Tesla Semi Truck to be Unveiled Next Month – Elon Musk
Tesla Inc’s electric-run semi-truck will be unveiled on October 26 in Hawthorne, California, according to its chief executive officer’s tweet on Wednesday.
“Tesla Semi truck unveil & test ride tentatively scheduled for Oct 26th in Hawthorne. Worth seeing this beast in person. It’s unreal,” said Musk in a tweet to his 12.6 million followers.
The vehicle will be a battery-powered semi truck, and it will have a range between 200 and 300 miles, according to reports. This range suggests that Tesla may be inclined to specifically target the regional trucking market. It is also reflective of the current battery technology.
Even though the new schedule is a month later than the previous announcement, observers say that the change is not unusual for the company’s shifting timelines. The moving of the date did not raise worries among them, and it is agreed that the new date is pretty much on track if one is to look at Musk’s standards.
The tech industrialist billionaire has been very vocal about his plans to build a Tesla-branded semi truck for more than a year, although he has not divulged anything specific about the vehicle’s hauling capabilities and the vehicle’s exact range per charge.
For comparison, a class 8 semi truck typically can haul up to 80,000 pounds, including the truck cabin’s weight. Long-range diesel-powered trucks normally can go up to over 500 miles, and these types of trucks often have dual fuel tanks. For diesel-run big-rigs, a single tank would typically mean an up to 1,000 miles of range.
Musk has promised that other interesting additional surprises may be revealed at the October event.
What This Means for the Trucking Industry
The Tesla semi truck project is considered as a move beyond the company’s comfort zone, which is the production of high-end electric sedans and crossovers.
Recently, the company has ramped up the production of the Model 3, Tesla’s newest electric car. The Model 3 has a base price of $35,000 without the options that can be added. It is also an attempt by the company to open itself up to a wider range of customers since the Model 3’s price is comparatively lower than its previous releases. In about two years, a small crossover vehicle that has the same architecture with the Model 3 will reach the market. Aside from these, Tesla is also about to complete its huge Gigafactory in Nevada. The Gigafactory is reported to cost $5 billion, which makes it the world’s largest maker of battery packs.
Tesla’s jump into the trucking industry gives it a lot of opportunity to transform the industry. Electric delivery trucks will give substantial benefits to fleet operators by providing them with lower maintenance and fueling costs. Although costs may be a burden in the beginning, the mass production of electrified trucks is still considered as a worthy investment.
Along with this, the trucking industry will be in for other treats as other established players responded to Tesla’s move.
Last month, Cummins unveiled its Class 7 heavy-duty truck cab sporting a 140 kWh battery pack. Cummins is a leading maker of diesel and natural gas-powered engines for commercial trucks, and it plans to sell its new heavy-duty truck to bus operators and commercial truck fleets in 2019.
Meanwhile, in April, Toyota started the tests of its Class 8 truck that is powered by hydrogen fueled cells. Its test programs are situated around the Port of Los Angeles, but it reportedly intends to extend its tests in California. Additionally, the Japanese automotive giant integrated its emission-free powertrain into Kenworth cab.
Furthermore, Navistar’s chief executive officer Troy Clarke stated on Wednesday that he’s interested at battery-powered options for his company’s line of international trucks, although he did not indicate who it might work with.
“We’re very excited about the electrification of the vehicles. In the immediate term we’re far more interested in batteries (rather than fuel cells) as the way to carry the energy around,” he said.
Amidst all these, regulators around the globe have expressed encouragements to auto and truckmakers to provide a broader range of zero-emission vehicles. This push can boost the competition from both large-scale manufacturers and other new entries that intend to join the heavy-duty electric market party.