In a recent tweet from Elon Musk, the Tesla CEO promised fans that the company's long-awaited semi truck would be revealed next month.
This pushes back the initial release of the truck by about a month. The company announced Tesla Semi plans last year; in April 2017, Musk said he wanted the trucks on the road by September.
Tesla Semi truck unveil & test ride tentatively scheduled for Oct 26th in Hawthorne. Worth seeing this beast in person. It's unreal.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 13, 2017
Musk has promised a number of benefits to Tesla Semi, but nothing specific has been mentioned about the truck's hauling capability. Also, it's safe to assume that the Tesla Semi will be the costliest vehicle produced by the company to date. Reuters reported that the Semi would run between 200 and 300 miles as a range. The ever-cryptic Musk hasn't said anything about what the battery pack could look like or given an estimate for charging time.
There haven't been any confirmations or denials as to whether or not Tesla Semi will include the autonomous driving technology. However, given the success of other competing autonomous semis, we wouldn't be surprised if Musk made this vehicle self-driving as well.
In June, Musk teased at the Semi release event during his shareholders' meeting. He informed shareholders that Tesla was already in talks with potential clients throughout the design process. Thus, the Semi could cater to the needs of companies and could even be tailor-made for specific companies once it debuts.
He also said there was a largely positive response to the Semi, saying the main question was "How many can we buy and how soon?" And now, that question has an answer: October 26.
The Need for More Efficient Semi Trucks
Tesla isn't the only company jumping into the autonomous and/or eco-friendly trucking game. Both Uber Technologies and Google's parent company Alphabet are looking into the transportation. The biggest headline-making autonomous semi project came from Otto, the self-driving trucking company bought by Uber last year. However, that project is currently tied up in court with Alphabet and Waymo -- the self-driving car division and sister company of Google.
Silicon Valley executives are looking for trucking to be the next wave of high-tech vehicles and with good reason.
In the United States alone, there are 1.7 million truck drivers. The work is grueling, tiring, and often extremely dangerous. Several years ago, reports surfaced calling truck driving "the most deadly occupation." More truck drivers were fatally injured on the job than in any other occupation. That's despite the fact that truck driving has seen some of the biggest technological improvements within the last decade. Those factors combined with low wages give truck driving one of the highest turnover rate jobs in the world.
Trucking is also terrible for the environment, which makes it a prime occupation to be tweaked. Medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks make up nearly 25 percent of all United States transportation's greenhouse gas emissions.