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Tesla Working With Semi Customers To Refine Mega Charger Plans

Tesla Working With Semi Customers To Refine Mega Charger Plans

New infrastructure looks to address major EV weakness

Back in November, Tesla revealed its all-electric Semi, a product framed as nothing less than the catalyst to a battery-driven revolution in the freight industry. Now, the supporting infrastructure required to make the thing actually work in the real world is starting to come to light, as it was recently revealed that some of the companies that placed pre-orders for the Tesla Semi are assisting the California-based automaker in its effort to create a new “Mega Charger” network.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Screw You Tesla; Volvo Electric Trucks Hitting the Market in 2019

Screw You Tesla; Volvo Electric Trucks Hitting the Market in 2019

Swedish automaker has its eyes set on being a threat to Tesla’s plans

Tesla is making a push to be an industry leader in the electric truck space, but it’s going to have plenty of competition from the auto industry. One company that wants a stake in the segment is Volvo. The Swedish automaker made that known after announcing plans to start selling electric medium-duty trucks in Europe by 2019. Volvo also said that the first units of its EV trucks will be put to the test this year with selected “reference customers.”

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Tesla Semi Spied on Public Roads: Video

Tesla Semi Spied on Public Roads: Video

Electric power rides like the wind

Tesla’s long-awaited Semi has been spotted running under its own electric power on public roads. The heavy-hauler is seen driving at a quick pace near a UPS hub in California. Yet despite the speed, the truck makes almost no noise. Only a quiet electric hum and tire noise can be heard. That’s far more impressive than the clattery turbodiesels found in conventional semi trucks. Imagine how quiet streets could be without the rumble of a big-rig.

What’s more, the driver can clearly be seen sitting front and center – a design Tesla says enhances the driver’s ability to pilot the truck. Naturally, the Tesla Semi will have autonomous driving capabilities that will only get more advanced with time. Features like a convoy mode will allow groups of Tesla Semis to drive end-to-end for better efficiency and improved safety. Just imagine big-rigs no longer lumbering in the fast lane!

Keep reading to see the video and learn more about it

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Add UPS to the Growing List of Companies That Have Placed Orders For Tesla's Semi Trucks

Add UPS to the Growing List of Companies That Have Placed Orders For Tesla’s Semi Trucks

At this rate, we should start expecting more companies to jump on-board the Tesla semi truck craze

Walmart, DHL, Anheuser-Busch, and PepsiCo. have all signed up and ordered Tesla’s all-electric semi trucks. Now you can add DHL rival UPS to that list. The global delivery giant has pre-ordered 125 semi trucks from the electric car maker, making it the latest large-scale company to try out Tesla’s new breakthrough product.

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Word Has it the Tesla Semi Performance Specs are the Real McCoy

Word Has it the Tesla Semi Performance Specs are the Real McCoy

These specs add to the buzz surrounding these all-electric semis

Are Tesla’s electric semi trucks really capable of sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in just five seconds on their own and 20 seconds with a full load behind them? Better yet, can these trucks really hit a top speed of 65 mph while going up a five-percent grade? Since we’re already asking these questions, do these trucks really have the range to travel up to 500 miles? All these numbers were presented by Tesla during the electric truck’s unveiling last month. Almost all of them are mind-blowing by industry standards so, naturally, the specs came with plenty of skepticism. Are these specs real or fabricated? Well, according to Electrek, a transporter that participated in the Tesla Semi test program confirmed that the specs are, in fact, real — or at least most of them are.

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PepsiCo Orders Up 100 Semi Trucks from Tesla

PepsiCo Orders Up 100 Semi Trucks from Tesla

Food and beverage giant is the latest company to hop on to the bandwagon

Add PepsiCo to the growing number of companies that are buying in on Tesla’s new electric truck. The food and beverage giant has reserved 100 units of the electric semis, joining the likes of Wal-Mart, Anheuser-Busch, and Sysco as the first wave of companies that are buying into what the electric car maker is selling. The electric trucks are seen as affordable alternatives to diesel trucks with the range and cargo capacity to compete with its traditional counterparts.

