CORNELL UNIVERSITY MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
Nov. 16, 2017
Tesla’s electric ‘Semi Truck’ signals future, but risks straining company resources
On Thursday Tesla will unveil an electric semi-truck, the company’s first and much anticipated freight industry vehicle.Arthur Wheaton, an automotive expert and senior extension associate with Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations says that while the shift to electric trucks makes sense in the long term, Tesla may be straining its resources.
“I think the electrification of large trucks makes sense. The added weight of the batteries becomes less of an issue when designing large trucks.
“There is less concern for passenger space and more emphasis on towing or hauling capacity. The diesel emissions from most semi-trucks raises health concerns and excessive soot. Having electric trucks can reduce the harmful effects.
“The profitability of semi-trucks for Tesla is not guaranteed. The supply chain for their existing Model 3 production is already showing signs of stress so adding larger products in a completely separate market will add strain to Tesla resources.
“In the short run, trucks will be a distraction and drain on limited resources. Long term, it could become a profitable niche with fewer competitors than automotive manufacturing.”
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