Elon Musk is a visionary. His cars now fly to 100kph in a mere 1.6 seconds, he’s still attempting to send the masses to the moon, and now, he wants to revolutionise the mega world of semis.
Semi trucks are important to big businesses because of their ability to transport massive quantities to destinations quickly. The only problem is that they’re also terribly environmentally unfriendly and inefficient. However, the freight industry has already embraced alternative fuel technologies — from natural gas and propane to hydrogen fuel cells, so in that aspect, Musk is kind of late to the whole ‘environmentally-friendly’ game.
However, the industry isn’t turning to alternative fuel fast enough to make a difference. In the US, these big-rig trucks burn through 28 billion gallons (105 billion litres) of fuel each year across 2.5 million trucks. Around the world, they account for 7 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and guzzle 17 million barrels of oil per day. If Tesla’s all-electric plan takes off, the consumption and emission levels should see a considerable improvement.
Amidst reports that Tesla is blowing through half a million dollars every hour (or US$8,000 every minute), and sunk billions into building the Nevada Gigafactory, it’s evident they need to cast their nets beyond geeky millennials and tree huggers. Of course, the launch wasn’t all about the semi truck — Musk also took the opportunity to show off the ballistic roadster, which will be the fastest ever production car to have been built. It’ll be equipped with a 200kWh of battery, as opposed to the 80kWh in the Model 3.
We know purists would wag their fingers at Tesla’s latest creations, but it could just be what the earth needs right now, so here are seven cool facts that you need to know about the firm’s widely-discussed semi truck.