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Budweiser Deliveries Get Electrified: Anheuser-Busch orders 40 Tesla Semis

Budweiser Deliveries Get Electrified: Anheuser-Busch orders 40 Tesla Semis

Your future brewskies might be have a sweet ride to the store

Tesla has been racking up pre-orders for its all-electric Semi truck since its debut in mid-November, with Anheuser-Busch being one of the latest corporations and the first brewer to join the fray. Anheuser-Busch has reportedly ordered 40 Tesla Semis, making the second-largest order in the truck’s short history. Food giant Sysco announced its pre-order of 50 Semis shortly after AB.

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DHL Delivery Service Orders 10 Examples of the Tesla Semi

DHL Delivery Service Orders 10 Examples of the Tesla Semi

Tesla has some serious interest in its all-electric big-rig

DHL, the worldwide shipping service, has reportedly ordered 10 Tesla Semi trucks. DHL joins big-name companies like Wal-Mart, Ryder, J.B. Hunt, and Loblaws in the early adoption of Tesla’s newest model. The down payment for reserving a Semi is $20,000 – 10-percent of the truck’s full price. And though Tesla has not released its official numbers, roughly 200 trucks have reportedly already been ordered.

DHL told the Wall Street Journal it will use the Tesla Semi for shuttle runs and same-day customer deliveries in major U.S. cities while testing the trucks on long-haul-routes to evaluate driver safety and comfort. Like its other products, the Tesla Semi will offer self-driving capabilities, which should be a big help to truck drivers. Ther’s also an energy-saving “convoy mode” that allows for an autonomously controlled line of closely spaced Semis, which reduces aerodynamic drag on the following trucks.

Tesla says its Semi will travel a minimum of 500 miles on a single charge and have access to Tesla’s planned network of charging stations called Mega Chargers. The powerful electric motors will outgun current turbodiesel trucks, too. It has a claimed 0-to-60 mph time of 5.0 seconds when empty and only 20 seconds when loaded with a full 80,000 pounds. Climbing and descending hilly terrain will also be easier and safer, as well.

Though this is Tesla’s first swing into the 18-wheeler market, the California company has been working with DHL and other potential customers over the last year to offer feedback on prototype trucks. Needless to say, a mistake in this segment would be terribly costly for all involved.

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Tesla Announces Pricing for the Semi; Raises Deposit to $20,000

Tesla Announces Pricing for the Semi; Raises Deposit to $20,000

Of course the deposit changed. Next it’ll be the delivery dates

Tesla has announced pricing for its new Semi truck and has increased the amount of the initial down payment as well. The down payment for a new truck is now $20,000, $15,000 more than Musk previously promised. And, that’s just for the base model, which has an “expected” price of $150,000 with 300 miles range per charge. Move up to the 500-mile-range model, and you’ll have to pony up an “expected” price of $180,000 with down payment of at least $20,000 if not more. Finally, the Founders Edition Semi will have an “estimated” price of $200,000 and requires a $200,000 deposit up front at the time of reservation. These prices are current as of November 22, 2017, but are for the U.S. market and will likely vary depending on the international market.

Along with the release of this information, Tesla as released some additional information about the Semi. Keep reading to find out more.

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WalMart's Pre-Order Of 15 Tesla Semi Trucks Is A Sign Of Faith

WalMart’s Pre-Order Of 15 Tesla Semi Trucks Is A Sign Of Faith

World’s biggest retailer is rolling with Tesla on this one

Tesla’s quest to become a player in the commercial truck segment is off to a good start. It’s barely been a week since the electric automaker’s new semi trucks were unveiled and the company already has a pre-order of 15 units from Walmart. The world’s biggest retailer is no stranger to commercial trucks with around 6,000 units at its disposal. The new Tesla trucks, though, could be a game-changer for a company as big as Walmart that relies heavily on long-haul deliveries of all of its merchandise. Of the 15 pre-ordered trucks, five will be used for the company’s business in the U.S. while the other ten will be used up in Canada.

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Tesla Seems to Think that Trucks are Supercars, and It's Wrong!

