Elon Musk to Reveal Tesla Big-Rig Prototype Next Month
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - As Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk sets out to release a prototype of its long-awaited electric big-rig truck next month, Reuters has learned additional details about the Tesla vehicle that may turn the freight industry on its head. According to the news source, Tesla has a working range of 200 to 300 miles of travel per charge, leading many to speculate that the company will be specifically targeting the regional hauling market.
For some time, Musk has planned to release a full prototype of the Tesla semi in September of this year, trying to entice the trucking industry with the promise of a battery-powered truck that could compete with conventional diesels. Scott Perry, Vice President of Supply Management and Global Fuel Products for the Fleet Management Solutions business segment of Ryder Systems, told Reuters that upon meeting with Tesla officials earlier in the year, he discovered that Tesla was aiming for the low end of what transportation veterans consider to be “long-haul” trucking. Perry said that Tesla’s current target is to make a “day cab” with no sleeper berth, capable of traveling about 200 to 300 miles with a typical payload before recharging.
Reuters has also previously reported that the soon-to-be-unveiled prototype will include self-driving capabilities.
Upon reaching out to the company for comment, Reuters received the following email statement, “Tesla’s policy is to always decline to comment on speculation, whether true or untrue, as doing so would be silly. Silly!”
Roughly 30 percent of U.S. trucking jobs are in this realm of 100- to 200-mile regional trips, Sandeep Kar, Chief Strategy Officer of Fleet Complete, told Reuters. Theoretically, this means that Tesla's rig would be able to move freight regionally, such as from ports to nearby cities or from warehouses to retail establishments. “As long as (Musk) can break 200 miles he can claim his truck is ’long haul’ and he will be technically right,” Kar said.
Musk won't be without his competition, though. Daimler, one of the world's largest truck manufacturers has similar plans to release an electric delivery truck. Company officials have reported that the vehicle will have a 100-mile range and be capable of carrying a payload of 9,400 pounds, about 1,000 pounds less than its diesel counterpart.
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