Tesla Inc is a well known disruptor of a number of industries. The automotive industry was taken back by the initial success and attention their long-range electric vehicles drew in. Electric car manufacturers have tried to make an impact on the market before but none have come close to the buzz Tesla created. Now, Elon Musk and his innovative automotive manufacturing company, Tesla have another industry in their sights, trucking.
The long anticipated event to unveil their electric Semi-Truck has finally come. Thursday night, 11/16/17, the event was filled with VIP’s from a number of sectors all waiting to see what the innovator had in store. It’s official name, Tesla Semi is just as logical as his vision for the world. Musk wants to create a sustainable automotive industry and the Tesla Semi could help dramatically reduce emissions while also driving down the cost of shipping goods. Able to travel 500 miles on a single battery charge, fully loaded with 80,000 pounds and driving at 65 mph, this is another major industry disruptor heading to the world of trucking.
“Even with 80,000 pounds it’ll get to 60 mph in 20 seconds,” Musk said (https://usat.ly/2hxswIB). This is impressive when compared to any diesel powered semi-truck on the road today. Musk also explained that a conventional diesel truck is 20% more expensive to operate than a Tesla Semi. This breaks down to $1.26 per mile rather than the $1.51 per mile for today’s semi-trucks.
Reservations are now open and start at $5,000 per truck. Production is expected to begin in 2019. As of now, no official price has been set for the Tesla Semi.
Every truck will also come with Autopilot standard. Furthermore, with no engine, there is also an incredible new design feature which can help improve safety. The driver’s seat is placed directly in the middle of the cabin and pushed toward the front. This will give drivers a better view of the road and their surroundings. Tesla’s cars have been awarded extremely high crash ratings because they have no engine, increasing the crumplezone and dramatically decreasing the chance of catching fire. This innovative new piece of equipment could have a lasting impact on not only the supply chain but the way manufacturers transport their goods.
The manufacturing industry pays close attention to their shipping costs. When transporting heavy industrial components or equipment, fuel burn is a concerning factor. However with Tesla’s Semi fuel is a nonissue. Utilizing Tesla’s innovative truck could cause shipping costs to plummet. It will be interesting to see what kind of widespread impact this has on manufacturers bottom lines.
There are still concerns about if Musk can keep these exciting promises or if the automotive manufacturer will be able to produce enough to keep up with demand. The Model 3 has faced some tremendous production issues and this has been a common problem throughout Tesla’s history. Musk continues to work vigorously to hammer out these bottlenecks but it could still be a very real concern for both customers and the company. Only time will tell if the unique manufacturing processes that will go into the Tesla Semi can avoid those issues that have plagued the consumer friendly Model 3.
As Elon Musk and his companies continue to disrupt major industries, the world waits with bated breath to see what the Tesla Semi means for the future. The automotive industry was skeptical at first that Tesla could rise above the conventional idea of an automobile and revolutionize the industry. Now, with the Trucking industry in their sights, they stand to have the same kind of disruptive impact on a brand new sector.
Manufacturing Talk Radio will be keeping a close eye on the development and production of the Tesla Semi so be sure to check back soon for the latest details.