Tesla Seems to Think that Trucks are Supercars, and It’s Wrong!

Do we really need a truck that "accelerates like nothing else?"

After years of rumors and speculation that Tesla might build a pickup truck or a Semi, the electric car manufacturer finally unveiled the latter in a press conference that also revealed the second-generation Roadster. And just as it happened in the past with the Model S, Model X, and Model 3, Elon Musk made some spectacular claims about the performances of both vehicles. Actually, I’d dare say he went farther than usual by calling the next Roadster the "quickest production car ever made. Period." He also described the semi truck as a vehicle that "accelerates like nothing else." Granted, both claims can become reality, but maybe Musk is talking a bit too much a bit too soon. And it seems to me that he’s considering the semi a sports car rather than truck that’s supposed to haul stuff the efficient way.

Sure, the fact that this truck won’t use expensive diesel to move about enables Tesla to think about other factors, including performance, but I still don’t get why a truck must accelerate like "nothing else." Should it be about a truck that brakes like nothing else or an electric hauler that allows you to cover at least the same distance as a diesel truck on a tank of fuel? Musk also seems to be concerned about that fact that truckers must wait for 15 minutes while the tank gets filled at the gas station. Seriously now, have you heard of a trucker who fell asleep at the pump while his tank was gulping diesel? Trucks are high maintenance; I’m pretty sure a semi driver has plenty of chores to do at the gas stations.

More importantly, Musk ignored a few important facts about trucks in his speech.

Continue reading to find out what.

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2019 Tesla Semi

2019 Tesla Semi

Tesla enters the high-stakes game of commercial trucking

Elon Musk and Tesla have defied the odds by finally debuting the automaker’s first stab at the commercial trucking industry. It’s called simply the Tesla Semi and it finally broke cover at a media event on November 16, 2017, after years of teasing. Debuting alongside the hot 2020 Tesla Roadster, the Semi is designed to reinvent the way trucking is done. Tesla says its all-electric drivetrain will give more than 500 miles of range on a single charge while towing 80,000 pounds, be far less difficult to maintain, and outperform convention semi trucks in both performance and safety – all at a lower operating cost. That’s a tall order. Oh, and it’ll hit 60 mph in just 5.0 seconds when unloaded.

Along with the Semi, Tesla will be releasing a new charging system. It’s called the Megacharger and it’s a high-speed DC charging station capable of adding roughly 400 miles of range in only 30 minutes. Tesla says the Megachargers can be installed by fleet operators anywhere along their routes and will be common at truck stops in heavily trafficked areas.

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Tesla Says It's New Semi Trucks Will Perform Like What?

Tesla Says It’s New Semi Trucks Will Perform Like What?

From the company that has provided us no shortage of ambitious promises comes another one

Very few details have been revealed of Tesla’s planned electric semi truck, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk sure isn’t wasting any time dropping some intriguing bits and pieces about the vehicle. Musk’s latest revelation, or at least the closest thing to one, came recently during an appearance in Vancouver where he was promoting his new "The Boring Company." While his time there was mostly spent describing his plans for building underground transportation, Musk also took some time to shed a few slivers of light about the Tesla electric semi truck, revealing, among other things, the truck’s ability to be driven like a sports car.

It does seem like the man behind the Model S and Model X has yet to lose his ability to throw out a few hyperboles. Other details about the semi truck that he revealed, including the promise of the truck “out torquing any diesel semi,” were no less significant, maybe even a little more important in shaping the performance and handling characteristics of the truck. But for the said EV semi to “drive around like a sports car?” Now that’s something that’s worth keeping an eye on considering what Musk’s comments have been worth all these years. Hopefully, more details about the EV semi truck are revealed beyond vague promises and teaser photos, but we’ll need more information before validating if it can, in fact, drive around like a sports car.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Donald Trump's Presidential Limo Will Soon be Ready

Donald Trump’s Presidential Limo Will Soon be Ready

Donald Trump will officially become President of the United States of American on January 20, 2017. Love or hate him, he’ll be living in the White House and riding around in Cadillac’s latest version of the Beast.

