Upcoming Tesla Big Rig to Span 200–300 Miles Between Charges
Truck Could Compete in Regional Space or Shorter “Long-Haul” Trips
An upcoming all-electric big rig from Tesla will aim for a 200–300-mile range on a single charge, if an exclusive report from Reuters is to be believed. The truck will be unveiled next month in a day cab configuration, according to the news agency’s sources.
Speaking to Reuters, Ryder System executive Scott Perry said he’d been in contact with Tesla regarding the electric big rig, saying the company would likely initiate its truck program with a targeted range that splits the difference between long-haul and regional trucks. One source said that about a third of all trucking trips are between 100 and 200 miles, so a 300-mile Tesla rig could be a great fit, allowing for those kinds of regional trips with some added range as a cushion.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has stated the upcoming semi would be able to compete with conventional diesels, but today’s long-haul trucks can run nearly 1,000 miles without refueling, so it’s possible Tesla will dip its toe into the regional water first before trying for a true long-hauler. However, if the Tesla can eclipse 200 miles of range, the company will technically be able to claim it’s a long-haul truck, according to Sandeep Kar, of Fleet Complete.
Tesla will be the first company to venture into the long-haul space with an all-electric drivetrain. Companies such as Daimler and Motiv Power Systems offer electric trucks with shorter ranges, the justification being that a local delivery truck carries a less battery-taxing payload and can be recharged overnight at fleet hubs and garages. Reuters says Tesla’s targeted 200–300-mile range is at the edge of what is economically feasible for electric trucks, as the battery requirements of longer-range trucks would price them out of the market.
As of yet, Tesla’s biggest competitor will be the Nikola Two, a day cab concept from the Nikola Motor Company. Powered by the same hydrogen fuel cell powerplant as the Nikola One long-haul concept, the Two faces refueling infrastructure and manufacturing concerns; although Tesla has no experience with big rigs, it at least has a vast recharge network and priors with automobile manufacturing.