No More Reservations for the Beast: Tesla Semi


Tesla has closed the reservations for the upcoming Semi Truck on its official website and it has also updated the powertrain & charging specs ahead of the launch. Up until recently, Tesla was accepting online reservations for the Semi Truck but now the “reserve now” button has been replaced with a “get updates” button. Even the new specs of class 8 electric Semi truck are now being shown on the website and some latest pictures and videos have also been uploaded.

Powertrain and Acceleration

One of the interesting changes in the specs is the removal of one motor from the rear axles.  When the Tesla Semi Electric truck was first unveiled in late 2017, it was advertised with 4 independent motors at the rear but the new updates confirm 3 motor configuration. However the new powertrain is capable enough to match up the performance claimed originally.

Since 2017 (when the semi truck was revealed) electric motors have undergone constant innovation; the new motors are more superior, more efficient and more powerful. This is why there is no need for a 4th motor to deliver the same level of performance from the Semi.   

Tesla says the new powertrain can provide instant torque and unmatched power at all speeds so that drivers can merge safely and keep pace with traffic. Semi Electric Truck can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 20 seconds, even when loaded fully, and can maintain highway-level speeds even up steep grades.

Miles Range and Energy Consumption

The class 8 electric Semi truck will have 300 miles & 500 miles variant and earlier this month, Elon Musk had announced on Twitter that the 500 mile range variant will begin shipping this year. Now that’s in line with the company’s typical strategy of releasing its vehicles’ top-tier variants first.   

The semi will have energy consumption of less than 2 kWh per mile even when fully loaded at 82k lbs gross combination weight; which is remarkable. Just for comparison, the light duty trucks consume somewhere around 1kWh per mile when towing a large trailer, and they are much lighter and have very less rolling resistance compared to the heavy duty Tesla Semi. 

Battery Size and Charging Speed

Tesla Semi at Charging Station

 Well nothing has been stated officially about the size of the battery pack in the Tesla Semi till now. But as per our estimates, if the truck has 500 miles range and 2kWh per mile energy consumption that means it should have a 1MWh battery pack. If speculations are to be believed Tesla Semi will be using the company’s next-generation 4680 cells and will be built on 800 volt architecture.  

Tesla claims that Semi Truck can recover up to 70% of range in 30 minutes when attached to a “Tesla Semi Charger”; this is again impressive. Imagine Tesla Semi Chargers installed at truck stops across the popular trucking interstates then Semi truck can potentially disrupt the long-haul sector.      

Pricing, Cost of Ownership and Fuel Savings

Initially the prices of the Tesla Semi Truck used to start from $150,000 for the base 300 mile variant and $180,000 for the 500 mile version. But now the prices are also deleted from the tesla’s website and the new prices have not been published yet. It’s worth mentioning here, Tesla is going through constant price increments this year and the prices for Semi Truck might also be hiked.    

As per studies conducted by Tesla, Owners can save up to $200,000 in refueling within their first three years of ownership. Atop of that, remote diagnostics, over-the-air software updates and fewer moving parts to maintain will further help lower the cost of ownership.

Interior and Safety

Tesla Semi Interior Video

Tesla has uploaded a new short video of the production ready cabin of the Semi Truck. The cabin looks much more finished than the prototype and the steering wheel is also refreshed. The cabin features dual 15″ infotainment screens on either sides of the steering wheel and each screen also functions as a digital mirror to help eliminate the blind spots.  The steering wheel now gets roller balls like the model 3 & model Y steering and buttons for additional functions.

Safety concerns have been taken seriously in the Semi, a central seating position for the driver gives better visibility and an all electric architecture reduces both rollover risk & cabin intrusion. Various other safety features come standard that pair with advanced motor and brake controls of the electric truck to enhance traction and stability in all conditions.


Combination trucks are responsible for about 18 percent of vehicular emissions in the U.S and zero emission electric trucks like the Tesla Semi can help change that equation. An ambitious vehicle with some ground breaking specs like the Tesla Semi looks like a good fit in the company’s lineup.

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