Trump’s new ride hasn’t officially been debuted or even confirmed, but spy photographers sleuthing around GM’s Milford proving grounds this past summer captured the world’s first look at the all-new Caddy.

The car’s overall design is clearly visible through the camouflage. Cadillac’s current designs are used, including the front clip reminiscent of the new CT-6 sedan. It features a grille with three horizontal bars and Caddy’s new crest. Vertical LED headlights and flared front fenders further solidify the look. The car’s long wheelbase is an obvious change from a conventional CT-6, as is the oddly square windows and roof. The rear of the car features more Cadillac cues, including the vertical taillights.

Despite all the Cadillac detailing, this isn’t a Cadillac. If this presidential limo is anything like President Obama’s 2009 Cadillac, Trump’s car will ride on a medium-duty GM frame and might be powered by GM’s 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V-8. Then again, the car could be riding on a modified version of the Silverado HD’s fully boxed steel frame, since GM doesn’t currently make a medium-duty truck like the TopKick of the late 2000s.

Either ways, the car will surely be filled with James Bond-like gadgets and technology, including life support to thwart bio-weapons, secure telecommunications, countermeasures for protection, and a cabin secure enough to absorb a direct impact from explosives. It’s even rumored cases of the President’s blood are carried aboard should he need an emergency transfusion. All this adds a tremendous amount of weight, hence the need for a medium-duty chassis and super huge tires. It’s no wonder Obama’s limo earned its nickname of “The Beast.”

Cadillac’s reign of providing presidential limousines dates back to 1984 when Ronald Reagan broke the long tradition of using Lincolns. The 1983 Cadillac Fleetwood featured a 17-inch stretch and a raised roof three inches taller than stock. Bulletproof glass and the extra length necessitated heavy-duty brakes, oversized tires, and an air-ride suspension system. Otherwise, the car was mostly stock.

We’d expect Trump’s ride to feature all the modern luxuries the billionaire is accustomed to. Perhaps he’ll even help pay for any personalized upgrades he’s requesting. Just don’t count on knowing anything about it – the Secret Service keep details about the president’s limo classified as top secret.

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Nikola Motor Company Debuts “Zero” All-Electric UTV

Nikola Motor Company Debuts “Zero” All-Electric UTV

UTV is Nikola’s first product to see daylight, now what about the Nikola One semi truck?

The Nikola Motor Company has made big claims over the last several months, the biggest of which is developing a zero-emissions semi truck with a 2,000 horsepower, a 1,200-mile range, and a pre-order list 7,000 customers long. While the world has yet to see the truck, called the Nikola One, in anything other than a computer rendering, the fledgling automaker official debuted its first product in the metal.

It’s the Nikola Zero, an all-electric UTV, and it was revealed at the Sand Sports Super Show in Torrance, California on September 17th. The Zero has a 72-kWh batter that makes up to 520 horsepower and 476 pound-feet of torque and offers a range between 100 and 200 miles, depending on driving styles. Powerful motors reside at each wheel and are said to power the Zero to 60 mph in three seconds. There’s even an optional rear-wheel steering system that gives the Zero better handling in fast corners. The independent wheel motors also allow for torque vectoring.

All the components are said to be waterproof, as well, allowing the UTV to theoretically operate under water. Nikola doesn’t condone using the Zero as a submarine, however. While these stats are impressive, they have yet to be independently tested. Nevertheless, Nikola is currently taking $750 refundable deposits for the Zero, which costs a total of $37,500.

Nikola’s achievement of getting the Zero this point raises questions on whether the company will be able to do the same with its Nikola One semi truck. It was back in May of 2016 that Nikola announced the One, but only three months later, abandoned the idea of full battery power in favor of a hydrogen fuel cell. All this before its December 1, 2016 debut is scheduled. Will Nikola be able to deliver a working prototype before the year is out? Keep reading for more information.

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Volvo Trucks Beats Its Own Speed Record with 2,400-HP Semi: Video

Volvo Trucks Beats Its Own Speed Record with 2,400-HP Semi: Video

Because records are meant to be broken

You may recall last week when Volvo ran a teaser video about its newest high-performance semi truck. As oxymoronic as it sounds, this behemoth was custom built for one purpose only – to beat Volvo’s previous speed record made in 2012.

