US Ports Interested In Tesla Semi + Rumor Of Truck Assembly At Gigafactory

NOV 24 2017 BY MARK KANE 24

The Tesla Semi raised a tremendous amount of interest in the industry, at least according to a recent Daily Breeze article.

That interest is apparently coming in from the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Tesla Semi

Both ports intends to switch to zero-emission trucks by 2035, and have already meet with Tesla to check out the new all-electric Semi.

Chris Cannon, director of environmental management for the Port of Los Angeles said:

“Tesla has been recognized as a leader in the development of battery technology and battery-manufacturing processes. We’re anxious to see when they’re actually able to deliver a truck.”

Additionally, the Harbor Trucking Association visited Tesla to learn about the Semi’s operation. It seems that many fleet operators are carefully tracking the Semi project, and that high volume-orders might just come in – provided that Tesla proves the Semi is capable of the task at hand.

The sleak and futuristic Tesla Semi is scheduled for production in late 2019 (provided no delays), but we don’t know yet where the vehicles will be produced.

NFI Industries, who reserved 10 Semis as a small addition to its 2,500-strong truck fleet, expects that the production will take place at the Gigafactory.

Ike Brown, president of NFI Industries, said:

“Supposedly, they’re going to build a truck plant at the Gigafactory. I think the fact that they advertise the power train has a 1-million-mile warranty is huge. We operate our trucks over 100,000 miles a year and that would mean the whole power train is warrantied for almost 10 years.”

Some, like Genevieve Giuliano, director of USC’s METRANS Transportation Center, note that competition is already tight in the electric semi biz:

“Tesla is entering a crowded field, as many major truck and truck engine manufacturers are developing electric trucks. We haven’t seen any demos, and there are no prototypes in service (in contrast to the other manufacturers). We have no information on the size of the batteries or the weight of the truck. Thus, at this point, we simply have a claim from Tesla.”

Source: Daily Breeze

Categories: Tesla, Trucks

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24 Comments on "US Ports Interested In Tesla Semi + Rumor Of Truck Assembly At Gigafactory"

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How come these jerks at Wall St. didn’t see that coming?

Because they did not hear it coming

A yard mule is actually the perfect fit for the Tesla semi, despite it’s other capabilities, in that particular application it is by far and away the best solution.
Long Hauls OTA, not so much.

OTR I mean.

“A yard mule is actually the perfect fit for the Tesla semi, despite it’s other capabilities…”

Hmmm, you may be right, which I find surprising. I assumed that the BEV terminal trucks already in use from other truck makers, such as Orange EV’s “pure electric terminal trucks”, were less expensive. But Mr. Google finds a citation saying “Nolan Logistics has purchased eight trucks for about $1.84 million from privately-held Orange EV this year”. That comes to $230,000 for a terminal truck with far less range, and not even built for highway speed.

Go Tesla!
Orange EV’s “pure electric” terminal truck

This is a great article that gives perspective. The truckers were enthusiastic about cleaning the air with new LNG trucks a decade ago but ran into all kinds of problems with reliability and lack of power to climb the grades that take you out of ports like those in California. The second generation LNG vehicles going into service fix most of that. But it’s obvious they will appreciate the torque of an electric truck which will reduce their stop and go traffic time as well as reduce time spent climbing grades. And of course the energy capture on the way down.

Which is exactly what I ‘ve been saying for months.

Port operations do not use “yard mules” (sometimes called hostelers) as a typical drive is from the port of LA/Long Beach to the rail station about 40 miles up the interstate. Yard mules are not typically highway vehicles, but low speed warehouse yard trucks if I understand it.

80% are under 250mi according to Elon which would make sense so there’s only 20% that are actually Long Haul routes.

But those drivers and companies that are currently Primarily Long Haul, or OTR, will, naturally, say that this Semi can’t ‘Cut it’, ‘Won’t Work’, or is ‘No Good’, as if they were the ONLY Semi’s that should be counted!

They, themselves, Poo Poo Short Haul, not realising that so many such trucks are what is in cities on the street, not just passing through on the Freeway, and slow accelerating and exhaust spewing Diesels are an important target here, too!

When Tesla has completed a Production Line for this Semi, and delivered the first ‘Founders Series’ Semi’s, will be soon enough to announce their Sleeper Cab, if needed, just to have that point covered!

