The electrification and automation of road vehicles has quickly become the focal point of the auto industry. The industry itself, along with regulators and entire demographics, are warming up to what Elon Musk considers as the next generation of transportation. His auto company, or rather his energy tech business, which runs under the guise of an auto company, makes headway in the space of electric and self-driving cars. Now the affordable Model 3 sedan is in play, and Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has its eye on another big market.
The trucking industry is eager to take advantage of the conveniences that electric and self-driving trucks will offer. Navistar said it would appreciate the Senate including trucks when publicizing legal standards for self-driving vehicles. As a strong player in the supply of heavy duty vehicles, Navistar teamed up with the American Trucking Association to win the Senate’s attention.
Troye Clarke is the company’s chief executive. The CEO’s comments confirm that Navistar has an interest in bringing self-driving trucks to the market. He also commented on the bid and said that regulations as they are now are unclear. This, in turn, limits manufacturers from creating solutions for future customers. While vehicle automation is gaining acceptance, automaker that are interested in producing self-driving trucks have little clarity about what they can and cannot test on public roads.
Navistar is not alone, though. Daimler — the parent entity of Mercedes Benz — and Cummins are already rolling out electric-powered trucks. The best spans 100 miles on a single charge, but experts trust Tesla to beat that by a long shot. The public will find out soon enough. Musk plans to show the world Tesla’s semi truck in a month’s time.
Speculation pegs the semi truck with a 300 to 400-mile range capacity. This is based on the company’s superior expertise in battery tech. Tesla famously outdoes most competitors in the electric car industry where speed and range is involved. The corporation’s truck teasers got a great amount of fanfare, and even pushed shares to their all-time greatest value. Musk admits that the trucking industry’s interest is more than reassuring.
The beginning of the month saw Cummins unveil its own plans for an electric truck. The industry giant announced it is producing a heavy duty electric vehicle for hauling freight. Investors and buyers can look forward to 100 miles per charge in the form of a Class 7 truck.
As is it with all electric cars, range, performance and recharge times are crucial aspects to consider. The greater the effective weight and range capacities, the larger the battery itself has to be. It is understood that electric trucks will not be able to effectively cater for long-distance hauls, at least not initially. There is still a market for short- to med-distance haulers, however. This keeps the speculated range of the incoming Tesla truck in the sweet spot for a many fleet owners.
All the answers for Tesla electric truck buyers?
Despite that, fleet owners will also have to accept longer down-times and route limitations. Tesla is reported to be working on interchangeable batteries. Yet, the uncovered patent filings depict a sedan and does not promise that the solution will extend to Tesla’s incoming truck. However, if the patent does include the semi, then drivers can expect to change their drained batteries for one that is fully charged at rest stops. This should be less time consuming than waiting for a huge battery to recharge. Cummins explains that its semi battery would take an hour to fully charge. That’s for a 100-mile battery. With a speculated 300 to 400-mile range, Tesla’s challenger should take significantly longer.
Leave us with your comments on Tesla’s bid to win over the trucking industry. Is the company making an ambitious play, or will it mine successes from the trucking industry?
With Jaguar Land Rover, Toyota, GM, Volvo and BMW promising to electrify their cars, it is clear that electric vehicles will be a major part of the auto industry. They could very well be the future of road transportation. Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has widespread support, great expertise and strong infrastructure at its disposal. It looks like the company has an edge over most rivals entering the markets of electric and self-driving trucks.