Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) next month plans to unveil an electric big-rig truck with a working range of 200 to 300 miles, Reuters has learned, a sign that the electric car maker is targeting regional hauling for its entry into the commercial freight market.
Chief Executive Elon Musk has promised to release a prototype of its Tesla Semi truck next month in a bid to expand the company’s market beyond luxury cars. The entrepreneur has tantalized the trucking industry with the prospect of a battery-powered heavy-duty vehicle that can compete with conventional diesels, which can travel up to 1,000 miles on a single tank of fuel.
Tesla’s electric prototype will be capable of traveling the low end of what transportation veterans consider to be “long-haul” trucking, according to Scott Perry, an executive at Miami-based fleet operator Ryder System Inc (R.N). Perry said he met with Tesla officials earlier this year to discuss the technology at the automaker’s manufacturing facility in Fremont, California.
Perry said Tesla’s efforts are centered on an electric big-rig known as a “day cab” with no sleeper berth, capable of traveling about 200 to 300 miles with a typical payload before recharging.