It’s called The Iron Knight and it’s powered by 13.0-liter D13 turbodiesel engine making 2,400 horsepower and a whopping 4,425 pound-feet of torque. Mounted mid-ship, it sends power through Volvo’s I-Shift dual-clutch automatic transmission to the rear tires. Unsurprisingly, the sprint to 62 mph takes only 4.6 seconds and hit a top speed of 171 mph despite its tremendous weight and flat face.

The driver is Volvo’s accomplished truck racer and test man, Boije Ovebrink. He’s also the same driver who set the 2012 record in Volvo’s Mean Green Hybrid truck. While the driver might be the same, Volvo’s truck has certainly changed. Gone is the hybrid system, as are 2,205 pounds of curb weight. The Iron Knight then packs on an additional 600 horsepower over the hybrid truck.

In order to break the FIA-sectioned record, the team would need to complete two runs, one in each direction, within an hour window. During the 500-meter run (0.31 of a mile), The Iron Knight posted a time of 13.710 seconds with an average speed of 81.58 mph. The truck then completed the 1,000-meter run (0.621 of a mile) in 21.290 seconds with an average speed of 105 mph. This beat Volvo’s previous 1,000-meter record time of 21.56 seconds.

Congrats, Volvo, on making one awesome truck.

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Nikola Motor Company Says its Semi-Truck Achieves Zero Emissions

Nikola Motor Company Says its Semi-Truck Achieves Zero Emissions

Wait, but what about that fuel-burning turbine engine?

Back in May, we told you about the innovative Nikola One, an electric semi-truck built by Nikola Motor Company that uses six electric motors powered by a 320-kWh lithium-ion battery back that’s recharged by a 400-kW turbine generator. The truck is designed using extensive carbon fiber and is supposed to offer autonomous driving capabilities over its 1,000-mile range, all while saving its operator on fuel, maintenance, and downtime costs. Sounds great, right?

Well now Nikola is claiming its semi-truck achieves zero emissions.

“Nikola has engineered the holy grail of the trucking industry,” says Nikola Founder and CEO Trevor Milton. “We are not aware of any zero emission truck in the world that can haul 80,000 pounds more than 1,000 miles and do it without stopping. The Nikola One requires only 15 minutes of downtime before heading out for the next 1,000 miles.”

However, neither Milton nor Nikola’s latest press release identified exactly how the company can achieve claim of zero emissions. Milton is quote in the release as saying:

“It requires a specific zero emission refinement process of fuel and gutsy engineering and product execution. A traditional manufacturer would have to partner with an oil company, environmental group, electric vehicle engineering firm, a broad spectrum of suppliers and a world-class consulting firm to have figured it out. At Nikola, all of our development and talent is under one roof.”

And that’s it. There’s no explanation as to how the truck achieves zero emission, despite having a massive turbine generator onboard that’s said to be “fuel agnostic,” meaning it can run on anything from compressed natural gas to diesel. Last time we checked, burning any fuel generates some level of emissions.

Despite the lack of clarity or explanation, Nikola is supposed to debut the Nikola One semi-truck on December 2, 2016. It will certainly be interesting to watch this unfold.

Continue reading for more details.

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Are Electric Big-Rigs the Future of Trucking?

Are Electric Big-Rigs the Future of Trucking?

Sweden tests electric wire system that powers hybrid trucks

High-tech hybrid technology from the consumer automotive segment is taking hold in the commercial trucking sector with the introduction of diesel electric hybrid powertrains. Well, Sweden and tech giant Siemens is collaborating on something even more ambitious – trucks powered by overhead electrical wires on long-haul highways.

Yep, the future of semi-truck technology could look a lot like trolley cars from the 1900s.

Roland Edel, the Chief Technology Officer of Siemens Mobility said to gas2.org, “The eHighway is twice as efficient as internal combustion engines. This means that not only is energy consumption cut in half but also local air pollution is reduced. The electric hybrid is the first step on the road to electrically powered vehicles that will come to play an increasingly important role in the development of sustainable freight transport.”

