In November 2017, Tesla Inc unveiled the all-electric battery-powered Class 8 semi-trailer truck prototype called Tesla Semi. If everything goes according to plan, this type of truck will be in production before the end of 2019.
Class: Class 8 heavy-duty truck
Body style: Tractor unit for semi-trailer trucks
Tesla Inc has announced a 500-mile range of highway driving on a full charge for the Tesla Semi and a 400-mile range on an 80% charge. Obtaining an 80% charge will allegedly take just half an hour with the solar-powered Tesla Mega charger charging station.
However, since the Tesla Semi is yet on in production, it’s range has not been tested by any third party and we can also not know for sure how quickly the battery will charge.
The Tesla Semi will come with the Tesla Autopilot, allowing for semi-autonomous driving on highways. The truck will have cameras and even more radar devices than the other Tesla cars, combined with new active safety controls. Among other things, the system will be able to both detect and prevent so-called “jackknifing”.
Telsa Inc CEO Elon Musk has also announced that the system will eventually make it possible for several trucks to operate in an autopiloted convoy led by one human truck driver. (Currently, this would not be legal, but the law might change in the future.)
- The Tesla Semi was first mentioned in the Tesla 2016 Master Plan.
- The Tesla Semi prototype was unveiled on 16 November 2017. The first pre-orders arrived that same day. Back then, the required deposit was $5,000.
- By mid-January 2018, circa 450 Tesla Semis had been pre-ordered. After the unveiling in November, the required deposit had been raised to $20,000.
- In the Q1 Tesla earnings call, Elon Musk announced that roughly 2,000 pre-orders had been made so far.
- In March 2018, Elon Musk announced that the Tesla Semi was now being test driven with real cargo, transporting battery packs from Nevada to California in the United States.
- In August 2018, a Tesla Semi prototype was driven for a week without any escort.
Examples of companies that have already pre-ordered Tesla Semis:
- United Parcel Service (125 units)
- PepsiCo (100 units)
- Sysco (50 units)
- Bee’ah (50 units)
- Loblaw Companies
- DHL Supply Chain
Invest in Tesla Inc?
If you think that the battery-powered truck will be a commercial success large enough to boost the Tesla Inc share value, you might want to get some shares now when there is still time. Telsa Inc is a publicly traded company listed on NASDAQ, so buying shares in this company is very easy and straightforward, and you can do it through a wide range of different retail stockbroker sites online.
For the Tesla Semi to be a resounding success, it will have to fight off competition from a number of companies that are currently developing their own electric trucks, including Toyota, Uber, Volkswagen, Daimler, Einride, BYD, Nikola Motor, Proterra, and Thor Trucks.