Tesla’s VP of Trucks talks about new electric semi, weight, charging, and more

Earlier this month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took the stage to present the company’s latest product, the Tesla Semi, an all-electric heavy-duty truck.

But now the executive leading the program, Jerome Guillen, gave his own presentation about the electric truck at a conference in Europe.

Guillen is a French engineer and an experienced automotive executive best known in the Tesla community for being the Model S Program Director during a crucial time for Tesla’s vehicle program (2010-2013). Prior to joining Tesla, he was a longtime Daimler engineer and led the development of the Cascadia truck.

At Tesla, he also briefly held the roles of ‘Acting VP of Vehicle Engineering’ and he was in charge of Tesla’s entire sales and service operations as ‘VP of Worldwide Sales and Service’ during its important retail ramp up from 2013 to 2015.

After taking a leave of absence at the end of 2015, he came back in 2016 to start working on Tesla’s truck program, which culminated into the unveiling earlier this month.

Guillen introduced Musk at the event, which quickly turned into the Tesla Roadster unveiling.

But at the annual conference of Transport and Logistics in the Netherlands yesterday, Guillen had the chance to give his own presentation focused only on the truck. We reported on him confirming that Tesla will be its own first customer with a cargo route between Fremont and Gigafactory 1 in Nevada.

Now we have obtained the full audio of the presentation (Thanks to Paul van Goor), which we embedded in full below, but here are some interesting bullet points from his talk:

  • He confirmed that Tesla intends to have the same cargo capacity as diesel trucks – meaning that it should weigh about the same as a diesel truck.
  • Guillen compared the aerodynamic design of the Tesla Semi to a bullet train.
  • He also addressed development work to adapt the Tesla Semi design to European trucking regulations, which is apparently in the work, but it doesn’t sound like they have all the solutions yet.
  • The exec expects that the Tesla Semi cost of operation advantage should be even greater in Europe than in the US due to the higher cost of diesel.
  • On top of the Megachargers to enable longer routes, Tesla also plans to offer destination chargers for its electric trucks.
  • Guillen also confirmed that Tesla uses the same Autopilot hardware suite developed for their passenger vehicles to enable Enhanced Autopilot features on Tesla Semi trucks.
  • Tesla Semi offers a 360-degree view all around the vehicle with cameras in order to eliminate blind spots.
  • Like the Tesla Model 3, Tesla Semi doesn’t have a key and instead it relies on the Tesla mobile app.

Here’s the audio of the presentation in full:

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