Startup Thor Claims It Will Drop Hammer On Tesla Semi With Its Own Electric Truck
You, dear reader, probably already knew this, but Tesla isn’t the only outfit with skin in the electric truck game.
You’ve no doubt heard of the E-FUSO efforts of Daimler and the hydrogen-based hopes of Nikola Motors, for instance. Now, there’s a new startup working to make a space for itself in the constellation of battery-powered heavy haulers: Thor Trucks.
A young company — it was started just last year by 25-year-olds Dakota Semler and Giordano Sordoni, and is located in one of the Semler family’s buildings — it has already built an impressive-looking demonstrator that it calls the ET-One. With its imposing-yet-aerodynamic bodywork, the class 8 rig is said to be capable of a 300-mile range, though there will be shorter range variations as well. The largest battery option is said to be one MWh, packed, reportedly, with cylindrical LG Chem cells.
Unlike other would-be truck manufactures, Thor isn’t about building vehicles from the ground up. At least not yet, anyway. Beneath the eye-grabbing bodywork of this behemoth lurks a chassis from Navistar sitting on Dana axles. The big single motor is sourced from Canada’s TM4.
With 18 employees, though looking to grow much further, what they currently lack in size they hope to make up in speed. Among their small number are professionals formerly with the likes of Faraday Future, Navistar, and BYD, whose abilities will be tested as they prepare to build more prototypes next year, leading up to completing the first customer order in 2019.
When it does arrive to the market, the ET-One is expected to wear a price tag of $150,000 for the 100-mile tractor, $250,000 for the 300-mile variant. That’s certainly less value for money than what Tesla is promising, but if this underdog is up to the challenge and can meet its own timeline, it could find customers ready to pay a premium for a product ready to hit the pavement a year or two ahead of the Tesla Semi. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, and all that.
And the the visual lovers among us, here are a bunch of screen grabs from the video and from Thor’s ET-One site: