Elon Musk: Tesla Semi Truck To Debut This September, Pick-Up Truck To Follow

6 months ago by Jay Cole 88

Tesla Semi Rendered By Peisert Design/Facebook

The news flow from Tesla CEO Elon Musk continues to be prolific.

Today’s revelation concerns the company plans around producing an all-electric truck.  Better still, according to Musk on Twitter, Tesla will reveal it just a few months – September 2017!

What does “seriously next level” mean?  It could be anything.

Earlier reports from last year (again from the CEO) indicated Tesla’s Jerome Guillen was already driving and testing the Tesla semi project, although we have yet to catch any evidence of the program in the wild.

Tesla has been moving forward hard on its semi-truck project

The intention to build an all-electric semi-truck was first mentioned during Tesla’s reveal of Master Plan Part Deux, just last Summer with this disclosure:

“In addition to consumer vehicles, there are two other types of electric vehicle needed: heavy-duty trucks and high passenger-density urban transport. Both are in the early stages of development at Tesla and should be ready for unveiling next year. We believe the Tesla Semi will deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate.”

2020 Tesla Pickup Truck Rendered (via Top Speed)

Also of (even more) interest is Tesla’s commitment to produce the long-desired pick-up truck for the masses.  On that matter, the Tesla CEO says the wait is only another 18 to 24 months!

Boy, we can’t wait to get behind the wheel of an all-electric truck, and to see what kind of sales numbers that kind of vehicle can put up in the United States.

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88 responses to "Elon Musk: Tesla Semi Truck To Debut This September, Pick-Up Truck To Follow"

  1. Mister G says:

    WOW TESLA IS KICKING PETROL ARSE LOL…GO TESLA GO

    1. Alaa says:

      With solar panels on the truck it can save 25% on the range. Just like the ones the have in the EU.

    2. Jim Whitehead says:

      Wild and Crazy Idea from me, an AI computer scientist / engineer: Imagine a Tesla truck cab pulling a “road train” of up to 10 full loads that are daisy-chained together with couplers connecting them, like in rail trains.

      Each load’s underbody has its own power with battery packs and motors and AI in a follow-the-leader configuration to the master controller, driving the cab. Each load could have its own AI partial self-driving, so each can do coordinated cornering and stops and self-park in bays, etc.

      At destinations, the cab and loads could break apart. At each stop, old loads could peel off to get self-parked and delivered and new ones join the “rail train”. Best of all: everything could charge in parallel special truck stops, So the “Tesla road train” is ready to go in about half an hour for another 200 to 300 miles, the time it takes the driver to have a meal.

      With 2 drivers switching off and stopping every 3 hours for half an hour, it could legally be on the road driving several loads for 20 to 22 hours a day!

      (The cost per load might drop to near the low cost of rail, but with the flexibility of trucks).

      1. CVVH says:

        Or we could invest in Real trains (or hyperloops) and get large trucks off the highways.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Hear, hear!

          Trains should run on tracks (or in Hyperloop tunnels), not on public roads! And besides, trains are a much, much more energy-efficient way to move heavy cargo.

          Heavy trucks also cause most of the damage to roads. If roads were used only by cars and other light vehicles, we could save something in the neighborhood of 90% on road and bridge repairs, and also spend far less building new roads.

    3. SJC says:

      Tesla needs to concentrate on cars, CUVs and batteries. Taking risks by spreading too thin is unwise.

      1. Dirtman says:

        What risk? Every new product from Tesla means more taxpayer money in subsidies to this money-losing company, and more cash in Elon’s pockets.

        1. pjwood1 says:

          If a cornered market doesn’t serve the oil mam, we might just have a free one.

          1. pjwood1 says:

            ..man

        2. SJC says:

          Risks like pop out door handles, falcon wing doors, putting all the batteries in one location.
          None of those were necessary, they provided nothing but risk.
          Now a semi, a pickup…really. Make CARS and quit screwing around!

  2. anon says:

    Curious how it will have cross country range while keeping the weight low enough to not eat into cargo capacity too significantly (80,000 lb limit).

    Presumably you’ll want self driving trucks to run 24/7. So it will need some new level of amazing charging speed or battery swap capability.

