Elon Musk is no stranger to making bold and sometimes outrageous statements. He has also been known to put his money where his mouth is, with many of his previous so-called impossible dreams receiving funding as we speak. In April, a tweet of his sent spectators spinning about a September 28th, 2017 reveal of the Tesla semi-truck.
Clearly the biggest obstacle to an all electric 18 wheeler is longevity, as the solution to the long charging times remaining a top priority. While people with stable jobs have fairly predictable driving needs, a semi-truck driver has to cover thousands of miles in very short periods of time; they do not have ability to wait around all day plugged into a wall. The current low price of diesel makes this change an even tougher economic pill to swallow.
Musk is undeterred, however, as at a recent TED talk he proclaimed that the Tesla semi-truck would be capable of long hauls and that its economic upside will entice companies to make the switch. He has also stated that the truck contains many of the same parts as the Model 3, including several of its electric motors. Musk claims that he recently test drove the concept and that it “feels like a sports car.”
Tesla also faces the obstacle of competition in the marketplace. While no other company has stated a semi-truck for the highway is in the works, Orange EV has deployed electric trucks that handle similar loads for quite some time. These are primarily used in ports and only move cargo short distances. Chinese car maker BVD also makes all electric semi-truck, but these can only travel 92 miles without needing a charge, with the vehicles being currently used in the United States.