes on command and change freeways without any human intervention.
Despite Musk’s efforts to promote the truck, Tesla’s competition among electric big rig makers is fierce.
Daimler AG, Volkswagen AG and Navistar International Corp are among the numerous companies competing to create electric trucks quickly as lawmakers strengthen environmental protection initiatives.
Efficiently charging electric trucks that go back and forth across the country is no simple engineering feat, but Tesla said its Semi can travel 400 miles on a 30 minute charge.
Tesla plans to roll out the Semi next year, and one of the trucks can be reserved for $200,000.