    1. Adrian the nerd says:

      I’m not sure how current this data is, but https://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/programs/freight_transportation/html/length_of_haul.html states “Most freight shipments by value and tonnage move less than 250 miles.” So it may be that the rollout of electric trucks will focus on short haul for a time. I suspect there is still a lot of value there. For major cross country routes I could imagine a very large/modular battery that can be swapped at certain waypoints. Even if we have the technology for super rapid charging, I would think a constant steady pull from the grid would be preferable, and easier on the batteries. I suspect the battery swap fits a lot better for commercial trucks then it does for passenger cars.

      1. anon says:

        For sure, if he is going after the short haul segment, it may be an easier sell, but still needs battery swapping or super duper charging.

        When you get into the 250 mile type trips, you often introduce the concept of “slip seating” where one truck runs as continuously as possible and drivers swap in and out of the truck on 2 or 3 shifts.

        Battery swapping on longer trips would require some kind of battery leasing program whereby the “refueling stations” own the batteries and the trucker pays for the use. Trucking companies typically have 2-4x as many trailers as they do trucks and they get littered all over the country (some customers require you to stage empty trailers for them to preload, others don’t, so you get a mismatch). Adding in tracking batteries all over the country would be a serious PITA. But if someone like Pilot/Flying J decided to get into this battery leasing business, it could be a different story.

        From DOT: “But goods that move longer distances—more than 250 miles—carried 82 percent of the ton-miles, an increase from 80 percent in 1993.”

    2. cmina says:

      Here’s a very rough estimation of a 1 MWh “pack”.

      That’s 8 tons of battery and an 1.2 ton industrial inverter.

      1. Mikael says:

        Here is an actual 660 kWh bus:

  3. Brandon says:

    Wow. So to go 400 miles, what size kWh battery would be needed?
    600-800 kWh?

    How many by kWhs needed per mile?
    0.5 kWh?

    1. jelloslug says:

      Just look at the electric buses if you want to guess on battery size.

      1. Tom says:

        What do you suppose the odds of Tesla purchasing Proterra are?

    2. AlphaEdge says:

      My guess based on batteries on the Model S, versus it’s weight to carry the max load of 80,000 lbs 400 miles, it would be around 3000 KWh battery (or 3 MWh), and need a supercharger of 5,000 kW (Yes, that’s 5 MW!!!) to charge up in 10 minutes.

      Battery cost should be around $250,000 to $500,000.

      I don’t know how Tesla is going to do it at those prices, and battery pack size, and 400 miles is not very far for a freight truck.

      That’s just off the top of my head, using the Model S weight to battery pack to range ratio.

      1. Bojan says:

        For long distance transport, most of the energy is used for defeating air drag at constant cruise speed, not for acceleration. Therefore, it’s not the weight ratio between the truck and the Model S that dictates the size of the battery, it’s the ratio between their CdA that is more important.

        1. Eco says:

          Exactly, at highway speeds most of the power is used to push air around. Aerodynamics is extremely important, not only on the front but the back end aero, which is neglected by virtually all truck manufacturers, should be tapered. Hopefully Tesla will get it right (just like they did on the Model S/3/X). A tapered hard shell canopy on the back of the pickup truck might do the trick! The semi trailer would need something similar i.e. some kind of tapered cone instead of just cut off on the back.

        2. Ray says:

          That is exactly why I don’t like this rendering. That rendering doesn’t look like it would have a low drag coefficient at all.

          1. CVVH says:

            People,that buy pickup trucks probably don’t care. They want it to look like a truck. That’s the best Tesla pu truck render I have seen, because it mostly look like a regular truck, but with the distinct Tesla design language.

        3. ModernMarvelFan says:

          “For long distance transport”

          That is true until it has to climb over Sierra Nevada or Rockies…

          But I agree that lots of trucking are local and regional which an electric truck will work just fine.

        4. ANewHope says:

          Elon has proven time and time again that he is an out of the box thinker. I don’t believe this will be just be an electric semi. He will have some out of the box ideas up his sleeve.

          For instance if most of the distance driven in a semi is HWY miles and most energy is wasted pushing through wind, it is obvious that one component of efficiency needs to include something like riding in a bicycle peloton.

