Tesla rumours suggest battery powered truck a leap forward

Media reports suggest that the new Tesla fully electric semi truck that will be launched in September will have a range of between 200-300 miles per charge. This is far above potential ranges of the big players just entering the market – Charj and Daimler Benz both report ranges of around 120 miles.

In an “exclusive” report, Reuters said that “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.”

This would put the Tesla vehicle at the low-end of the “long-haul trucking” sector by comparison to fossil fuel vehicles but far and away better with rival electric lorry builders.

However, this is all conjecture, for now at least. Reuters asked Tesla for an official comment, and received an email saying: “Tesla’s policy is to always decline to comment on speculation, whether true or untrue, as doing so would be silly.”

The main issue with long haul battery powered trucks is range owing to the greater energy density of fossil fuelled engines. A diesel with a full tank of fuel is lighter than a bank of batteries. Consequently a lighter truck fuelled by diesel can go far farther and spend less time refuelling than a battery powered one. Tesla’s move could significantly improve inroads into this problem, although we will report should the added range be at the expense of payload weight – there’s no sense in a 40T truck carrying 29T of batteries and 11T of goods…
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