Better keep an eye on that rear view mirror. Something very new and different could be gaining on you. Tesla is not just about cars. Say hello to the Tesla electric semi truck, a vehicle with attitude, speed and range.
Think you could handle it? Aerodynamics that rival some of the fastest automobiles; zero to 60 mph in 20 seconds–with an 80,000 pound pull; and capable of 65 mph on a 5% grade. This baby can go 500 miles on a single charge; with Tesla talking about introducing “megachargers” at truck stops that in 30 minutes can give you another 400 miles of range. This streamlined beauty also can operate in a semiautonomous mode, so it and other trucks can “convoy” their way across the landscape.
Big name companies are putting down $5,000 deposits for first dibs on the production models to become available in 2019. Names like Ryder, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, J.B. Hunt Transport Systems, Anheuser-Busch, and Sysco top the list of first buyers. Expected base price for the futuristic semi is $180,000-$200,000. Various press reports suggest Musk may be sitting on as many as 1200 orders for the new truck-with big name companies ordering over 100 trucks at a time each.
Initial expectations are the trucks will be cheaper to operate than diesel machines and possible less costly than rail transport. And of course there will be no emissions, a big standards concern for traditional trucks and locomotives. Tesla is also offering a one million mile breakdown-free promise.
All in all, Tesla is projecting a $200,000+ savings in fuel costs over conventional trucks, and a 2 year payback. That certainly will get some serious attention from companies operating big truck fleets. Experts believe Tesla will have some interesting competition in the near future as electric fever grips the trucking industry.
Are you hearing this Tom Edison? Look what your ideas back in the early 1900s for battery powered transportation have become.