Tesla Semi Truck Cost, Battery Size, & Availability in Australia

If you are a Tesla fan like me, you've probably already sat through the full Tesla Semi truck launch video. Even if you did, there were many details missing like: cost / price, battery size, and availability, which I have tried to research and publish here.

For those that didn't watch the video, there is a shortened version at the bottom of this page. To summarise, the Tesla Semi is a revolutionary new electric semi-trailer truck.

It's revolutionary for two main reasons:

  • It is completely electric drive (powered by batteries and electric motors). This makes it relatively quiet, energy efficient, and much faster to accelerate than conventional diesel trucks. It also means the truck can be powered by renewable electricity rather than non-renewable fossil fuels.
  • It is actually aerodynamic (unlike normal trucks). This drastically reduces its energy requirements.

It's a potential game changer for a bunch of other reasons too, but those are the main ones.

Tesla Semi Truck

Tesla Semi Truck, available late 2019, if you're lucky. Reduction Revolution livery not included ;)

Tesla Semi Trailer Electric Truck Specs - Cost, Range, Battery, etc

Specification
Value
Source
Range 805km (500 miles) Tesla
Speed up a 5% grade* 105km/h (65 m/h) Tesla
Battery Capacity ~800 - 1,000kWh Rough estimate based on stated < 2kWh/mile
Battery Weight ~5,000kg If above correct
Cost to Reserve US$20,000 Tesla
Full Purchase Price US$180,000 Tesla, for 500 mile version, base price [updated 24/11]
Availability (Year) 2019 Tesla
Current Availability (Locations) USA & Canada Tesla
80% Recharge Time 30 Minutes Tesla
80% Recharge Cost ~$US$60 Rough estimate based on 'guaranteed' US$0.07/kWh electricity tariff

*A 5% grade is a relatively steep piece of road on a highway, where you would normally get stuck behind a slow moving truck.

So When Will The Tesla Semi be Available in Australia?

There have been no public announcements about release outside the USA and Canada. But Tesla is already taking overseas enquiries. This gives other brands plenty of time to "catch up" somewhat in my opinion - even with hybrid electric drive, better aerodynamics, or similar.

By my reckoning we will not see a Tesla Semi or Tesla-like Semi in Australia till 2025 or later. But I hope I am proven to be incorrect!

There are after all several other brands working towards electric trucks already such as this Mercedes Benz truck and this one from Daimler / Fuso.

How Will the Tesla Semi Re-Charge?

In the Tesla Semi reveal video Elon Musk indicated the truck could substantially re-charge in just 30 minutes.

If you know anything about electricity, you will know there are not too many places on the electricity grid you can simply "plug in" and pull down one or two megawatts of power. Maybe we will need to sell a new range of energy monitors to accommodate!?

It seems Tesla plans to get around this by equipping the re-charge sites with large Tesla Powerpack batteries. That way these can "slowly" re-charge off solar power or the grid, ready for a rapid discharge into a Tesla Semi.

These so called 'Megachargers' will eventually be available 'worldwide' so they clearly are planning to release the trucks globally, not just in the USA and Canada.

Short Version of the Tesla Semi Reveal

Elon Musk is notorious for not preparing in great detail for his launch event speeches, so it's a bit laborious to watch the whole thing. It was over 30 minutes from memory. But here is a helpfully shortened version if you are interested in the key points:

By Ryan McCarthy | |
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Reduction Revolution Pty Ltd (ABN 74 141 672 764) is an Australian-owned company focused on energy efficiency and sustainability.

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