          Now of course a truck peloton would be scary with human drivers since:
          1) You cant see what is in front of the truck in front of you
          2) If the first truck brakes, by the time the 2nd driver reacts you have covered the minimal distance between trucks and created a massive pileup, just like in bike pelotons except 10,000x worse.
          3) Humans get tired plus they do silly things like text and drive or watch movie and drive or drink and drive…

          With autonomous trucks you could reduce the peloton risk by “syncing” the trucks. If lead truck brakes, it simultaneously and immediately causes following trucks to brake.

          1. ModernMarvelFan says:

            Most trucks are limited at 55mph.

            At those speeds, the tires drag with extra weight is significant if NOT equal to the share generated by the air drag.

            On a lighter and less aerodynamic car, the air drag dominates. But in a more aerodynamic/heavy vehicle, the tire drag is equally important.

            1. Nix says:

              55 mph? In Europe maybe. Or a few East Coast states. Definitely not in the United States.

              Trucks flying down I-80 at 80 MPH is an every-day occurrence.

              1. ModernMarvelFan says:

                Most state limit semi to 55mph.

                If I wasn’t clear, I meant truck as in semi-truck.

                Occasionally, you will find some Semi trucker speed on hwy such as I-80 or I-5. But I have never SEEN a semi going 80mph.

                1. unlucky says:

                  Semis are limited to 65mph or more where I am.

                  They’d get run over on I-5 if they tried to go 55mph.

                2. Brandon says:

                  From my observation, the majority of Interstates in the U.S. are 65 mph speed limit, and trucks often stick quite close to that speed.

                3. ClarksonCote says:

                  Interesting. In NY Swift limits their trucks to 55mph but many semis travel at 75mph on he Thruway etc.

                4. Nix says:

                  This source tells a different story. Majority of states (33) have 70-80 mph speed limits according to this source:

                  https://www.thebalance.com/commercial-vehicle-speed-limits-by-state-1361600

                5. Doggydogworld says:

                  Speed limits near me are 70, 75 and 80. One is 85, but that’s a special case. Truck speed limits are sometimes lower, but they tend to run with traffic.

            2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              ModernMarvelFan said:

              “Most trucks are limited at 55mph.”

              That may be true for most areas of the USA, but certainly not everywhere.

              But I question that there is anywhere in the USA where a semi tractor can legally drive 80 MPH on a public highway while pulling a trailer. Then again, it’s commonplace for independent truckers to use radar detectors and CB radios to exceed speed limits without getting caught.

              1. hans says:

                80 miles San Antonio on the way to El Paso, the legal speed limit is 80 mph – all vehicles. Most drivers exceed that by 10 mph.

              2. Ken says:

                According to this chart

                http://onlinetowingguide.com/pdfs/StateTowingLaws.pdf

                65mph is the max for pulling a trailer in most states. For my state its only 55mph, although nobody agrees with me about it. And everybody drives 75 mph in a 55mph zone. Everybody except me in my Leaf happily wizzing along at an indicated 57mph in the slow lane.

                1. Nix says:

                  Ken, I’m not sure what your source is referring to. Based on the website, it seems to be for light duty pickup and trailer, not commercial heavy truck and trailer. Or for non-interstate roads.

                  Here are the speed limits for Commercial truck and trailer speeds:

                  https://www.thebalance.com/commercial-vehicle-speed-limits-by-state-1361600

                  Only 3 states have 55 mph commercial truck speed limits on interstates. 2 allow 80 mph, and the majority of states (33) allow at 70+ mph interstate commercial heavy truck/trailer speed limits.

                  1. ModernMarvelFan says:

                    California is strictly 55mph across the board for semi.

                    So, I rarely see Semi go past 65mph, even on I-5 where everyone else fly around 80-90mph…

      2. Paul Smith says:

        Or a battery segmented into 4 parts, with 4 1,250Kw chargers.

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Brandon asked:

      “Wow. So to go 400 miles, what size kWh battery would be needed?
      600-800 kWh?

      “How many by kWhs needed per mile?
      0.5 kWh?”

      According to my “napkin math” analysis, a loaded BEV semi tractor running at freeway speed needs 2.4 kWh per mile.

