Log in | Subscribe | RSS feed

What’s New

Tesla to unveil electric heavy-duty truck

25 August 2017

Tesla plans to unveil a battery-electric heavy-duty truck next month, according to a report by Reuters. With a working range of 200 to 300 miles, the Tesla Semi truck prototype would be at the low end of long-haul trucking, targeting regional hauling for its entry into the commercial freight market.

Tesla’s efforts have been reportedly centered on an electric day cab vehicle, with no sleeper berth, capable of traveling 200-300 miles (320-480 km) with a typical payload before recharging.

Chief Executive Elon Musk has promised to release the Tesla truck prototype next month, but the company has not said publicly how far its electric truck could travel, what it would cost or what would be its cargo carrying capability.

However, Musk has acknowledged that Tesla has met privately with potential buyers to discuss their needs. Musk has expressed hopes for large-scale production of the Tesla Semi within a couple of years.

Reuters reported earlier that Tesla is developing self-driving capability for the big rig.

Tesla shares are up about 65% this year, but about 22% of shares available for trade have been sold short by investors who expect the stock to fall.

Interest in electric trucks is high among transportation firms looking to reduce emissions and operating costs. However, current technology still appears inadequate to power large trucks. An average diesel cab costs around $120,000. The cost of the battery alone for a big rig capable of going 200 to 400 miles carrying a typical payload could be more than that, according to industry and academia experts interviewed by Reuters.

Truck manufacturers are focusing their electric efforts on short-haul trucks, with smaller distances, lighter payloads and less required battery power. Daimler will begin production this year on an electric delivery truck, according to Reuters. The vehicle will have a 100 mile (160 km) range and be capable of carrying a payload of 9,400 lbs (4,260 kg), about 1,000 lbs (450 kg) less than its diesel counterpart.

Source: Reuters