Despite the recent Tesla IPO, the company hasn’t made a decision on the price and model of its upcoming semi-truck. Instead, it says the cost of the vehicle is difficult to predict. However, it has been working on the vehicle’s software, which would be similar to that in the Model 3 and Model Y.

Tri-motor system

During the launch of Tesla’s Semi electric truck, Elon Musk made a few remarks about the powertrain. Among other things, he said the truck would be able to go from zero to 60 mph in less than 20 seconds.

The company’s top-of-the-line tri-motor configuration would give the Semi a range of at least 500 miles on a single charge. The powertrain is similar to the one found in the Model X, but is more energy-efficient.

The three motors on the Semi can be seamlessly engaged and disengaged. The powertrain also includes regenerative braking. This technology is standard on passenger electric vehicles, but Tesla says it is unique in that it is able to stop the Semi from jackknifing, something that is not possible with traditional diesel trucks.

Quad-motor powertrain

Earlier this year, Tesla announced its new tri-motor powertrain for the Tesla Semi. The system will power two rear axles. The tri-motor will be capable of accelerating to 60 mph in about 20 seconds. The fully loaded Semi weighs around 82,000 pounds.

Tesla is currently planning to launch two trim levels for the Semi. The base model will be a rear-wheel drive model with a 300-mile range. The top-of-the-line tri-motor variant will be able to travel 500 miles on a single charge.

While the 500-mile version of the Semi will be available this year, the 300-mile model is expected to be ready by the end of next year. The 500-mile version will also feature a GCW rating of 82,000 pounds. This is a significant reduction in the price of the Semi.

Day cab

Several hundred pre-orders for the Tesla Semi day cab have been received by fleets and independent truckers. The truck’s day cab is a unique construction compared to the typical diesel day cab. It allows for a much smaller body weight and less energy consumption.

The Tesla Semi’s biggest selling point is its fuel efficiency. The vehicle can travel up to 500 miles on a single charge. The semi is capable of accelerating from zero to 60 mph in 20 seconds. It has an ATIS (Automatic Tire Inflation System) that can automatically maintain tire pressure.

The interior of the Tesla Semi is a clean and simple design. The driver’s seat is located in the center of an expansive cockpit. The dashboard features two large touchscreens. Each features a suite of Tesla truck-specific features.

Software similar to Model 3 or Model Y

Several excellent alternatives to Tesla are on the market. These vehicles offer similar software, but they are based on different platforms. For instance, the BMW i4 is a 3 Series-sized electric sedan with 530 horsepower. However, it does not have a full self driving computer like Tesla does.

Other alternatives include the Porsche Taycan, which has a redesigned interior. Its infotainment system doesn’t support Apple CarPlay. However, it has a large touchscreen and the sound quality is immersive. It also comes with an 8-speaker, 250-watt audio system.

The Polestar 2 has a large 15-inch touchscreen mounted centrally on the dash. It also has two USB ports in the rear. Its Plus Pack includes a 600-watt, 13-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. The price for the Plus Pack is $13,500, which includes a full three-years of connectivity.

Costs difficult to predict

Trying to determine the cost of an electric semi is a little more challenging than it sounds. Electric trucks are just now entering the market, so there are a number of unknowns. The most important factor is the cost of batteries, which can be a significant component of the total cost of ownership.

Battery-powered semis are probably only relevant to the short-haul end of the market. While the Tesla Semi may have 500-mile range on a fully charged battery, most of the industry’s freight moves less than 250 miles. Having one of these vehicles on the road would make sense, but it could be an expensive proposition.

Aside from the costs of batteries, battery swapping would be a major expense. If batteries were swapped out every 3,000 miles, the cost of replacing them would be close to $15,000 per truck.

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