Tesla Semi poised to disrupt the trucking market

There is no doubt that the passenger vehicle market is transitioning towards electric cars, but the trucking industry’s electrification is probably still in its infancy. With this in mind, US-based energy analysts Wood Mackenzie recently conducted an analysis of the country’s emerging EV truck market, and their findings were both optimistic and conservative, especially when considering vehicles such as the Tesla Semi.

The number of electric trucks on US roads is still minuscule, with only around 2,000 electric trucks deployed by the country in 2019. The research firm reported that the U.S. electric truck industry is prepared to benefit from recent policy support and financial support and transformation targets for local transportation, which could fuel substantial growth in the coming years. The firm expects the US demand for electric trucks to rise to more than 54,000 units by 2025.

Kelly McCoy, Wood Mackenzie Research Analyst and author of the report noted in a press release that this increase in electric trucks could provide notable reductions in transport emissions. The firm also noted that while there were only about 2,000 charging stations for electric trucks in the country in 2019, these facilities could rise to as high as 48,000 by 2025.

“Compared to passenger electric vehicle (EV) and electric bus penetration levels, the electric truck market is still in its infancy. Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MDV/HDV) are the second largest contributor to US transportation emissions, but much of the emissions reduction efforts thus far have centered on new diesel technologies and hybrids rather than pure electrification,” she said.

While Wood Mackenzie’s analysis findings point to an encouraging ramp of U.S. use of electric trucks, it is hard not to notice that the firm’s estimates of 54,000 electric trucks by 2025 are still quite conservative. This is particularly the case if one considers the ramp of vehicles such as the Tesla Semi, which have the potential to cause disruption in the trucking industry. With Tesla pushing the Semi, the country’s number of electric trucks could very well see a ramp which is far above the expectations of the research firm.

The Tesla Semi was unveiled back in 2017 with an expected 2019 launch date, but the electric car manufacturer moved that deadline back to this year. Following its unveiling, updates on the Semi were relatively few, except for sightings of their two prototypes being tested on the road across the United States. Back in June, however, a leaked email from Elon Musk revealed that the firm is ready for the Semi’s volume production. The company’s later updates pointed to the Semi being assembled at Gigafactory Texas, the same location where the Cybertruck will be built.

Considering that the Tesla Semi is poised for volume production, it would be shocking if only a conservative number of vehicles were manufactured by the company up to 2025. For example, it would be out of character for Tesla if the company were to produce just around 1,000 Semi units per week by 2025, given that the long-hauler Class 8 is a pet project of the company’s Automotive President, Jerome Guillen. While Tesla is yet to confirm whether it has actually started producing the Semi, it seems certain that Gigafactory Texas will already be producing the vehicle on a scale by 2025. And if that happens, estimates of 54,000 units (even on an annual basis) by Wood Mackenzie could be proven conservative.

Reported by Teslarati.

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