As if Tesla CEO Elon Musk wasn’t already diving into several fields – one of them outer space – he just unveiled an electric semi-truck in California. The truck, which launches the company farther into the automotive market (where they already produce passenger cars, solar power elements, and energy storage solutions) and closer to Musk’s personal goal of creating a sustainable energy economy.
The truck itself includes a solar roof that’s integrated with battery storage and, in some cases, autonomous driving capabilities.
Tesla isn’t the only company developing electric semi-trucks, though. Bosch, Daimler, and Cummins are reportedly creating their own, and Siemens has a pilot program in place to figure out whether it’s a worthy investment. Some foreign companies and small startups are working on them, too, and another company – Proterra – is building electric buses.
Someone snapped a photo of the truck before its unveiling (you can see it here).
In order to sell the truck to the freight industry, though, the electric truck would have to cost less to operate than the trucks that are already running the roads.
An ordinary semi-truck costs between $100,000 and $140,000, but a battery pack to power an electric truck alone could cost that much – so it’s unclear where Tesla is going to save buyers money to entice them to make the switch. Here’s a great run-down on what Tesla could do to impress big customers in the freight industry.
The truck isn’t going into mass production just yet. It could be several years before you see the first Tesla semi rolling down the freeway, but proponents insist that it’s going to be better, more cost-effective, and healthier for the planet.
What Do You Think?
Did you watch Tesla’s semi-truck unveiling? What do you think of its features? I’d love to hear your opinion on the world’s first electric semi-truck, so please share them on my Facebook page or on Twitter.