Elon Musk is turning into an electric truck delivery man

With its mid-drive Semi, Tesla wants to shake up the new market for electric trucks – Credit: DR

HAVEwith Elon Musk at the wheel, Tesla delivered its first electric truck on Thursday, in an attempt to make its mark on the nascent zero-emission truck market by promising to drive long distances without having to stop at the charging station.

The head of the manufacturer arrived at the controls of the vehicle and braked a few meters from an audience of guests for the handover of the keys to the food group PepsiCo at the Tesla factory in Nevada.

With its cabin with rounded lines for aerodynamics and the driver’s seat located in the middle, the truck was presented in 2017. But the launch of its large-scale production, originally planned for 2019, has been delayed.

“It’s amazing what has happened in five years […] but here we are, it’s real,” said Elon Musk at the start of his presentation.

Other manufacturers have already invested in the niche, whether they are traditional manufacturers of heavy trucks such as Daimler, Volvo, Traton (a subsidiary of Volkswagen) and China’s BYD, or start-ups such as American Nikola. Deliveries have just started, but many orders have been placed.

Tesla’s truck was particularly anticipated because, if the group keeps its promises, “it will make a big difference,” notes Dave Mullaney, transportation specialist at sustainable development firm RMI.

Elon Musk repeated it Thursday: the loaded truck, with a total weight of almost 37 tons, can travel 500 miles […] Read more

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