The Tesla Semi: Ready or Not, Here it Comes

In what is becoming a tradition of sorts, Tesla motors has recently dropped another automotive bombshell with the announcement of an all-new, 100% electric semi truck. The Tesla semi sports some very impressive specifications, including an estimated 500-mile range. The superior torque output of electric vehicles is a natural fit for the commercial trucking industry and the Tesla semi exploits this fact with a payload of over 80,000 lbs and a blistering 0 to 60 acceleration of 20 seconds; 40 seconds faster than comparable diesel semi trucks.

The electric big rig was presented in two styles; a flat top, lower profile standard truck and the high-top aero model, which carries the sleek roofline up and over the cargo. Both versions will be rated as Class 8 with capacity for the heaviest loads, but with a modest range of 500 miles, they are expected to be targeted mostly for regional trucking. Although a long-haul version with a sleeper cab is said to be in the works, the regional trucking between ports and distribution centers accounts for about 80% of routes today, so demand is expected to be high for the Tesla Semi. In fact, PepsiCo recently announced an order for 100 of the first production Tesla Semis.

Tesla plans to follow a similar model to the one used in the development of their world class electric passenger vehicles. The impressive efficiency and class leading range is possible through the help of lightweight materials. The pre-production models introduced are constructed of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, however it is expected that production models will be made from aluminum, just as the passenger Tesla vehicles. Tesla also has revealed plans to launch a network of solar charging stations for the Semi, which will be quick-charge high output chargers capable of providing 400 miles of range with 30 minutes of charge. These charging stations can also be implemented at distribution centers and shipping terminals directly, allowing for virtually continuous use, especially on repeated routes.

The cab of the Tesla Semi is just as high tech and austere as one would expect from Tesla. The driver sits in the center of the vehicle, formula one style. The driver’s display is flanked on either side by large touch screen panels that allow a custom view of trip and vehicle metrics. Operators of these trucks will feel more like Captain Kirk piloting the Starship Enterprise. The Tesla Semi dazzles inside and out; on paper and in person. However, the verdict is still out as to whether the trucking community will welcome or shun the electric workhorse.

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The Tesla Semi: Ready or Not, Here it Comes

The New Tesla Roadster

Even though it was the Tesla Semi truck that was the showstopper at last week’s Tesla event, the newly unveiled Roadster was also a runaway success, at least in the eyes of many industry professionals. Though doubts remain about CEO Elon Musk’s ability to run the company in the black, there’s no doubt that he has turned out an incredible piece of machinery.

 

Bent on “disrupting the automobile industry,” Tesla seems poised to do just that. With a 0-60 acceleration time of 1.9 seconds and a top speed of over 250 mph, Musk claims the Roadster will be one of the, if not the most, fastest production cars in existence. Throw in a 620 mile driving range and 10,000 Nm of torque, and you’ve got an electric car that can rival most gas-powered ones, none of whom can rival the overall metrics of the Roadster.

 

If there’s one drawback to Musk’s Tesla demonstration, it’s in the financials. The base price of the Roadster currently sits at $200,000, with a reserve price of $50,000. Unfortunately, there’s no word on the Model 3 that has 400,000 customers already in the wings, but it does shine a bright spot on the future of the company. Musk has already stated that he wants to hit a production rate of 5,000 Model 3s per week to meet the demand, which is convenient, since that’s also when the company will announce their first quarterly results for 2018.

 

Not everyone is convinced that the Model 3 will live up to the hype. Bloomberg reports that it is a “sedan plagued by production problems,” although there are reports that the first invites have been sent out to customers to pick up their Model 3s. Whether it continues remains up to the company. Regardless, Tesla needs the Roadster and the Model 3 to be a success, as reports are that the company is burning through $8,000 a minute, or nearly half-a-million every half hour.

 

Furthermore, the claim of a 0-60 speed of 1.9 seconds is also in doubt, since the fastest some professionals have been able to get the car to 60 is 2.3 seconds; the actual finished product may be significantly lighter than the ones out now, but matching that alongside a top speed of 250 MPH, faster than the take-off speed of a jet aircraft can be tricky.

 

Regardless of claims, there’s no doubt that Tesla is fulfilling Musk’s vision of disrupting the industry, and given automobile enthusiasts a car that is the incarnation of their wildest fantasies.