      400 miles would require (estimated) 960 kWh.

      Full analysis below, for those who have not already read it:

      * * * * *

      BALLPARK FEASIBILITY CASE FOR BEV SEMI TRUCK

      FACTS & FIGURES

      A modern diesel semi pulling a load gets 6.5 MPG; therefore uses 0.1538 gallons of diesel per mile

      1 gallon of diesel contains 40.7 kWh of energy

      diesel semi typical engine weight 2880 lb

      Tesla Roadster upgrade battery pack: 70 kWh in ~10 cubic feet

      standard sized semi trailer dimensions: 110″ high x 96″ wide, or 9.167′ x 8′

      DOT weight limit for a six-axle semi tractor-trailer: 80,000 lbs

      Typical price of a relatively high-end new semi tractor: $150,000

      Typical trucker may drive as much as 600-700 miles in a day, and can legally drive up to 11 hours per day.

      * * * * *

      PREMISES & ASSUMPTIONS

      What we need is a BEV battery pack for our semi tractor which will allow it to pull a load for ~750 miles. This should allow the trucker to complete a daily run on one charge. We assume at the end of the run either the battery pack is swapped out for one that’s charged up, or the pack is charged during the hours the trucker is sleeping. Either way, we avoid the need for fast charging and very high current.

      Our hypothetical BEV semi will have an energy efficiency 2.6 times that of a diesel semi. (An EV car is about 3.5 x as energy efficient as an average gasmobile, but diesel engines are about 30-35% more efficient than gas engines.)

      Therefore, our BEV semi pulling a load needs (0.1538 x 40.7 / 2.6 =) 2.4 kWh of energy to run 1 mile.

      Estimated weight of a 2016 Tesla battery pack using 18650 cells: 11.5 lbs / kWh

      Estimated price for a Tesla battery pack (not just the cells): $180 / kWh

      * * * * *

      We need to look at three limiting factors for the BEV semi tractor’s large battery pack: Space, weight, and cost.

      SPACE ANALYSIS

      The space behind a long-haul trucker’s cab, the space now devoted to storage and sleeping space, is about 4.1 feet long, at least on the diagram I looked at; I’m assuming the height and width are the same as a typical semi trailer. (At least, the dimensions should be close enough for this ballpark estimate.)

      Let’s use that space for the battery pack. I don’t see losing this space as a problem. Since we no longer need a long nose for the diesel engine, which isn’t there, we can shove the cabin forward, and leave room for the battery pack behind. The tractor now looks more like a “cab-over” tractor with an extended space behind the cabin, rather than a long-nose tractor.

      So I estimate that space at 4.145 x 9.167′ x 8′ = 303.977 cu.ft.

      An upgraded Tesla Roadster’s battery pack has 70 kWh and measures ~10 cubic feet.

      Assuming a similar configuration, that gives us (303.977 / 10 * 70 =) 2127.8 kWh.

      At 2.4 kWh per mile, that’s 886.6 miles.

      This is comfortably beyond our needs of ~750 miles.

      Space isn’t an issue.

      * * * * *

      WEIGHT ANALYSIS

      Weight *is* an issue, altho perhaps not a deal-killer.

      At 2.4 kWh per mile, enabling a range of 750 miles requires our BEV semi tractor to carry a (750 x 2.4 =) 1800 kWh battery pack. At an estimated 11.5 pounds per kWh, that’s 20,700 lbs. We save just a bit by losing the diesel drivetrain; maybe 3000 lbs or so, which brings us down to an estimated 17,700 lbs. That’s 22.1% of our maximum weight limit of 80,000 lbs. And note that various State laws may reduce the maximum weight even further, depending on what States our long-range truck travels through.

      Now, that’s not to say this makes the idea impractical. It may well be worth sacrificing some shipping capacity as a tradeoff for lower cost per mile of moving the freight. But it does limit the market for our BEV semi a bit, or perhaps more than a bit, depending on what the customer’s needs are.

      * * * * *

      COST ANALYSIS

      Cost for the battery pack is the real issue here. And that cost is almost certainly why, for example, UPS, FedEx, Wal*Mart, and other companies with large trucking fleets have not already started switching to heavy BEV trucks.