However, I think Tesla thinks that by that time, they expect to have operational Full Self Driving Semi’s, so won’t be needing a Bunk for 2nd Driver, possibly just Do a Pony Express Driver Switch!?

I don’t think many people are going to care how many trucking fleets “poo poo” the Tesla Semi Truck. What they are going to care about is how many trucking fleets do buy them, and how well they actually perform in service; perform in the economic sense as well as the practical, freight-moving sense.

We can be sure the entire semi tractor-trailer trucking industry will be watching very closely to see how well these Tesla Semi Trucks perform!

Go Tesla!

Elon got that info from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and it is correct.

Super! Next Number in question, for the ‘Little’ Semi, with just 300 Miles Range: “How Many Day Trips are Under 300 x 0.5 (150) Miles”, so THAT Semi can do also, out & Back, on one Home Base Charge, like Elon mentions for the 500 Mile Range Truck, when doing trips of 250 Miles out?

Could U-Haul be a player if Tesla made Big Cube Vans?

I would think that if even just 60% of Trips are Short Haul under 250 Miles, and Tesla could capture 20% of that Market, in actual competition with MB and other Truck Makers going Electric, they will be doing very well! If they got 50% of that, they would be ‘Killing it!’

Plus, while this current Tesla Cab, is a big ‘Day Cab’, stretching it into a Sleeper does not seem as hard as installing a few Hundred New Megachargers for Long Haul Routes!

Plus, such quantities of installations of Megachargers will take time, and only after sufficient numbers of them ARE installed, and proving Elon’s claims, will Long Haul become more receptive of an EV Truck for 3000+ Mile Runs!

The Big Question then is: Will Tesla Show a ‘Tesla Pickup Reveal’ before, or after a “Tesla Long Haul Semi Truck Reveal?” (And, would a Long Haul Tesla Semi have the same 500 Mile Max Range, or More?? {Maybe 700 Miles?})

In between all that, what about a Long Box Chassis, for 24′ to 28′ Cube Vans, and for 40′ Motorhomes?

He didn’t warranty anything for 1 mil miles right, he just said it would never be stranded since it has several motors. Not a drivetrain warranty

Yeah, I would be very surprised if Tesla’s standard warranty for the Semi Truck is for 1,000,000 miles. Possibly Tesla will offer that as an extended warranty, to calm potential customer’s concerns over Tesla’s less than sterling record for reliability.

If so, this would be similar to how Tesla once guaranteed the resale value of its Model S. Now, of course, they no longer need to do that, as the higher than average resale value is well established.

he didn’t warranty anything for 1 mil miles right,


“Yeah, I would be very surprised if Tesla’s standard warranty for the Semi Truck is for 1,000,000 miles. ”

It’s a power train warranty. It’s in Teslarati’s article. It’s a tesla quote.

Thanks for the correction, GeorgeS.

However, I don’t see that claim at the website you linked to. Maybe the web page has changed since you last looked at it?

I do see the “million mile drivetrain guarantee” reported other places, for example here:

I have not seen anything definitive on the Tesla site about the semi drive train warranty.

First you have to define what is included in the “drive train”, people might think that includes batteries.

“The Tesla Semi raised a tremendous amount of interest in the industry”

55 orders is not a “tremendous interest” .

That’s 55 according to some press releases. There are probably companies that do not run around to announce that they are ordering vehicles years in advance, they just do it (so they get an advantage over their competitors).

BTW: Smart move of Tesla to call the semi “Semi”. Other companys spend serious money to advertising firms to come up with a catchy brand name, that have to be thoroughly checked for potential infringement of other brands as well. By calling it simply “Semi”, and having the usual Tesla press coverage, the Tesla semi will be what comes to mind whenever someone says the word semi-truck (in a few years, once there is a decent amount on the road).

The name is a problem.
A semi has different connotations outside of the US. When Tesla mentioned, with a straight face they were going to reveal their Semi, most of Britain epupted with laughter.

Yep, just like Apple’s iPad name.

They even came out with the maxi version, just need the one with wings. 🙂

Everyone laughed, but now that “problematic” name is no longer an issue.

They can’t trademark “Semi”, though, since it’s already in common usage.