Tesla Semi to be launched in late 2019, but more likely expected in 2020.

NFI Industries (a third-party logistics provider) is closely watching manufacturers of electric trucks as the Tesla Semi unveiling sparked a lot of interest from shippers - "Tesla effect".

NFI Industries vice president of fleet services James O'Leary said:

"Nobody in North America was talking about electric vehicles until your local news outlets picked up the rollout of the Tesla semi. That led basically to what we call the Tesla effect. Now shippers are asking their carriers where you are with electric vehicles."

To gain experience and validate the trucks, NFI ordered various models. Beside 10 Tesla Semis, scheduled for delivery in 2020 (technically Tesla could deliver the first units in late 2019), Daimler's Freightliner is to provide 10 eCascadia in the second quarter of 2019 for tests. Another project is with Volvo in California.

The question is whether prices and the time frame for Tesla Semi deliveries are really possible. The other concerns are range, charging and servicing the vehicles.

"They are staying relatively consistent with their timeline, even though Elon doesn't talk about it on their earnings call,"

"Despite the advances in electric semis, fleets still face unknowns. The cost of truck remains high relative to diesel. Tesla has given an indicative price of $180,000 for its semi, but O'Leary said the actual cost may be higher as has occurred with Tesla's passenger vehicles."

Key specs:

  • Acceleration 0-60 mph with 80K lbs load – 20 sec
  • Speed up a 5% Grade – 65 mph
  • Mile Range – 300 or 500 miles
  • Powertrain – 4 Independent Motors on Rear Axles
  • Energy Consumption – Less than 2 kWh / mile
  • Fuel Savings – $200,000+
  • Expected Base Price (300 mile range) – $150,000
  • Expected Base Price (500 mile range) – $180,000
  • Base Reservation – $20,000
  • Expected Founders Series Price – $200,000
  • Founders Series Reservation – $200,000 * Prices displayed in USD. International pricing will vary.
Source: FreightWaves