Tesla plans to formally launch its all-electric heavy duty semi-truck sometime this year in 2019 and we may see it cruising down the freeway before we know it. Certain companies as Sysco, Anheuser, Busch, Wal-Mart, Loblaw, Deutsche Post/DHL, and PepsiCo have already placed pre-orders on the truck. Tesla’s electric truck has four motors, up to a 500-mile driving range and some self-driving capabilities. Mega chargers will be available throughout the US to recharge trucks up to a 400-mile range in 30 minutes.
Although the exact price of the electric semi-trucks is not yet confirmed, it’s expected that the cost will be around $150,000 for the 300-mile range trucks and $180,000 for the 500-mile range trucks. Most long-haul diesel trucks cost $120,000. These electric semis could provide many benefits such as reduced costs, increased safety, and help protect the environment by slashing fuel emissions and improving overall maintenance of the trucks.
Some companies feel that due to savings on fuel and better maintenance with Tesla’s electric semis; they could potentially pay back the cost of the truck in a relatively short time and save large amounts of money over the life-span of the truck. According to Reuters, Jim Monkmeyer, President of Transportation at DHL Supply Chain said, “We are estimating that we could have a payback within a year and a half based on energy usage as well as lower maintenance cost….The maintenance savings can be enormous as well. Just because the engines are much simpler in terms of the number of parts, and the complexities of the parts.” According to The Verge, “Tesla claims its all-electric Semi will provide more than $200,000 in fuel savings alone over the life span of the truck.”
In addition to slashed fuel and maintenance costs according to Tesla’s website, another benefit of the electric semi is safety. This ultimately means money saved on insurance costs. The Tesla all-electric semis have some self-driving capabilities such as automatic lane keeping, automatic emergency braking, and forward collision warning to help avoid collisions with other vehicles. The windshield is made of Tesla Armor Glass to protect the driver in the case of collision. Also in Tesla’s all-electric semis, the driver is positioned in the center to help enhance visibility and control of the vehicle. The driver seat also has a low center of gravity to provide rollover protection. This could mean better driver safety and also reduced insurance costs for fleet managers.
Tesla’s new all-electric semis seem to be pretty competitive in the market with many potential benefits of using electric energy in semis. The all-electric semi-trucks have a potential payback of fewer than two years and can help save money otherwise spent on maintenance, fuel, and insurance costs. The trucks will also help reduce pollution and protect the environment. It’s no wonder so many companies have already pre-ordered their all-electric semi fleets.
Check it out for yourself by watching this YouTube video.