We have all heard how it is absolutely necessary to change the way that we manufacture and generate power. The need for clean renewable energy is rising to the top of the agenda for national governments across the globe. The strain can be felt by companies who have large carbon footprints, as the pressure to change their practices to support a cleaner environment cannot be ignored. One company that has capitalized on the push for more sustainable energy and a reduction in carbon emissions is Tesla.
Tesla has established itself as the premier 100 percent electric luxury vehicle manufacturer — with a huge back order for its existing models. What many people might not be aware of is the fact that Tesla has also started taking orders for his electric semi-truck. The idea of electric semi-trucks has the potential to immensely impact the global carbon footprint. Trucking is a major part of every nation’s infrastructure and converted most of those trucks into vehicles that are electric can significantly reduce carbon emissions.
While Tesla is definitely the titan of electric vehicles right now, there is a company in California that is looking to challenge the Titan as far as the manufacture of electric semi-trucks are concerned. Thor Trucks has made its intentions very clear. The company plans to compete for the number one spot for electric rigs. Thor Trucks recently unveiled its first all-electric semi last Wednesday, and while there is a way to go before they become a significant threat to Tesla’s reign, they are promising new specs in the coming years that will place them in the same conversation with Tesla.
The initial Thor model is called the ET-One, and it boasts a 300-mile travel range while carrying an 80,000-pound freight load. The vehicle only has a top speed of 70 mph. For those who are familiar with the Tesla rig, these numbers may not seem that impressive, because the Tesla model has a 500-mile range with an 80,000-pound freight load. When evaluating the impact of Thor trucks, the evaluation cannot be solely based on matching the trucks amenities and performance numbers to that of Tesla. The fact that there is another company that can make electric rigs that are at least comparable to what Tesla is producing will balance the market and stabilize the prices.
The initial MSRP for Thor Trucks’ ET-One is between $150,000 and $180,000. It is likely that these prices will change as the technology being used to create the vehicles becomes more mainstream and drops in cost. The public can also expect the range of vehicles available to increase.
Before everyone gets to singing the praises of Thor Trucks and Tesla when it comes to building electric big rigs, there are two other major players that are throwing their hat into the ring — Daimler and Cummins. Cummins actually beat Tesla off the line in the creation of the electric semi — debuting its Urban Hauler Tractor several months ahead of Tesla. Additionally, Cummins is bringing an exclusive element to the table. Unlike the other players in the game, the Cummins rig has a powertrain that has the capacity to be paired with a diesel engine to extend the trip range by approximately 300 miles.
As far as pound-load ratings, the Thor rig actually measures up well when compared to the other players in the game. Another area that the Thor rig is getting a lot of praise is in the area of aesthetics. While mileage and freight load capacity is immensely important, we will never be able to completely free ourselves from the influence of aesthetics, and critics are offering high praise for the aesthetic appearance of the ET-One. The design is extremely aggressive, leaning on the verge of being sinister even. I am more than sure that this rig will end up in some horror, highway psycho movie in the near future.
The Thor Truck company was founded by Dakota Semler and while Semler is excited about the progress that the company has made in the first year of its existence, there is still no concrete date as to when the ET-One will actually be ready to come off the production line for sale. Even Tesla has it production timeline set for 2019, which means a lot can happen that will determine which one of these companies will take the lead in the trucking industry.