      That 1800 kWh battery pack, at $180 / kWh at the pack level, will cost an estimated $324,000. And that’s Tesla’s estimated cost, not price, so you can likely add another 15-25% to that. Note a reasonably high-end diesel semi tractor costs $150,000, so adding that battery pack is more than tripling the cost. With a 20% markup, it’s $388,000, which is 259% of the diesel semi tractor’s $150,000 price. Sure, Tesla will save some money by using an EV powertrain instead of the much more complex, and more expensive, diesel powertrain. But as a percentage of the price of that battery pack, I doubt losing the diesel engine, exhaust, etc. etc. will make much of an impact on price.

      There is also the matter of battery life. A Tesla battery pack may be expected to last the life of the car, but the typical car is only driven about 5-10% of the hours in a day. Contrariwise, a long range truck is expected to be on the road as much as possible. A truck just sitting around still has to be insured, and the owner still has to pay all those fees for a heavy commercial vehicle. A truck just sitting around is losing money for its owner.

      So we need to ask: Just how many times will that very expensive battery pack have to be replaced, over the lifetime of the truck? A semi truck is expected to last an average of 20 years, significantly longer than the average life of a passenger car. Will the truck save enough on fuel costs to justify the amortized cost of buying replacement packs?

      That’s a subject beyond the scope of this analysis.

      1. Doggydogworld says:

        Good analysis. The Supertruck prototypes get 12-13 mpg at 50% brake thermal efficiency. That’s ~1.6 kWh/mile. They have some illegal mods, e.g. no mirrors, and they slap a lot of aero stuff on the trailer which limits operational flexibility. Still, an aero EV-Semi could probably achieve 1.8 kWh/mile. 1500 kWh would be 800 miles.

        People talk about pack swap, but that means truck cost is more like $380k + $300k spare pack = $680k. No way that works.

        1. V8cobrakid says:

          Thinking of battery swap….

          Musk mentioned a while back his concept of a battery swap station. It would hold many packs. There would be multi axis robots (same used in production) that would pull the pack out and swap it. This way the batteries can be charged at their most efficient rate and serviced without taking a vehicle down.

          If a truck driver is required to stop every so often, it creates the possibility of utilizing a smaller range with more battery swaps. It was estimated to take 15-20 mins from swap a pack. even without a pack swap, 30 mins can add a decent charge if the infrastructure were set up right (to support another 3hr journey)

          Count in the variable scenarios and the price drops. The consumer cost shouldn’t be too much higher than simply charging.

          Then there is the possibility of stacking the current battery design for the semi. They would be split apart at the station. This way other tesla cars can use the same station.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Doggydogworld said:

          “The Supertruck prototypes get 12-13 mpg at 50% brake thermal efficiency. That’s ~1.6 kWh/mile.”

          Thank you for your kind words. 🙂

          I have no doubt that a Tesla-designed BEV semi tractor would be well designed to reduce drag; but how much can that realistically be reduced?

          I’m certainly not an expert on this subject. Could a trucking company legally hook a “boat tail” onto the trailer? If so, that could reduce drag significantly.

          For my “napkin math” analysis I assumed an energy requirement of 2.4 kWh per mile. Admittedly Tesla will likely do better, with an efficiently streamlined semi tractor. If we assume a 20% improvement, that would be 1.92 kWh/mile.

          I seriously question that any practical, street-legal tractor-trailer rig using standard trailers could do significantly better than 1.9 kWh per mile, when fully loaded and driving at freeway speed, unless they can add a “boat tail” to the trailer, which might improve efficiency by another 15% or possibly even 20%.

          1. Mikael says:

            Your math is pretty realistic. To compare you could look at the BYD Class 8 120 000 pund truck.
            It does ~100 miles on a 188 kWh battery.

            So I would assume Tesla would like to be somewhere in the 600-800 kWh region and with great aerodynamics to get 300-400 miles out of it.

