Tesla’s already announced plans to reveal at an event in September an all-electric semi truck designed for cargo hauling, but we don’t know much about it beyond that yet. Now, Reuters reports that the vehicle will get between 200 and 300 miles of range per charge, which means it can manage medium-length routes without much issue.
As the report notes, this doesn’t put the Tesla semi in direct competition with long-haul fuel-powered rigs; those can go upwards of 1,000 miles on a single tank. But 300 miles is still long enough for a decent chunk of routes considered at the entry-level of the “long haul” category.
Tesla has said it’s working directly with potential customers and talking to them about their needs in developing the electric semi truck, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said he’s optimistic about their interest for what Tesla will ultimately reveal. The truck will also apparently feature self-driving capability, according to an earlier Reuters report. Tesla has met with state DMVs regarding potential tests of autonomous big rig technology.
Cost will be a huge deciding factor in how attractive the Tesla truck is as an option to commercial logistics companies. Batteries that could support that length of range for heavy loads would likely be extremely expensive, but Tesla will probably sell the idea on long-term savings in terms of maintenance requirements and fuel costs.
We’ll find out soon enough what the actual range is for the Tesla semi, as the plan still seems to be to unveil it fully in September. Self-driving could also help Tesla sell the idea, especially since it sounds like Musk anticipates at least a year or two until the vehicle enters production at scale.