Electric Cars

Tesla's big rig, arriving September, has 200 to 300 miles range

Tesla's commercial freight truck debut with an electric drive system just fits the definition of long haul, Reuters reports.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been saying for some time that the electric car company will show off what he refers to as the "Tesla Semi truck" this September. The company even released a rendering of what it would look like.

Now, a report by Reuters says that the truck's electric drive system will give it a range of 200 to 300 miles. That range makes it suitable for regional freight delivery, short of the long-haul trucks that travel the interstates.

Tesla will also test its autonomous driving technology for the freight truck.

The trucking industry represents a new opportunity for electric vehicles. With lower maintenance and fueling costs, electric trucks offer substantial benefits to fleet operators. Initial costs may prove prohibitive, but mass production of an electric truck holds the potential to rein that investment in.

Meanwhile, new electric vehicle startup Chanje is betting that its electric vehicles will prove attractive for daily freight delivery in an urban setting, with limited competition in the niche. Tesla would be facing more entrenched competition from the likes of Kenworth and Daimler-owned Freightliner. As Tesla has disrupted the passenger car market to some degree, it may do the same for a segment of commercial freight delivery.