The Tesla Semi Would Not Be Able To Compete With Long-Range Diesel Haulers, But That’s Totally Okay

This month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk would reveal the latest item in his master plan. After the overwhelming (at least, pre-order-wise) success of the Model 3, the EV maker is setting its eyes on a much larger target — the big rig industry. As revealed by Musk earlier this year, Tesla has been working on a fully electric big rig. Better yet, a prototype of the machine would be unveiled to the public this September.

Details about the Tesla Semi are pretty much a mystery for now, though speculations among car enthusiasts are many. Since Musk’s announcement back in April, industry analysts have been hard at work in their hypotheses about the upcoming green hauler. One of these is Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jones, who has gone on record stating that the Tesla Semi might very well be the “biggest catalyst in trucking in decades,” according to an Electrek report.

So far, the only thing available about the Tesla Semi is a teaser shot that Elon Musk unveiled a few months ago. During an interview at the TED 2017 conference in Vancouver, Musk expressed his optimism about his company’s latest venture.

Considering that the Tesla Semi would be running on an electric motor, it would have massive amounts of torque. Musk emphasized this during his interview at TED 2017, stating that a Tesla Semi doing a tug-of-war with its diesel counterpart would be able to pull a conventional long-hauler uphill.

Apart from its power, Musk also gushed about the handling of the Tesla Semi, saying that a prototype of the vehicle was so nimble during tests, it was almost surreal to watch. The Tesla Semi, after all, is a massive vehicle designed to run hundreds of miles on a single charge. Thus, one would almost expect the truck to move as slow as it weighs. As it turns out, however, Tesla’s first long-hauler was more maneuverable than expected.

If there is one thing that the Tesla Semi would not have, however, it would be a killer range. Conventional long-haulers normally travel around 600 miles a day during cross-country and multi-state trips. Jones, however, believes that the Tesla Semi’s range would likely be maximized for a range of 200-300 miles.

This range might seem to make the Tesla Semi deeply flawed when it comes to extremely long-haul trips. Despite this, however, the upcoming EV would most likely be a success, simply because it is targeting an entirely different demographic.

A significant number of trucking routes across the United States are quite short. Thus, the Tesla Semi’s 200-300-mile range would be perfect for businesses transporting goods and items to facilities in surrounding cities and states. As for the true long-haul business, Tesla is probably preparing for the arrival of a more advanced Tesla truck, and conventional truck drivers should prepare themselves too.

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