In what will no doubt be another great change in the history of transportation, the Tesla semi-truck is set to hit the road sometime in 2019. Orders are already being taken for the electric big rig that will start production in coming years.
Among the first companies to place orders for the new truck is Walmart, which has already placed an order for fifteen of the revolutionary vehicles. Walmart hopes the move will help it lower emissions and meet other sustainability goals.
Another smaller company out of Michigan has also placed deposits for four trucks. Meijer, which is a supermarket chain stated the it had made a “small financial commitment” to test the new truck technology, “which has the potential to not only reduce our carbon footprint but also realize cost savings that will allow us to keep prices low for our customers”.
Though some orders are already in the books, it will be a while before delivery as production is not slatted to begin until sometime in 2019. The companies that have decided to try out the new vehicle will do so mostly in local routes and short hauls of the 20 to 250-mile range. For example, in California it will most likely be used to transport products from ports on the coast to distribution centers in the inland part of the state.
As for the truck itself, there are still limitations for how far it can go before it needs a charge. At Musk they are saying that the Semi will be able to go 500 miles at full speed before needing to stop to recharge the battery.
Although these electric semi-trucks may be hitting the road soon, there is no need for traditional truck manufacturers to worry, it will still be a while before these vehicles can match or surpass their diesel-powered cousins. It will take a lot of actual road miles under all condition and steady improvements to battery storage and power to prove the technology before it is fully accepted by the mainstream.