The system works by using power lines strung 18 feet over the roadway, to which the compatible semi-trucks would connect, providing the truck with full power and allowing for a local emissions-free drive. The trucks employ a power-collecting antenna called a pantograph. It’s remotely raised to meet the wires when on the highway and lowered when traveling elsewhere under the truck’s own power. The trucks can reportedly travel up to 55 mph.

Sweden’s real-world testing includes a 1.2-mile section of roadway on the E16 highway near Gävel, with hopes of extending the cabling nearly 68 miles to Borlänge. Sweden’s tests follow extensive research by Siemens in Berlin, Germany with its collaborative partner, Scania. Scania is a Swedish automaker of heavy-duty trucks owned by Volkswagen.

This effort is part of Sweden’s goal of a fossil-fuel-free transportation system by 2030. The feasibility of this pantograph system and the infrastructure needed to support such a project has yet to be fully determined, but the project appears to be gaining momentum.

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Ebay Find of the Day: 2000 Ford F-250

Ebay Find of the Day: 2000 Ford F-250

It’s showroom fresh with only 18,000 miles

Ebay is full of interesting vehicles, but few trucks are as attention grabbing as this 16-year-old Ford F-250. This Island Blue pickup is a one-owner ride with just over 18,000 miles on the clock. It might be 16 years old, but it looks showroom fresh with nary a sign of wear or abuse.

Making the truck even more special, this 2000 model F-250 is equipped with a five-speed manual transmission backing the legendary 7.3-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbodiesel. It’s basically the Holy Grail powertrain of heavy duty Fords. Oh, and it’s 4WD.

Aftermarket mud flaps and just a hint of surface rust on the trailer hitch receiver are the only tarnish on the truck’s mint, showroom condition. Beyond that, the truck still wears its original Firestone Steeltex A/T tires and five-spoke wheels, two-tone paint, side steps, spray-on bedliner, and the extendable trailer mirrors.

Inside, the tan interior is immaculate, complete with carpeted floor mats, leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, wood trim, and the original AM/FM/CD/Cassette radio. This rig came from the Ford factory with the Lariat trim, making it a range-topping model in its day. Its Extended Cab and front bench seat configuration means it has room for six in a pinch or four comfortably. The rear bench seat folds upwards, creating a flat load space for cargo. Access to the rear is given via the rear-hinged “suicide” doors.

Of course, there’s that 7.3-liter Power Stroke. It generates 235 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque while making the most distinctive diesel clatter known to man. The four-speed manual transmission with overdrive gives the truest sensation of diving a big-rig this side of a Peterbilt. The only thing that could make this powertrain better is an old-school, dog-leg transfer case for the 4WD. Then again, the electronic switch gives the dash a new-school feel.

Bidding is currently at $8,200 with 16 people vying for ownership. There’s four days left on the auction, so the price will surely rise a considerable amount. A quick search on KBB.com shows the truck’s private party value at $14,448, so expect bidding to hit at least $15,000 before time runs out. Be sure to check out the original Ebay listing here.

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Nikola Motor Company Nikola One

Nikola Motor Company Nikola One

Battery-powered semi can tow 80,000 pounds, travels 1,200 miles between stops

Perhaps now Nikola Tesla has finally realized his posthumous revenge on Thomas Edison. Years after Elon Musk founded Tesla, a new start-up has snagged the scientist’s first name. Nikola Motor Company, like Tesla Motors, is focusing on all-electric propulsion. It recently announced two projects aimed at very different industry segments but both focused on high-performance, high-efficiency vehicles.

The first, the Nikola Zero, is an all-electric ATV slotted to compete against the Polaris RZR. The second is far more practical. The Nikola One is a long-haul semi-truck with a 1,200-mile range and the ability to pull the standard 80,000-pound load. The Nikola One uses electric motors at each of the six wheels, giving it AWD and torque vectoring capabilities. What’s more, the truck features the first fully independent suspension system on a semi, giving it a much smoother ride than conventional semi trucks.

