How will Tesla semi truck be?

The Tesla semi truck will be unveiled in Hawthorne on November 16. Based on hints and other information, I try to guess how the Tesla semi truck will be. Or at least I speak about how it should be.

Rendered picture of how Tesla semi truck might look like was done by Peisert Design:

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49 Replies to “How will Tesla semi truck be?”

  1. ronald rogerson

    a PRIME MOVER has a mean ammount of power output… it will be easy for a prime mover to pull a entire truck and trailer and to charge it quickly via regen if it needs to keep going continuously… the idea of battery in trailer seems great too!

  2. Jørgen Thomsen

    Hi I Think you are on the right track…with the truck…Small trip, they can make wireless charging in the road, when they alway drive the same road that would be possible. The trailer thinking is good and to solve some of the issues with trucking in the winter, and also active steering control in slippy road conditions, less failure less accidents, there are so manny possibility's when driving electric….so the future can only be better with electric driving…..but much to learn……best to you and Thanks for sharing the video Jørgen Thomsen Denmark DK

  3. Mic Mag

    I've driven for freezer truck companies and after every shift we plug into a 3 phase to run the freezer all night while the truck isn't in use. The larger number of trucks sit all night in a depot and run an 8 to 14 hour local run of 100 to 300km. During the shift, we might deliver to 4 or 5 supermarkets where the truck sits switched off for 1.5 hours at each location while the trailer is unloaded.
    Long haul runs of say 1000km would be a simple case of loading more battery modules and swapping at destination for instant return or travel to a new location. Lifting and loading a couple of 1000kg battery packs is a 5 minute job with a fork lift so imagine how quick it would be with dedicated machinery. Depots would have packs charging 24/7. Yes it seems expensive but not compared to the cost of diesel. Fuel is massive expense to all transport companies.

  4. Noah Boddy

    Gloves are not a problem because many styles are available with touch-screen finger pads; though aimed at the cell-phone market, they will work for Teslas, as well.

  5. Daryl McDougall

    With the torque comparison you forgot to consider the torque multiplication provided by Volvo having a multispeed gearbox.
    The Volvo torque in 1st gear would be massive.
    Tesla does have some advantages though because their motor can deliver torque over a wider range of RPM.

  6. Aigars Mahinovs

    You can fit ~800kW of batteries into the shape of the Tesla Semi, that would allow it to drive far enough on one charge that the driver would not be legally allowed to drive any longer that day and at the same time all of that huge battery could then be easily refilled by a single normal Supercharger cable overnight to be fully ready for action the next morning. So all that you need is to have some single Supercharger stalls at truck stops.

  7. svesom

    I think the best solution is to have nearly independent Drivetrains on the Trailer and the Truck.
    A good Chargemethod is to charge the Trailer, when it is Docking to, in German, we say Laderampe.
    Most Time the Truck Drive with the Trailer and not alone.
    So, it will be a great to Transfer Energy, from the Trailer to the Truck.
    The Trailer always have many Space under the Chassis for the Accumulators.
    Also the Truck itself.
    Yes it will be a little bit heavier, but it will not be a Problem, as we learned from our E Cars.
    The Benefits are so important, that the Thing of Weight will less important.
    How nice will it be, to have saver, quiter, cleaner, simpler, Transport with such better Technology..?
    We can Win a lot, if we are able to change our Thinking,
    also the same with our E Cars.
    You experience it every Day..

  8. Tesla Coil 20kv

    Lets say that is not 6kwh and is 10 kwh… a 3phase 380-440Volt 16A plug can help that!! ( from Europe ) and an inside charger will take the 3 phase current and do this 10kwh… for America you have lower voltage but still is 3 phase and you can have regular industrial electricity , with a simple monitor system that will charge you for how much kwh you get and how much money you will pay for it!! So it is very possible with the power electronics we have… the only problem that the power electronics have is only the cooling system and the filters!! put this is something that we now how to do it, after all this PV systems around the world and all this electric cars… if this system will work at extreme places , like Alaska… roads may be you can have chargers at extreme places , that it is very difficult to have even gas!! the problem with Alaska is that you don't have enough sun to do it.. and the batterys does not have a cooling systems protection, (regular you need a cable resistant just to keep warm the battery) , as far as I know!! So for a start will run on highways … for extreme places you have to have Hybrid systems… you can not depend on one system… also many trucks stuck on the one site of the road , because of slick roads and winders visibility , other special trucks go to rescue them all the time , like Norway… So on a tech like this you can add many types of tech , to self rescue a truck , in situations you can not find any help , or you want to make it more stable and wait the rescue !! you have screens , you can see the cables and where to point… you can have more sensors and see better on the night or on a very heavy winder , and go more safer to safe place to rest!! So this trucks must be a life saver .. your life depend on this , the cargo depend on it , companys depend on it!! is not a joke… is not only numbers!! so a company must be extreme serious to make change and a truck like this! Volvo has many problems with their electronics on the new trucks , back to 2012, was not very hard problems , but the driver must be sure that he will make it or survive … thats why Volvo has a big experience on trucks….

  9. J. P. Fagerback

    In the "Tesla truck" the driver don't sit much higher than he or she would in a standard US truck. The regulations in Europe limit the total length of the tractor itself, so a cab-over design works best. In the US a tractor should be as "long" as possible because that will increase the hauling capacity.

    Tesla would have to cater to the US truck driving regulations which are more lax than the European one. A US truck driver can drive about 8 hours straight without stopping if he or she decides.

  10. Derek

    It would be pretty sweet to see if +Tesla made a specialized trailer for the semi truck that had a battery to two in the bottom of the trailer to extent the range for cross country travel +Bjørn Nyland . What if the trailer that the semi was hauling had solar panels on it, would it be worth it? Made this comment half way through the video and didn't realize that you mentioned the battery in the trailer…. But I hope that they follow through with it.