    4. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      Nikola claims that their truck should be able to go 100-200 miles on 320 kWh battery. Assuming 100 miles is for fully loaded, you may need some 1280 kWh for 400 miles.
      Around 6 tonnes of batteries at $200k-$300k cost. Doesn’t make much sense except for light weight short distance deliveries. Like for potato chips distribution maybe 😉 Or for some sci-fi themed stock pump & dump scheme 😉

      1. Brandon says:

        Thanks for all the info guys, especially Pushmi Pullyu.
        It seems like right around 0.5 mile per kWh, or 2 kWh per mile would be needed for an electric semi truck.
        So a 400 mile range truck for regional use would require around 800 kWh of batteries.
        In a few years with declining battery prices, and with energy density increased, IMO it makes the most sense to talk about a semi truck in 6-8 years from now. Wh/kg will be around 300 per kg versus ~200 now, Wh/L will be close to 500 versus ~300 now, and $ per kWh will be around $100-$120 versus $160-$180 now.

  4. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

    If the truck can get 320miles on dual motors with a 140KWh pack with SC, that’s all I need!

    How much you wanna bet there will be a Tonneau Cover with 600W solar cell array option for it……lol
    😛

    1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

      Pickup truck that is…….

    2. ModernMarvelFan says:

      “320miles on dual motors with a 140KWh ”

      Empty bed with down hill at 45mph or below.. Sure.

      70mph with loaded bed or towing a trailer, forget about it.

      1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

        lol………point taken!
        😛

      2. Rick says:

        You must ride a horse. People with you abilities need to be culled from the population and never allowed to reproduce.

  5. Terawatt says:

    That’s great news. But I reckon it will be a while between unveil and production. After all the Y is the obvious next car to launch after the 3, and if their projections for volume aren’t totally of they’ll need at least one more factory to make S3XY plus a semi and a pickup truck…

    1. Nix says:

      If the truck beat the Y to market, it would be S3XT….

      Maybe they are trying to market to millennials?

      j/k’s!

  6. filip bjurling says:

    That semi truck will probably have around 1Mwh of battery and charge at 1MW, maybe slightly below! The drivers have to stop according to law every three hours or so and with a truck like that they would never have to wait for charge longer than the break they have to take! Exciting times we live in, exciting times for sure!

    1. GSP says:

      What drivers?

      GSP

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      filip bjurling said:

      “The drivers have to stop according to law every three hours or so…”

      Hmmm, what law is that? Certainly isn’t in effect around here!

      The U.S. DOT (Dept. of Transportation) “Requires truck drivers to take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift.”

      https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/new-hours-service-safety-regulations-reduce-truck-driver-fatigue-begin-today

  7. Yada says:

    Ford GM and Rams worst nightmare is a high volume Tesla pickup…
    Pickups is where they make their most money and Tesla would most likely take their highest paying customers away eroding their profits and aditional profit erosion could come from a price war between the three legacys for the remaining ICE pickups customers since they would then have excess capacity…

  8. ModernMarvelFan says:

    The regional/local semi might work.

    But I have my doubts on the pickup truck buyers.

    They aren’t always rational. Most Truck drivers want the tow/haul capability which significantly reduces range. If a Model X towing a “tiny” trailer would end up around 1.1 to 1.5 miles/kWh, then the pickup truck would easily need 150kWh to 200kWh just to go between SC stations.

    That would be one expensive truck. Combined with limited range/towing capability, it would only appeal to a niche segment buyer of the pickup buyer segment…

    Then again, Tesla got its own angles..

  9. EVA-01 says:

    My prediction is that the future pickup truck will be an SUT (Sport Utility Truck). The Honda Ridgeline falls into that category. A traditional pickup truck is body-on-frame construction while an SUT is unibody construction. Just like the Honda Ridgeline, it won’t be built for any SERIOUS work but to give consumers an all electric pickup truck. Think of light duty use such as carrying tools and/or equipment in the bed.

    1. Adam says:

      That’s fine, most people don’t use them for serious work anyway!

      1. Doggydogworld says:

        But they think they will…..

    2. mm says:

      A lot of people think if you have an open bed for smelly stuff like a lawnmower or brush to the dump you also need to haul a ton of gravel at 80mph 700 miles.
      Not me, if we had a tiny truck we would only need one car, Subaru Brat was sort of it, but even then, we don’t need four seats. I guess that’s a very small marketing niche, but I’m here to say it does exist.

