We asked the cus­tomers why they’re ex­cited

Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

Since the Tesla Semi truck was un­veiled in Novem­ber, every week has brought a new an­nounce­ment of in­vestors: Pep­sico pre­ordered 100. Sysco or­dered 50. An­heuser-busch or­dered 40. Cana­dian gro­cery chain Loblaw’s or­dered 25. It’s a re­mark­able dis­play of con­fi­dence in elec­tric truck­ing by a sin­gle in­dus­try, not to men­tion a huge in­vest­ment. The rea­sons be­hind this sur­pris­ing con­flu­ence turn out to be not sur­pris­ing at all.

MODEL Tesla Semi PRO­JECTED RANGE 800 km EX­PECTED DE­LIV­ERY 2019 THE GOODS Founder Elon Musk re­port­edly plans to set up a na­tional net­work of charg­ing sta­tions pow­ered by Tesla So­lar pan­els. The Trucks MODEL Thor Trucks ET- One PRO­JECTED RANGE 500 km EX­PECTED DE­LIV­ERY 2019 THE GOODS CEO and founder Dakota Sem­ler pre­vi­ously op­er­ated his own fleet of heavy-duty ve­hi­cles that did freight haul­ing, giv­ing him an in­sider’s per­spec­tive on design and op­er­a­tional con­cerns.

MODEL Nikola Two PRO­JECTED RANGE 1 300-2 000 km EX­PECTED DE­LIV­ERY 2021 THE GOODS Nikola trucks use hy­dro­gen fuel cells to power a truck’s bat­tery pack, al­low­ing the truck to travel twice as far as com­pet­ing elec­tric semis with­out hav­ing to stop to recharge.

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