When it comes to electric trucks, most are saying it’s not a matter of IF but WHEN? When we will see electric semi trucks reach widespread status? It might be sooner than we think. According to Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, production of the new electric semit truck will begin in 2019.
In fact, the all-electric Tesla Motors Class 8 highway tractor made its official debut recently at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show. Must said he believes the company’s new all-electric highway tractor, dubbed the “Semi,” will revolutionize trucking when it makes its way onto the road in just over 1 year.
As of right now, Musk says that the trucks have a 500 mile limitation, which will definitely be something to keep in mind that might slow widespread adoption. But, this will no doubt be something that can be improved down the line as more technological advances are made. Musk proclaims that once electric trucks are readily available, those that stick with traditional diesel options will be committing “economic suicide.”
Charging the Trucks
Tesla said “megachargers” will soon be made available. These will enable truckers to add 400 miles of range in 30 minutes…not bad. Especially, considering the Mandatory 30 Min DOT break that truckers must take anyway. The company has said that these changes will be installed at origin or destination points, and along heavily trafficked areas.
The new “Semi” from Tesla is said to come standard with “enhanced autopilot.” This will include all kinds of safety features such as emergency braking, lane assist and the ability to help avoid collisions. Tesla also said that the Semi can go from 0 mph to 60 mph in 5 seconds without a trailer. This is in comparison to 15 seconds for a diesel. The truck also climbs 5% grades at a steady 65 mph, while most regular diesel trucks max out at 45 mph.
How About The Maintenance?
One thing is clear, much like diesel trucks, the “Semi” will take regular maintenance to perform up to standard. Batteries, tires, lights, fluids, etc. will all still need to be maintained to make sure things are running smoothly. While some things will certainly change as the technology evolves, many things will stay the same.
At Dickinson Fleet Services, we are committed to following this type of technology and providing the necessary training to our technicians. Times are definitely changing and we’ve always taken great pride in staying ahead of the curve. As adoption of things such as electric trucks becomes more widespread, we will do our best to educate our customers on the pros and cons from a maintenance/performance standpoint.
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* Photo from Alexis Georgeson/Tesla Motors