  11. Petr Jasinski

    The key to the whole thing is that Tesla is working in cooperation with trucking firms so IMHO Tesla will sell semis as a fleet package combined with the implementation for the charging infrastructure for that particular company. My guess is that battery pack will be exchangeable with the help of a forklift. In that case truck company can slow charge tens of battery packs on the premise a also run all the actual trucks 24/7.

  12. krneki44

    About motor and batteries in trailer. I think it would be best if there would only be additional motor in the trailer. That way you could use the semi with normal trailers also. When you connect power and communications cable you could use it to help regen, drive and also move without a semi.

  13. william armstrong

    I would expect the truck will work in convoy mode where a number of Tesla Semis' traveling close to each other so they "draft" each other and save a lot of power. Only the front truck uses max power all the rest of the trucks in the convoy can use less power maybe 25%!
    Tesla Semi could use the adaptive cruise control to do this.
    Also total breaking power for the convoy could be adjusted based on heaviest truck in the group.
    Quite how you keep the drivers in the convoy awake is another question.

  14. Sh!tehawk

    Won't sell in Europe. The reason we have short cab trucks is so that with the trailer they come under maximum length laws. With this design you'd need 6' shorter trailers, which means carrying less goods.

  15. L C

    If you have a motor that can turn at 18k RPM (typical in a model S), that requires delivering current (amperage) at more than 300 hz as a 3 phase AC signal. The physics essentially causes a stator (non rotating motor component) with more windings to be less desirable since electrical inductance increases with increases in the number of turns in the winding and with increases in frequency. A stator with a large number of turns works to cancel the ripples in the AC signal at high frequencies.

    I suspect that large number of copper strands wound in the stator poles are mostly parallel, perhaps with as little as 2 turns per pole. If power is expressed as voltage * amperage, keeping voltage low is safer AND, higher amperage lends itself well to a motor dimensioned for high RPM (read high frequency).

    Thusly, I'd expect to see similar battery voltages as in the car, similar motors as well. The semi will be to the Model S as the falcon 9 is to the original falcon rocket. More in parallel, more motors, more battery, and more power inverters.

  16. Daryl Bain

    Standard configurations across North America the classic 18 wheeler tractor & a semi-trailer of max 53 feet gvcw in the U.S. 80,000lbs; in Canada 87,083lbs on that same configuration. Though the maximum overall standard length across Canada is 90 feet, whereas in the U.S. on interstates I've seen 350 inch wheelbase tractors hauling 53 foot & in certain states 57 foot trailers. Then there are turnpikes 2x 40 foot to 2x 53 foot or 3x 28 foot trailers; B trains usually tandem axle lead & tandem axle second trailer & super B trains which have a triaxle lead & or a tandem or triaxle pup gcvw allowed across Canada 140,000lbs. Some provinces allow more weight & more axles. Then there's Saskatchewan who has superpikes or super turnpikes a super B plus a 53 foot trailer with a gvcw of 170,000lbs, I'm not absolutely sure about that last weight. The there's Australia where lengths & weights seem limitless in the outback.

  17. oozk

    The max speed of cars are pretty high. A semi-truck, however, would have a much lower top speed, perhaps around 90 MPH or less. Even this alone would mean the reduction gear for the same engines would be 2-3x higher. Combine that with multiple engines (at least 1 per axle), and you have a lot of torque adding up. Using many smaller Tesla 3 engines instead of bigger engines might also make it easier to fix power delivery (amperage) issues.

  18. Peter Pold

    Long range trucks in the US means 1000 Kilometers per day on average. US truck drivers are allowed to drive for 11 hours per day at about 100 KpH average speed. They get paid per mile and want to go as many miles as possible.
    Long range trucks (also called semi trucks) have generally about 40000 KG.
    It is inconceivable to me that Tesla would design a truck for Europe first.


  19. Robert

    I hate to say it but I think Nikola Motor Company with there fuel cell tech would be a better fit for the trucking industry. Maybe a Tesla/Nikola plug-n-hybrid truck would rule the highways imo

  20. heiner97

    I see the problem with the charging infrastructure. Everything is about time in the transportation industry. Charging time has to be at a minimum. 45 minutes is s not an option considering that you might even have to wait in line which comes on top of the charging time. It is not like taking a personal road trip where charging time is usually not so much of an issue.

    This definitely has to be addressed in order to make this a success. I can’t wait to see what Tesla comes up with. If somebody can find a solution, then it is Tesla.


    I think Elon do an error to do truck yet, perhaps its just doing buzz.
    For tesla and earth that could be more interesting to do artisan and delevery van first, they has already technologie ! A little model s front motor (120-200 horse power) and a 80 or 100 battery pack, To have real 300km range.
    They have "only" the bodys to design. 2 or 3 différent height and 2 or 3 different lenght and they can sell as Aspar bouns.

    How many work or delivery van are rolling, with one truck 600 battery pack they can do roll 6 or 7 work van.
    Your exemple : A truck 40l/100km, my suggestion 7 works van average minimum 11l/100km x 7 = 77l, that will say we can save 77l with the same battery pack if tesla considered first the work van.
    The biggest problem for the moment is the city pollution and in city they are few 40l/100km truck but full of work van.

    And that can be more interesting for tesla profits one truck 180 000e or 7 van at 40 000e with the same source of lithium used.

    Many artisan are alone or with few employees, and they drive himself their van and they are the decision maker.
    They can be very interesting to have a smart clever EV van to work.
    Not a nissan e-nv200 who can do only 80-100km with 40 bananas boxes it's a joke to work…!!!
    Tesla please help us…other manufacturs are too stupid.
    Sorry and thank you for your vidéos Mister Nyland.

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