Now, footage of the Tesla Semi being hauled by another Tesla Semi has been made public. The latest video was showcased by Jay Leno on his unique vehicle-focussed YouTube channel, highlighting some of the key features that the Semi has on offer which have previously been under wraps.
In the video which spans over 42 minutes, Leno describes the progress of the Semi program and how well Tesla electric trucks are getting and achieving great outcomes. Leno also got behind the wheel of the truck and compared the key differences between normal diesel trucks and electric trucks. The Tesla Semi’s ride was smooth and efficient and also quite comfortable.
Speaking of efficiency, the Semi has a very low coefficient of drag, coming in at just 0.4 which is much lower than most trucks on the road today which are above 0.8. Part of the inspiration behind the Semi’s aerodynamic design came from the high-speed bullet trains in Japan which are designed to pierce through air while travelling at incredible speeds.
One of the most interesting details shared in the video was how easy the largest electric vehicle Tesla is to turn. The Tesla Semi has almost similar turn radius as a Model Y or Model 3 making it smooth and quick to drive.
Leno also spoke to Tesla’s chief designer, Franz von Holzhausen, and senior manager of Semi engineering program, Dan Priestley, about the Semi’s engineering and cost savings. According to Tesla, each Semi can save freight and logistics operators up to $US200,000 in just fuel costs over the first 3 years of ownership.
While driving the truck, Leno got a chance to tow a trailer with another Tesla Semi on it which according to Priestley was a load over 27 tonnes (60,000 lbs). Even with the trailer on, Leno described the drive as if the Semi was not towing a large load. That’s thanks to the motor and drive-train technology which has been optimised for the application.
On the drivetrain, it was also shared that Tesla is using parts from its other vehicle programs such as the Model 3 and Model Y but more interestingly from the upcoming Tesla Cybertruck which the Semi has adopted multiple hardware solutions.
Other more broader industry challenges were also covered including improving the safety in the industry and promoting electric trucks to the younger generation given the aging workforce in the sector.
It was suggested electric trucks could help the industry get younger people to feel more compelled to be a part of the trucking and logistics industry once again.