Thanks to the lack of traditional drivetrain components and a cabin formed from carbon fiber, the truck weighs thousands of pounds less, furthering its handling characteristics and battery charge. Recharging is done via a “fuel agnostic” turbine engine that can run on gasoline, diesel, or natural gas.

What’s more, the Nikola One is designed to accept fully autonomous control systems in the future, giving owner/operators the ability to run multiple trucks with one driver watching live video feeds back at headquarters, according to Nikola. The trucks can accomplish this thanks to a system Nikola calls “Virtual Hitch,” which allows the driver to remotely hitch the semi to a trailer, all while sitting in a control station states away.

While this technology is years away from realization, Nikola is striving to lead the way. In fact, the company is already taking orders and deposits for the Nikola One. Reservations only cost $1,500. The company’s website states the truck costs $5,000 a month, including the lease payment with unlimited miles, maintenance, and unlimited fuel from one of its 50+ planned CNG throughout North America.

The plan seems rather daring and ambitious, but hey, Tesla Motors has dared greatly and seemingly succeeded in the face of overwhelming odds. We’ve detailed out the Nikola One below, so continue reading for the full scoop.

Continue reading for the full review

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Ford Demonstrates Roll Stability Control on 2017 Super Duty

Ford Demonstrates Roll Stability Control on 2017 Super Duty

Emergency maneuvers don’t have to be so scary

Ford is working hard to prepare the 2017 Super Duty for production. That includes ensuring it can safely handle any load placed on its hitch or within its cargo bed. For this test, Ford built a jig that simulates the weight and size of a slide-in camper. With the heavy steel structure in place, testing engineers hit the slalom course to fine tune the Super Duty’s Roll Stability Control software.

The system uses 10 sensors that monitor the vehicle’s stability up to 10 times per second. If instability is detected from a panic maneuver or just approaching a curve with too much speed, the system activates individual brakes to help contain the truck’s unwanted and unsafe movements.

These tests are taking place at Ford’s Arizona Proving Grounds on a skidpad. The testing mule is equipped with roll-prevention bars that keep the truck upright, even if the driver loses control.

Ford has not announced the Super Duty’s towing and payload specifications, but we’d bet both specs will increase. Towing, especially with the F-350, should now compete with the 30,000-pound towing capacity on the Ram 3500 HD. It’s with immensely heavy loads like these that electronic aids like Roll Stability Control make driving a less stressful event.

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Humvee Replacement Delayed Thanks to Legal Skirmish

Humvee Replacement Delayed Thanks to Legal Skirmish

Oshkosh’s JLTV contract contested by Lockheed Martin, Troops go without

U.S. Military troops must now wait even longer before Oshkosh Defense’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, the replacement for the aging Humvee, is ready for service. This comes after Lockheed Martin filed a protest against the Army’s decision to award Oshkosh with the JLTV contract. The protest, which eventually turned into a full lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, pushed final testing and military approval of the Oshkosh JLTV back some four months, subsequently causing the program to miss testing windows with the Army and Marines.

Now the JLTV program will be delayed even further, according to Thomas Dee, the deputy assist secretary of Naval Expeditionary Programs and Logistics Management. “A 90-day delay grew into about six- or an eight-month delay just because of the difficulty of rescheduling a test phase that we were going to do, which then impacts the decision date for the full-rate production decision; which, in turn, puts our funding out of phase for the JLTV program ... which then allowed us to take a look at the time difference between the completion of testing and that whole rate production decision, and it ended up stretching out IOC (Initial Operational Capability) about a year,” Dee said at a Senate Armed Services Seapower Subcommittee hearing.

Dee went on to say the program’s new schedule is sequenced to accommodate testing and logistics development before the JLTV move on for its final testing for the military, called the Multi-Service Operational Testing and Evaluation. This final testing is currently scheduled for February 2018. Only after that will Oshkosh begin to produce the JLTV on to meet its low-rate initial production contract with the U.S. Government to 16,901 vehicles, which will cost the U.S. taxpayers $6.7 billion.

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