Will a fleet of Tesla Semi trucks soon be hauling the company's electric cars to the East coast?...

Will a fleet of Tesla Semi trucks soon be hauling the company's electric cars to the East coast? A recent tweet by CEO Elon Musk seems to indicate that may happen.

Photo: Jack Roberts

Although I doubt you'll sit on a Techology and Maintence Council Task Force with him any time soon, it looks like Elon Musk will soon add "trucking company executive" to his resume.

One of the most fundamental drivers for success in today’s global super economy is the ability to get your products to your customers as quickly, efficiently and cost effectively as possible. That’s something Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has clearly put some thought into. And now, it looks like Tesla CEO Elon Musk has reached the same conclusion. Citing what he has called Tesla’s “delivery logistics hell,” Musk has reportedly purchased several car-hauling fleets in order to better move his newly built electric cars to the East coast. And, as is fitting for someone about to begin building tractor-trailers of their own, he’s forgoing the railroads to do so, citing trucking’s much faster delivery times.

The issue first arose in September, when Musk posted several tweets outlining Tesla’s problems in moving product coast-to-coast. Not surprisingly, word soon came that the company was also building its own car carriers – although it’s not clear if they company was yet using its all-electric Semi tractor in that project.

Long-term, Musk’s move presents some interesting possibilities with possible ramifications for the trucking industry. First off, will Musk make the logical move and operate his own fleet of electric car haulers? Doing so would be a great way to prove out his concept of a long-haul, all-electric tractor trailer while helping ease Tesla’s current logistics snarls.

It’s even more interesting to speculate what a visionary like Musk will learn from taking a hands-on role in the trucking industry and what methods or emerging technologies he may be willing to try to enhance productivity and freight efficiency.

The move underscores a couple of key points: First, trucking is vastly important to the success of companies today and absolutely cannot be the weak link in the supply chain. Secondly, trucking is still the most efficient way to move goods – be it from coast to coast of from a warehouse to a doorstep. But a capacity crunch is pushing more and more visionaries and technology gurus toward this industry, which is ripe for disruption.

It’s another sign that anyone in trucking impatiently for today’s take wave to recede is likely going to be disappointed.

About the author
Jack Roberts

Jack Roberts

Executive Editor

Jack Roberts is known for reporting on advanced technology, such as intelligent drivetrains and autonomous vehicles. A commercial driver’s license holder, he also does test drives of new equipment and covers topics such as maintenance, fuel economy, vocational and medium-duty trucks and tires.

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