The New Tesla Roadster

Tesla Model 3

July 28, 2017, Tesla Inc. revealed the new Tesla Model 3. During the “handover” event, 2,000 employees, press, and other guests waited for the unveiling of Tesla’s first mass-market electric vehicle. Employees from different departments discussed their contribution to the creation of the car and shared behind the scenes information. It was also announced that 30 select employees would be receiving a production-ready vehicle before the car’s official launch.

A 10-second countdown was initiated shortly after 9:00 pm concluded by Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, driving onstage in a red Model 3. Musk gave a presentation discussing things like the time and energy put into the design, the challenges of mass production, and the love and appreciation he and his company have for all of their wonderful customers, some of whom have already pre-purchased a Model 3. After his presentation, servers offered decadent desserts while members of the press were offered short test rides in the new model.

Since the beginning of Tesla Inc. 13 years ago, Elon Musk has envisioned affordable electric vehicles (EV). The company’s first shipped EV cost the consumer approximately $109,000, a price that exceeded Musk’s dream. Over the next nine years, Tesla took strides to evolve into the world’s first mass producer of electric vehicles.

The brand new Model 3 can be purchased at a base price of $35,000. While there are many features for individual customization, the price will change with each new addition. Although the term ‘basic’ seems a little drab, the Model 3 has plenty of features to get you excited. For starters, the EV’s range is approximately 220 miles. This means a typical driver can go multiple days before needing to recharge. The EV’s speed is also quite impressive. It can get up to 60 miles per hour in about 5.6 seconds reaching its top speed at 130 to 140 miles per hour. Another enthralling feature of this model is the digital display. At the handover event, Elon Musk noted that a goal of the company was to create a simplistic yet effective display for Model 3. Instead of multiple knobs and buttons, one 15 inch center touchscreen will control any changes need, as well as the car information.

For those with pockets a little deeper, Tesla offers different ways to customize individual models. For an extra $1,000, consumers can choose between a few colors outside of the default black for their car. Consumers can also elect to upgrade from rear wheel drive to dual motor all-wheel drive. The Ludicrous mode featured in older versions is offered as an option in Tesla’s new model. For around $8,000, the Model 3 offers premium options such as autopilot, self-driving, a premium audio system, and much more.

Tesla Model 3

Alternatives to the Tesla Model 3

Twenty years ago, electric cars were an idea, a hope, and a dream. Ten years ago, they were a reality though extremely pricey. A consumer would need to pay over $100,000 to own an EV. Today, prices have decreased, and society is on its way to more affordable, mass-produced electric vehicles. Earlier this year, Tesla Inc. unveiled the newest addition to their line, the Model 3, their first mass-produced EV. While the reasonable pricing and exemplary design have encouraged the populace to purchase an EV, the extensive waiting list has caused many to look at what other options might be available. The Model 3 is in a league of its own, but there are many companies hard at work to bring some competition to Tesla. For those looking for an environmentally friendly vehicle, here are the top 3 alternatives to the Tesla Model 3.

 

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

 

The top alternative to the Model 3 is the 2017 Chevy Bolt. Ranked #1 in the compact cars category by U.S. News’ Best Cars. It also ranked #1 in small cars, hybrid and electric cars, and hatchbacks. Based on an evaluation of 18 pieces of research and data elements, the Chevrolet Bolt received an overall score of 8.9 out of 10 points. The vehicle comes with an astonishing range of 238 miles in a single charge. It has space for five passengers and comes with plenty of room for cargo, and to top it all off, it comes with tech-savvy features, such as a 10.5-inch touchscreen system.

 

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

 

The 2017 Ioniq is available as an electric vehicle, a hybrid, and a plug-in hybrid. The strong driving performance, stellar fuel economy, an appealing base price, and upscale interior landed this Hyundai at the #11 ranking in compact cars. It was also ranked #6 in hybrid and electric cars,  #13 in small cars, and received an overall score of 8.4 out of 10. This alternative is highly efficient with a 124-mile range and includes a 7-inch intuitive touch screen system.

 

2017 Nissan Leaf

 

This alternative is the option for anyone looking for a daily vehicle. The U.S. News’ Best Cars ranked the Leaf as #21 in compact cars based on an evaluation of 65 pieces of research and data elements. It also received #15 in hybrid and electric cars, #30 in small cars, and #24 in hatchbacks with an overall score of 7.6 out of 10. While it isn’t as upscale as its competition, this Nissan offers a spacious interior, a cushioned ride, and a range of 107 miles.

Alternatives to the Tesla Model 3