In November 2017, Tesla unveiled an electric semi-truck with semi-autonomous capabilities. The truck was reported to have a 500-mile range at maximum weight at highway speeds. The operating cost of the truck was estimated to be 20% less than conventional diesel semi-trucks. Tesla claimed that truck buyers would recoup the cost of the electric semi-truck in two years from fuel savings.
Automobile experts were skeptical of Tesla’s electric semi-truck claims. However, recent reports indicate Tesla’s initial electric semi-truck claims are viable. Jim Monkmeyer, President, Transportation at DHL Supply Chain recently told Reuters he expects DHL to recoup the cost of the electric semi-trucks in eighteen months. DHL’s dramatic cost saving were due to the absence of fuel costs and significantly lower maintenance costs. Electric vehicles (EVs) have significantly less moving parts than vehicles with an internal combustion engine, which result in lower operating costs.
Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk anticipates the electric semi-truck operating cost can be further reduced without increasing the price. In my opinion, this is another sign that more new EVs will be purchased than new internal combustion engine vehicles in the very near future (2025 – 2030).