Can the Tesla Semi truck revolutionize an industry?
In November last year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk presented the company’s entry to the commercial trucking market: The Tesla Semi, nicknamed ‘The Beast’.
The electric vehicle will have a range of approximately 800 km on one battery charge. Its nickname is based on the impressive motor performance with an acceleration of zero to 100 km/h in five seconds, or in 20 seconds when loaded with 36.000 kg. The energy consumption is less than 2 Kwh per mile.
The truck is equipped with a semi-autonomous driving system that provide assistance to the driver on long trips and optimize road safety. The system will enable the driver to go further with fewer stops. A feature mentioned as a strong value proposal in an industry that is has growing challenges with recruiting drivers.
The Tesla Semi will have a cost of $180.000 and is predicted to hit the roads in the beginning of 2019. Companies as DHL, PepsiCo, Walmart and UPS have already made their first orders.
Tesla isn’t the first company to present electric vehicles to the transport industry: leading truck manufactures as Volvo, Daimler and Mercedes-Benz also have projects in the pipeline. So why is the Tesla Semi making such a big fuss? First of all, Tesla has a great track record of introducing products that changes an industry. The Tesla Model S wasn’t the first electric car to be introduced to the market, but through design and technology it transformed the general perception of electric vehicles, which pushed the development within the field significantly. Furthermore, Musk’s personality and his many other projects are subject for massive media coverage and broad popularity – factors that can drive a growing attention to the transport industry and generate changes.
There are also obstacles for the success of Tesla Semi. The network of charging stations needs to be expanded in order for the truck to be sufficient on the longer routes. The complex and distinct technic of the truck might also be a disadvantage if it has a break down, as only specialised workshops will be able to offer the needed service.
At PNO we view the Tesla project as a key player in the massive development that the industry is undergoing at the moment. Tesla and Musk can inspire and lead the way towards change and rethinking in an industry with a lot of opportunities. At PNO we want to take part of this existing journey by continually evolve within our organisation and pursuing the paths created by technologies and environmental responsibility.