Official: Tesla Cybertruck Will Use Semi's Next-Gen Megawatt DC Charging

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The V4 chargers promise extraordinary charging speeds.

In a live event streamed online, Tesla began deliveries of its groundbreaking Semi electric truck, while also sharing some new technical details about this product and something that will delight Cybertruck fans.

PepsiCo will be the first recipient of the new Semi trucks, with the company initially wanting 15 trucks by the end of last year. In a typically attention-grabbing display, Elon Musk himself drove one of the Semis into the company's Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada, to the cheers of throngs of admiring fans.

Musk was joined on stage by Dan Priestley, who led the engineering and program development of the Tesla Semi. We already know that a fully-loaded Tesla Semi can cover 500 miles on a full charge, but now we know a little more about its powertrain.


The three electric motors in the Tesla Semi are essentially those from the Model S Plaid and Model X Plaid, also with carbon fiber-wrapped sleeves. But unlike in the sedan and SUV, two of the drive units in the Tesla Semi are able to disconnect. One motor is constantly engaged and operates at maximum efficiency during highway cruising, while the other two kick in when accelerating for maximum torque. Priestley says that the system is "clutched automatically" and entirely seamless, with no driver input needed other than to put your foot down when you need more power.

"You can basically pull 82,000 pounds at cruise, and the only thing that's doing that is a tiny little motor on one axle," said Musk, adding that this single permanently engaged motor is small enough to carry in your hand. More impressively, this single motor is more powerful than the engine in a regular diesel semi.


Priestley and Musk then demonstrated the Semi's power as it tackles a 6% incline along the Donner Pass. Even in this situation and pulling 82,000 lbs, the Semi was still able to increase its speed.

Priestley says that the Semi's combination of power and efficiency is enabled by its 1,000-volt powertrain, the first Tesla vehicle to be equipped with one. He said that this 1,000-volt system will be coming to other vehicles too, but did not specify which ones those will be.

Musk and Priestley also expanded on the new 1 MW+ (megawatt) DC charging with immersion liquid-cooling technology. "It's liquid-cooled, so you don't need a gigantic elephant trunk of a cable," said Musk of the next-generation V4 charging cable technology. "You can actually have a small cable and that cable delivers a megawatt; we've 3x-ed the current density."


The really big news is that this V4 tech will filter down to a Tesla product that consumers can (some day) actually buy: the Cybertruck. Yes, Musk confirmed that the V4 tech is coming to Tesla Superchargers next year and will be used for the Cybertruck as well. This leads us to believe that the Cybertruck could deliver exceptionally fast charging speeds, although existing Teslas will probably have to wait a bit longer before they become compatible.

With five years from the unveiling of the Tesla Semi to first deliveries, we can only hope that the same timeline doesn't apply to the Cybertruck which is meant to go into production next year.


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