  10. F150 Brian says:

    The Semi probably won’t have a huge battery. More likely that there will be a truck lane with overhead wires to power the truck (this is already being tested) and the battery is just to get the load around and in/out of town or to small towns off the main highway.

    As for the pickup, I welcome it, as long as it is a competitor to light duty full size trucks, not a competitor of the Ridgeline (from which the chop was made).

    Stealing market share from GM/Ford/Ram will not be easy. Their addressable market is made of many sub-markets. Only one of those (the weekend warrior) will be interested initially. The working crowd will take a long time to convince and there is a huge number of current customers that love the sound of their v8.

    1. William says:

      “The working crowd”, guys with trucks doing solar installations, or people with Trucks with Solar on their roofs that want to “dump the pump” for a variety of reasons.

      Or, just the Truck driver that wants to be able to power up at the job site, without the need or hassle of having to plug into the grid. Many in the working crowd want to get most of our troops back stateside from the M.E.
      Some just Love Trucks with Torque.
      Or ECO Nuts, like myself, who deplore what burning fossil fuels has been doing to the ocean.

    2. EVA-01 says:

      My bet is a direct competitor Honda Ridgeline. I don’t foresee Tesla spending a $1 billion+ for a whole new platform for the pickup truck unless the pickup truck and semi truck share a platform.

      What I’m guessing Tesla will do is use the Crossover platform of the current Model X and turn it into the future pickup truck. That would make it unibody construction and be considered an SUT (Sport Utility Truck). That is exactly what the Honda Ridgeline is since it shares the same platform as the Honda Pilot and Acura MDX.

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      F150 Brian said:

      “The Semi probably won’t have a huge battery. More likely that there will be a truck lane with overhead wires to power the truck (this is already being tested)…”

      I think the future of electric vehicles is moving forward into the 21st century, not back to the early 20th century! I don’t see highways in the USA being equipped with overhead power pickup lines. I also don’t see Tesla or any other company making pantograph-equipped semi BEV trucks which would be limited to running only on such roads.

      1. Tom says:

        You forgot to add such roads that don’t actually exist. Stupid idea.

      2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        Siemens is doing exactly this, trolley trucks and they move just fine at speed. They have 2 km test line in Sweden and I think they have some California pilot project too.

        Looks ugly, but all electric as you wanted :/

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          I wasn’t at all suggesting it’s not possible in the engineering sense. I’m just saying it’s wholly impractical, and not possible in the economic sense. You know, like those “fool cell” cars you keep trying to tell us are the future of automobiles. 😀

          1. Doggydogworld says:

            Overhead is ugly. Honda’s system put the wires in a standard guard rail. Pretty elegant and dirt cheap.

            An EV semi with 100 miles of local range and dynamic charging for long-haul would almost eliminate diesels by 2025. They’d be cheaper upfront, cheaper to operate, lighter (= more payload) and massively cleaner.

            It’d cost less than $10b to deploy dynamic charging on interstates and high-traffic state highways. Of course, cars and pickups could use the wires also. It’s far and away the best ROI of any infrastructure project we can do today.

            1. mm says:

              Driving over the pass in our Leaf is an education, it looks like you won’t make it and then going down the other side the car recharges, I think the number is 40% With a battery semi, that last steep grade uphill would be perfect for overhead or induction power, the system wouldn’t have to be everywhere.

            2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              “It’d cost less than $10b to deploy dynamic charging on interstates and high-traffic state highways.”

              I’d like to see a breakdown of that figure. I rather suspect it’s using highly unrealistic assumptions.

              Wikipedia says the U.S. Interstate highway system had a total length of 47,856 miles in 2013. At $10 billion, that would be $208,960 per mile… and that doesn’t include any State highways at all.

              Do you really think the highways can be electrified at a cost of only $0.2 million per mile? Keep in mind, that has to include not only the cost of installing the chargers and all the wiring in the highway; it also has to include the cost of the power plants to power the things.

              Seems to me the cost of construction alone would far exceed that amount, never mind the cost of equipment, plus building and staffing new power plants.

  11. unlucky says:

    This is a natural for Tesla to haul packs from Reno to Fremont, since they are already moving the packs anyway they could run the truck from them.

    It’s probably less great for moving anything else. The weight will be prohibitive.

