We already know that Tesla is working on electric big rigs for long haul trucking. With Tesla’s average EV good for somewhere north of 200 miles depending on conditions and driving style, you might expect the EV big rig to drive much further than that, after all it’s a much larger beast and can presumably have much larger batteries.
The catch is that the big rig is much heavier as well and will be hauling a huge load to boot. Reuters reports that Tesla is aiming for an electric big rig that can go between 200 and 300 miles per charge. That would give the vehicle a regional hauling capability, but won’t come close to touching the diesel big rigs plying the roads hauling cargo all over the country.
A quick Google session finds that the average big rig has a capacity of about 300 gallons of diesel fuel and with all other facts and limitations considered can drive for over 1,000 miles per tank of fuel. That is VASTLY further than the Tesla electric truck is capable of. The 200-300 mile range of the Tesla truck is at the low end of what is considered long-haul trucking according to Scott Perry of Ryder System Inc., the firm’s chief technology and procurement officer.
Perry has met with Tesla execs and says that the electric big rig the company is testing is a day cab, which means it has no sleeper berth on the back. That seemingly indicates that the truck is meant for out and back day trip deliveries. Tesla’s trucks might be ideal for the daily delivery routes most of us see in our cities all the time, think fuel delivery trucks, soft drink delivery vehicles, and so on. Perry is the source of the 200-300 miles per charge statement.
He said, “I’m not going to count them out for having a strategy for longer distances or ranges, but right out of the gate I think that’s where they’ll start.”
Tesla has made no official statements about how far its electric big rig will travel per charge. It currently has its hands full with manufacturing for the Model 3 EV, it’s unclear how exactly manufacturing for a big rig will fit into Tesla’s current production capability. Tesla plans to test its electric trucks in Nevada.