Car (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

Elon Musk has made a habit of chal­leng­ing the au­to­mo­tive es­tab­lish­ment and the South African-born vi­sion­ary is do­ing so again with an all-elec­tric truck that will re­port­edly go into pro­duc­tion in 2019. Called the Semi, it is pow­ered by elec­tric mo­tors on the axles and cus­tomers can spec­ify the size of the bat­tery ac­cord­ing to their re­quire­ments. Fully laden, the range is ex­pected to be more than 800 km and it will have fast-charg­ing ca­pa­bil­ity that adds 640 km in 30 min­utes. There is no men­tion of power fig­ures, but it is clear the Semi will out­per­form any ex­ist­ing truck with a claimed 0-60 mph (96 km/h) time of 5,0 sec­onds. It com­pletes the same feat with 36 tonnes of pay­load in 20,0 sec­onds, where an equiv­a­lent diesel truck takes a minute.

Be­cause there is no en­gine and trans­mis­sion, the cabin has a new, fu­tur­is­tic de­sign, with the driver sit­ting in the mid­dle with two touch­screens flank­ing him ei­ther side. Safety sys­tems are sim­i­lar to those avail­able in lux­ury ve­hi­cles and it even has an anti-jack-knife func­tion. Au­ton­o­mous driv­ing is also on the cards with func­tion­al­ity such as con­voy driv­ing, where trucks fol­low a leader. Ac­cord­ing to Tesla, the run­ning and main­te­nance costs should be a frac­tion of those of con­ven­tional trucks.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.