    I expect we’ll see them out on the road moving parts for Tesla but little (or nothing else). If it really gets such limited deployment I’m not sure it was a good use of Tesla’s valuable time right now.

  12. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    The semi tractor will most likely just be a concept vehicle. There’s no way that even Tesla is going to be able to sell a long-range (or even medium-range) BEV semi tractor at a competitive price.

    Now, there is one established market: Freight yard “mule” BEV tractors. Those are limited to low speeds and short ranges. Tesla might possibly sell to that market, but frankly I doubt it because several companies are already competing for the niche.

    More interesting to me is the “high passenger-density urban transport”, which according to Elon’s previous statements means a small city bus. That could well become a vehicle which Tesla will actually sell.

  13. Serial anti tesla troll thomas says:

    The time will come when Tesla anounces EAPs (electric airplanes) and EH (electric helicopters).

    1. JIMJFOX says:

      Done. Already flying.

      Then THIS- Elon being silly

      1. JIMJFOX says:

        Also–
        https://youtu.be/Xe1g1JrRRkY

        Very good points about electric flight advantages

  14. Someone out there says:

    I think this truck will have just enough range to go from Sparks, Nevada to Fremont, California. Yes this is what I think this project is all about: Elon is going for a holistic approach of making environmentally friendly cars and wants to replace all fossil burning throughout the whole production process. That’s also partly the reason for the Gigafactory, to only use renewable energy for the battery cell/pack production. It’s a great idea to not only go for zero tailpipe emissions but also zero production emissions as well. The marketing value of that should be massive!
    I expect Elon to start looking into silicon/steel/aluminium making without CO2 emissions as well in the near future.

  15. Miloudi says:

    why tesla can not make a prototype of an EV with battery changing like toys . to reduce time of charge .with a stock of a battery charged. it can make a huge impact

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Tesla doesn’t need to build a prototype for battery swapping. They’ve already demonstrated that standard Model S’s can be modified to allow swapping.

      But it’s too expensive to build battery swap stations, and the demand is far too little to support building a large network.

      http://fortune.com/2015/06/10/teslas-battery-swap-is-dead/

      1. Miloudi says:

        it will make a big différence . with making up the sale twice . because a lot of people are afraid from time of charge

  16. leafowner says:

    18-24 months for the unveil plus another 18-24 for production = 2021 to see a Tesla Pickup on the road. Not horrible, but not all that close either.

    Ford & GM better get busy or their gravy train will run dry….

    1. Some Guy says:

      Here is what’s gonna happen:
      2021 Tesla Pick-up enters market in huge numbers
      2023 competitors realize that it is selling like crazy
      2025 competitors realize that this new Tesla truck is still giving them heat and they announce that they will have something in just 3 years, but why don’t buy an ICE in the meanwhile with just 2 gallons per mile?
      2028 Competitors release ICE conversion EV-trucks which can (almost) match Tesla’s 2021 spec (if the competitors are still around, that is)

      1. serial anti Tesla troll Thomas says:

        At least Mercedes Benz doesn’t sleep. Tests have already started. The market launch of this technology is conceivable for Daimler Trucks at the beginning of the next decade.

        https://www.daimler.com/products/trucks/mercedes-benz/urban-etruck.html

  17. serial anti Tesla troll Thomas says:

    Some interesting News translated from Germany’s most popular newspaper BILD:

    The American electrician Tesla is threatened with a strike at Tesla Grohmann Automation in Pruem, which was taken over at the beginning of the year.
    The union had demanded the opening of collective bargaining for the company with 680 employees. “We received an unsatisfactory response from the company,” said Patrick Georg of IG Metall Trier (p.s.: IG Metall is the most powerful German industrial union). Tesla plays on time. “We’re going to check next week whether strikes are possible,” Georg said. The machines manufactured in Germany are important for the production of the Model 3, which is scheduled to start in the summer. IG Metall calls for the adoption of the collective agreement for the metal industry as well as workplace guarantees. At the current level, the wage level at Tesla Grohmann Automation is about 25 to 30 per cent below the tariff level, said Uwe Herzig, chairman of the works council. An offer from Tesla to increase the wage of all employees by 150 euros monthly is not enough.

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