Will Tesla’s Semi Replace Traditional Big Rig’s In Years To Come?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know electric vehicles are a common discussion in the automotive world. As for people like us, the diesel truck community, we’re either careless about it or you’re someone who is concerned for our beloved diesel-powered trucks. New details about the all-electric semi from Tesla have been released and we wanted to share them with you so you could decide what you think about it. Could these replace our diesel trucks forever?

Announced in 2017, Tesla’s semi-truck was designed to take over the majority of the trucking business. Why? Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, has publicly shown his interest in transitioning the world to sustainable energy. Because, according to their 2020 Impact Report, combination trucks are account for 1.1-percent of total fleet vehicles on the road. Because of their fuel consumption and weight, that results in approximately 17-percent of all U.S vehicle emissions.

So, naturally, it is because of emissions. “Electrifying the heavy-duty truck segment is an essential part of transitioning the world to sustainable energy,” Musk said. “With at least equal payload capabilities and more range, electric trucks can be utilized.” Per the impact report, Tesla is in the process of developing a Megacharger network at trucking rest stops across the United States and Europe where each Tesla semi-truck can top off their range.

We’ve heard their pitch, but at what cost does it come? Per Tesla, they only need a $20,000 reservation. From there, they’ll get you paying on one of their two available options. A 300-mile range semi-truck or a 500-mile range one. If you’re looking for a 300-mile range truck, it will set you back $150,000. To get the extra 200-miles, fork out $30,000 more for a grand total of $180,000.

According to our research, to buy a new big rig today, you’re facing $100,000-$125,000. For not much more money, you can go all-electric. I just think that we aren’t set up for this. We don’t have the infrastructure for electric semi-trucks and nobody can explain to me that battery situation. Yeah, sure, the diesel-powered trucks may emit more emissions but what happens to all of the dead Tesla batteries when they die?

Tesla knows the pricing of their trucks is elevated, but it is the fuel savings that they’re pushing. You have a potential savings of $200,000 and a two-year payback period. It is unknown how they came up with this figure, per Inverse. As for range, apparently, 80-percent of trucking is at or less than 250-miles. This would mean that either of their options will cover most jobs.

“Getting a range of 500 km [310 miles] is I think, quite easy. And this is assuming a truck that is pulling a load of something in the order of 40 metric tons. So that’s a heavy truck. For long-range trucking, up to, we think, easily 800 kilometers [500 miles], and we see a path over time, to get to about 1,000 kilometers [620 miles] of range. We think this is going to be extremely competitive and compelling to trucking companies.”- Elon Musk

The top speed for Tesla’s semi-truck has not been released, but using its four independent motors on the rear axles the truck has reached 0-60 MPH in just twenty seconds. This is pretty impressive for a big truck. Sure, maybe electric is the future, but I just don’t see it happening anytime soon where your family and friends are swinging into a Loves or a Pilot, and it’s lined with all-electric Tesla semi-trucks.

Not to mention, all of your diesel truck stops or diesel repair shops have to be set up for this. What about all of the equipment they’ll need to diagnose and repair these new trucks? Can they afford it? Do they have the proper disposal plans for batteries? There is just so much involved with “taking over” a diesel-owned industry.

What are your honest thoughts on this? Please leave a comment down below.

 

 

About the author

Artie Maupin

Artie Maupin is from Southeast Missouri and has an extreme passion for anything diesel. He loves drag racing of all kinds, as well as sled pulling competitions.
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