CORRECTED -- New details concerning the introduction of Tesla’s all-electric truck, slated for public unveiling are emerging. The new truck will have a working range of 200 to 300 miles, Reuters has learned, a sign that the electric car maker is targeting regional hauling for its entry into the commercial freight market. Tesla has indicated that it will unveil the truck to the public next month, but is being tight-lipped as to when, or where, that public debut will take place.
Scott Perry, chief technology and procurement officer at Ryder System, told Reuters he has met with Tesla and that the new truck will be a day cab model. “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,” Perry said.
The article noted that Tesla’s plan is “consistent with what battery researchers say is possible with current technology,” and said that the company has not said publicly how far its electric truck could travel, what it would cost or how much cargo it could carry.
An article earlier this summer in Wired reported that a pair of Carnegie Mellon University researchers found a battery-powered semi would be limited to a 300-mile range, and that to cover 600 miles without stopping to charge, the truck would need a 14-ton battery.
Reuters also reported earlier this month that Tesla is developing self-driving capability for the big rig.
Sandeep Kar, formerly with industry analysts Frost & Sullivan and now chief technology officer of Fleet Complete, a company that tracks and analyzes fleet and truck movements, told Reuters Tesla CEO that Elon Musk may well have found a sweet spot for the new electric if he can deliver, noting that roughly 30% of U.S. trucking jobs are regional trips of 100 to 200 miles daily. A truck with that range 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 told Reuters.
Corrected to reflect the fact that we have not been able to ascertain where and when Tesla plans to introduce this truck.
Read more about the latest advancements in electric truck technology in the September issue of Heavy Duty Trucking.