When the electric Semi truck was unveiled five years ago, large fleet operators like PepsiCo Inc., Walmart Inc., Meijer Inc. and J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. were among the first companies that placed non-binding reservations for the vehicle.
While electric passenger cars get most of the buzz, Musk believes that it is equally important to electrify the trucking industry which is known for high emissions and hefty fuel costs. Adding driver assistance features to the trucks can further help operators save on labor expenses.
The Tesla Semi electric truck is designed around the driver, with a central seating position and lots of space to stand up and ample storage space. On stage, Musk said Tesla had pulled off a 805-kilometer demonstration run on a single charge for the truck with full load in California. It took place between Tesla’s Fremont plant and San Diego. A time-lapse video of the route was recorded.
Earlier, during Tesla’s earnings call, Musk had said that the company is tentatively planning to produce 50,000 Semi trucks for North America in 2024. However, not much is known about the volume production or pricing of the vehicle.
The introduction of Semi adds a fifth vehicle to Tesla's lineup, which currently features the passenger models S, X, 3 and Y. The Tesla Semi will also be put to work for Tesla, carrying freight between the company’s factories in Nevada and Fremont and back again.