Tesla is expected to launch its first electric in late October, as it attempts to break into the commercial market.
Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla stated that the “Tesla Semi truck” is “tentatively scheduled” for the unveiling and the first tests, one month behind schedule on 26th October. The test will be conducted in Tesla’s hometown of Hawthorne, California.
As well as being an electric lorry, the truck is expected to be able to drive by itself, something that the commercial trucking industry is obviously interested in. Tesla’s proposed battery-powered heavy-duty vehicle, which can apparently travel up to 1,000 miles on a single tank of fuel, allowing it to compete with conventional diesel vehicles.
Having said that, analysts remain sceptical that battery technology, which takes up significantly more volume and is heavier than conventional fuels, is capable matching diesel as a power source without reducing the truck’s maximum payload.
Tesla first announced their plans for an electric commercial truck last year, and in April, Elon Musk said the release of the semi-truck was set for September. Tesla is hoping that electrification and autonomous driving systems could eventually remove the need for a driver, but in the short term could increase efficiency and safety.
Tesla is under fierce competition as a number of companies race to try and break into the commercial market. Both Uber and Alphabet’s former Google self-driving systems, Waymo are aiming to produce similar vehicles and services.
The Department of Transport announced in August that platoons of self-driving lorries will be tested on England’s motorways. The government said new vehicles driven by diesel and petrol engines will be banned from 2040, in the hope of tackling air pollution, forcing automotive manufacturers to consider electrification as well as alternative fuel sources such as hydrogen.
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