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Tesla is developing a Megacharger network at trucking rest stops across the U.S. and Europe for Tesla Semi

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Tesla has just released its 2020 Impact Report that details the global consequences of the activities undertaken by the Silicon Valley-based automotive and energy company. While this report reveals several new pieces of information in other areas like cell manufacturing, recycling, its energy business, it also briefly talks about the Tesla Semi Truck.

“We are in the process of developing a Megacharger network at trucking rest stops across the U.S. and Europe, where each Tesla semi could top up their range,” the report states on page 24 of the PDF.

This hints towards Tesla’s active efforts in developing a separate charging network for Tesla’s class-8 electric semi-truck. This new Margacharger network will be built at specific pre-identified stops that the long-haul drivers use as their resting points.

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The existing prototypes of the Tesla Semi Truck are charged at the existing Supercharger stations during the test trips. However, the truck prototypes are seen getting charged by combining 4 stall cables together and then connected to the Tesla Semi’s Megacharger port. For this, Tesla employees use a converter connector but no one has yet been able to spot the exact piece of hardware as Tesla does not allow anyone to come close when the prototype Tesla Semi trucks are being charged.

Tesla Semi Truck Megacharger port, spotted by KmanAuto/YouTube at the vehicle’s unveiling in 2017 (video below).

The 2020 Tesla Impact Report also points out that even though the heavy-duty combination trucks are just 1.1% of the total United States vehicle fleet but they account for 17.0% of the total emissions.

Graph: Combination Trucks = 1.1% of total U.S. fleet (left) but account for 17.0% of total emissions of the country. Credits: Tesla, Inc.
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Combination trucks – of which the vast majority are semi-trucks – in the U.S. account for just 1.1% of the total fleet of vehicles on the road. That said, because combination trucks have high fuel consumption due to their weight and heavy utilization, they account for approximately 17% of all U.S. vehicle emissions. Electrifying the heavy-duty truck segment is an essential part of transitioning the world to sustainable energy.

With both the U.S. and E.U. having approved higher weight allowances for electric heavy-duty trucks, we expect the payload to be at least as high as it would be for a diesel truck. In the E.U., electric semi-trucks are allowed to be 2 tons (~4,400 pounds) heavier than diesel equivalents, and in the U.S. the allowance is 0.9 tons (2,000 pounds). When fully loaded, the Tesla Semi should be able to achieve over 500 miles of range, achieved through aerodynamics and highly efficient motors. This truck will be able to reach an efficiency of over 0.5 miles per kWh.

While most heavy trucking journeys are shorter than 500 miles, we want long-distance hauling to also be sustainable. We arein the process of developing a Megacharger network at trucking rest stops across the U.S. and Europe, where each Tesla Semi could top up their range.

2020 Tesla Impact Report (PDF here / page 24).

Last year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent a company-wide email that it’s time to start volume production of the Tesla Semi and it was estimated that it would happen by the end of the year. But then the COVID 19 situation became worse and the global chip shortage also seems to be a contributor to the production start delays.

Musk also hinted at the time that the battery and powertrain production would happen at Tesla Gigafactory Nevada. The Tesla Duty Heavy Trucking department was created earlier this year but its president Jerome Guillen left the company after a couple of months of this new setup by the automaker.

Related: Audi e-tron and Polestar 2 spotted charging at a Tesla Supercharger in the Netherlands

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Video: Tesla Semi Megacharger port (the one and only video of it — ever!).

By Iqtidar Ali

Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on XAutoWorld.com, many of his articles have been republished on CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, maintains a healthy relationship with the Tesla community across the Social Media sphere. You can reach him on Twitter @IqtidarAlii