Tesla's Musk teases electric long-haul truck

Xavier Trudeau
Août 25, 2017

With Tesla's average EV good for somewhere north of 200 miles depending on conditions and driving style, you might expect the EV big rig to drive much further than that, after all it's a much larger beast and can presumably have much larger batteries.

Not Tesla, though. According to a Reuters interview with an executive of Ryder System Incorporated, a Florida-based trucking company, Tesla wants their vehicle to be competitive in the field of long haul trucking.

A prototype like the one that Tesla plans to launch soon is great to move from warehouses to retail establishments or from ports to close cities.

Crossing the 200-mile mark will enable the Tesla semi to score some trucking jobs, as apparently 30% of USA trucking trips are within 100-200 miles a day.

The report also states that Tesla has met with some trucking firms regarding the new semi, including Ryder. With lower maintenance and fueling costs, electric trucks provide considerable benefits to fleet operators. But Musk has acknowledged that Tesla has met privately with potential buyers to discuss their needs.

"I'm not going to count them out for having a strategy for longer distances or ranges, but right out of the gate I think that's where they'll start", said Perry. We'll get lots more details then, for sure.

The trucking industry represents a new opportunity for electric vehicles.

Tesla's truck program is being led by Jerome Guillen, VP of Trucks and Programs.

Tesla shares are up about 65% this year, but some doubt Musk's ability to take Tesla from a niche producer to a large-scale automaker. While it is next to impossible to achieve the exact numbers using an electric motor and battery, with enough charging points the semi-truck may have to stop just thrice before it reaches its destination.

Tesla Inc. would be facing more established competition from the likes of Kenworth and Daimler-owned Freightliner. Perry is the source of the 200-300 miles per charge statement.

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