China's Auto Giant Has Launched a New Electric Truck That Rivals Tesla's Semi
Farizon Auto, Geely Holding Group’s commercial vehicle brand, has unveiled its next generation electric semi-truck, the Homtruck, according to a press release.
And, with numerous automakers looking to introduce new technologies to the commercial vehicles industry, China's auto giant expects to begin production and deliveries in early 2024 and is targeting international markets such as Europe, Korea, Japan and North America.
Meet the Homtruck
Named after the original aspiration of its creators to make a semi-truck that feels like home, the Homtruck will offer different power options, including methanol hybrid and pure electric, and Farizon added that the Homtruck's batteries may be swapped out, reducing the need to charge.
When looked inside, the truck is designed to "meet the living and emotional needs of its drivers" since semi-truck drivers most often do not spend more time in their vehicles than their homes. The spacious interior includes a shower and toilet, single bed, refrigerator, kitchen area, and a small washing machine to ensure maximum driver comfort while meeting their vital needs.
And perhaps the most important of all, the Homtruck was designed with autonomous driving in mind, and according to Geely, it'll be able to use semi-autonomous driverless features. During longer voyages, thanks to the Homtruck's advanced "brain", the trucks will be able to communicate with one another to maintain a safe speed and distance, as well as use vehicle sensors to analyze traffic data in real-time and provide route suggestions.
The division’s CEO Mike Fan told CNBC in an interview on Monday that Geely intends to introduce autonomous driving in three phases, with goals of having some partial driverless features by 2023. More advanced systems will follow in 2026, and as part of its grand plan, Geely wants to achieve full autonomy in 2030.
Geely's Homtruck is not the first in the market, and it certainly won't be the last. The unveiling comes following a slew of other automakers ranging from Daimler to Warren Buffett-backed BYD announcing their own electric trucks, and Tesla has been in the game for quite some time.
Having announced its own truck called the Semi in 2017, Elon Musk's company has delayed production for some time, with a recent announcement stating that customer deliveries of the truck are pushed to 2023 owing to supply chain issues and limited battery cell availability. Tesla has a long list of companies waiting in line, including PepsiCo, which is one of the largest Tesla Semi purchasers. Ramon Laguarta, the company's CEO, recently stated that they hope to get the first all-electric Class 8 trucks by the end of the year, and with so many companies stepping up their game, we can expect to see more electric trucks on the roadways.
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