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Tesla Truck teased ahead of 16 November launch date

A fresh teaser of Tesla[1]‘s first industrial vehicle has been leaked following an online invitation from the California EV manufacturer about its public debut on 16 November. The latest image is much more revealing than previous images, showing the front cab of the all-electric truck, albeit with finer details obscured. A trailer is visible behind the cab, with front headlights mounted lower than would be typical on most conventional trucks. o Tesla tunnels: Elon Musk’s ‘The Boring Company’ plans roads under cities[2]

Initially slated for a 26 October debut, Tesla boss Elon Musk confirmed on Twitter that the launch of the firm’s all-electric truck has been postponed by three weeks until 16 November. According to Tesla’s CEO, the delay is to help fix the bottlenecks that have hampered production of the new Model 3[3], after it was revealed that Model 3 production[4] had fallen way short of its initial 1,600 target, with only 260 models produced and 220 delivered thus far. Around 20,000 Model 3’s were expected to be produced by the end of this year.

Musk also addressed the damage caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and other surrounding islands. Tesla is set to increase battery production for the affected areas which in turn has diverted production away from the launch of the all-electric semi-truck. Despite the delay, Musk has described the electric car company’s first commercial vehicle as a “beast”, whetting the appetite by adding, “it’s unreal”. Reuters[5] reported that the truck could have a real-world range of between 200 and 300 miles after speaking to a source close to the company.

According to Scott Perry, an executive at US-based fleet operator Ryder System Inc., who allegedly met with the maker earlier this year, Tesla will kick off with a small-range model before later expanding to rival long-distance rigs capable of more than 1,000 miles on a single charge. Perry said he met with Tesla officials earlier this year to discuss the technology at the automaker’s manufacturing facility in Fremont, California. “Right out of the gate I think that’s where they’ll start,” Perry told Reuters.

He also suggested the first Tesla truck would be a “day cab” with no sleeper section, as found in many US and European lorries. It’s likely Tesla will add this feature, as and when the vehicle is capable of a longer usable range. CEO Elon Musk revealed the first image of the all-electric Tesla truck earlier this year.

The darkened teaser imaged showed a glowing EV lorry with little more than its LED lights piercing through the darkness, but it was the first confirmation that Musk had his sights set on the commercial vehicle market. The image shows a much curvier design than most HGVs of this size, presumably aimed at boosting aerodynamics. Musk has even described the truck as being “spry” to drive, although it’s very unlikely we’ll see fast 0-62mph times quoted.

We understand that the intention is for the Tesla truck to match the range and torque of a traditional diesel HGV tractor unit which, given what we know about electric car[6] range compared to conventionally engined cars, seems ambitious. The big Tesla model expansion is well under way. As well as the Model S[7], Model X[8] and recently revealed Model 3[9], we’ll soon have a Model Y[10] SUV and pick-up truck[11] join the range.

Can all-electric HGVs really take off?

Let us know your view in the comments…

References

  1. ^ Tesla (www.autoexpress.co.uk)
  2. ^ Tesla tunnels: Elon Musk’s ‘The Boring Company’ plans roads under cities (www.autoexpress.co.uk)
  3. ^ Model 3 (www.autoexpress.co.uk)
  4. ^ Model 3 production (www.autoexpress.co.uk)
  5. ^ Reuters (www.reuters.com)
  6. ^ electric car (www.autoexpress.co.uk)
  7. ^ Model S (www.autoexpress.co.uk)
  8. ^ Model X (www.autoexpress.co.uk)
  9. ^ Model 3 (www.autoexpress.co.uk)
  10. ^ Model Y (www.autoexpress.co.uk)
  11. ^ pick-up truck (www.autoexpress.co.uk)



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