The Future of Trucking
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla is making moves against big trucking manufactures like Peterbilt and Freightliner
I have been working with commercial truckers going on 10 years now. I absolutely love my clientele. Truckers are hard workers, straight shooters, and usually very proud of what they do.One of the things I think truckers to very well is “adjust.” Trucking has evolved over the past few decades. Driver logs are for the most part digital now. Most trucks are equipped with GPS so drivers can keep up with their fuel mileage more effectively. There have been numerous advances in technology that have helped improve the trucks themselves as well as the comfort of the people that drive them. The trucking community has adjusted very well to most of these changes. There is one thing though that has remained mostly unchanged for the past 5 or 6 decades…The importance of fuel costs. The cost of diesel fuel can by itself cause a surge in the trucking industry or a recession. Truckers have had to weather the political storms for years when it comes to fuel prices. That could all be changing very soon.
There is a new figure stepping into the trucking arena in the coming years.
That new figure is Elon Musk. That is right. Move over Peterbilt and Freightliner because TESLA TRUCKS are coming. Elon Musk himself has expressed interest in taking what he has accomplished with the family car and applying it to trucks. At first this seems very odd. I myself thought that in order for a tractor trailer to be electric it would need a battery the size of the load itself. That is simply not true.
According to some reports Mr. Musk thinks that the factories he owns that currently pump out the Tesla Model 3 family cars could be retrofitted to produce trucks with a rather modest investment. One of the ideas mentioned by Tesla that I find very interesting is the idea of “Swapping Stations.” Swapping stations will be locations along our interstate system where commercial Tesla trucks will be able to stop and swap out a depleted battery for one that is fully charged.
This could eliminate the problem of one battery not having enough juice to propel a truck across the country. Tesla even believes that it could possibly set up a market where customers would be able to buy a Tesla truck WITHOUT a battery. This means that the consumer would be able to purchase a Tesla Truck without having to pay for one of the most expensive components. Tesla has researched the idea and they think that if they invest in enough swapping stations they may be able to charge the owners of the Tesla Trucks a per mile fee. This per mile fee would allow them to pick up and swap out a tesla battery at any swapping station. This fee could be as low as $0.25/mile compared to an estimated $0.50/mile with the current system.
I am not telling you to go out and buy a Tesla tomorrow (For one thing…you can’t….they haven’t made them yet). Tesla still has a good ways to go to prove to the consumers that they can build a reliable product that can perform as well as they predict it can. I simply think it is an extremely interesting idea.