Are electric trucks finally on the horizon?
Elon Musk, CEO of electric vehicle specialists Tesla, last night presented the ‘Tesla Semi’ to excited car owners and hauliers at an airport hangar in Los Angeles.
Ahead of the launch Musk tweeted: “This will blow your mind clear out of your skull and into an alternate dimension.”
The truck is said to be able to reach 0 to 60mph in 5 seconds without cargo and 0 to 60mph in 20 seconds at maximum weight which is around 36 tonnes. However speed is not the only benefit these trucks bring to table, Musk has described them as “Tesla’s next effort to move the economy away from fossil fuels through projects including electric cars, solar roofs and power storage.”
A semi-autonomous driving system has also been installed into the truck which prevents them from drifting in and out of lanes, it also has the ability to switch lane without assistance.
However not everyone is on board with Tesla’s new creation with critics describing it as a distraction for the company which is burning cash, has never posted an annual profit and is facing major factory delays with the Tesla Model 3, a situation Mr Musk recently described as “production hell”.
The vehicles can travel up to 500 miles at maximum weight on one single charge however hauliers are concerned the huge battery used to achieve this may eat into the weight of cargo the electric trucks can haul.
Although diesel trucks are currently able to travel around 1,000 miles on a single tank of fuel, which is double the distance the Tesla Semi can travel on a single charge, Musk has stated standard diesel trucks will be 20% more expensive to run her mile.
With production starting in 2019, the idea of electric trucks being a thing of the future is slowly but surely becoming an idea from the past.