Elon Musk Unveils Competition for Electric Semi Trucks

Automated electric vehicles are coming to the world of trucking in 2019. During a livecast reveal [1] on Thursday, Elon Musk announced Tesla’s response to battery powered trucking– a fully electric vehicle that can go up to 500 miles on a single charge. Among other futuristic features, the unveiled truck has Tesla’s second generation semi-autonomous tech, which aids driving by providing lane keeping and departure warnings, and automatic braking.

Reaching maximum speeds of 250 miles per hour, the truck can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in less than a third of the time as a diesel truck. On top of this super tech, battery operated means zero emissions, and zero fuel costs. The NY Times[2] reported that Tesla is estimating an operating cost of $1.26 per mile, compared to the current $1.51 per mile with diesel.

But another focus of this new-age tech isn’t for show- it’s for safety. According to Musk, “Every truck we sell has Autopilot as standard. This is a massive increase in safety.” The hope is to alleviate the statistic that nearly 4,000 Americans die in truck accidents every year by incorporating the tech needed to prevent human error.

But the question remains, how will electric trucks contribute to the landscape of autonomous vehicles?

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_8ToNr6p6o

[2] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/16/business/tesla-electric-truck.html

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