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Technical innovation giants Tesla have finally launched their electric truck after several delays, and it looks like it was worth the wait. CEO Elon Musk unveiled the all-electric HGV at an event in LA last week, and took attendees by surprise as he also showcased a new electric car at the same time.

 

But it was the HGV that was the focus of the event, with Tesla making a direct pitch to truck drivers and haulage companies, showing they understand the concerns of this particular sector and are ready to address them. Although it stops slightly short of Musk’s promise that it can ‘transform into a robot, fight aliens and make one hell of a latte’, it does promise to change the haulage industry completely, starting as early as 2019.

With added safety features to prevent accidents, reinforced windows, an improved handling of hills, fast acceleration and autopilot settings, it also addresses the question of whether HGV drivers travelling long miles will find themselves out of charge in the middle of a journey. And it seems the question has been answered very well, with the truck boasting up to 500 miles on a single charge even while carrying the maximum weight load.

 

So the only thing that might be worrying haulage companies right now is how much such advanced technology will cost. Well in addition to saving 20% per mile compared with fossil fuel vehicles of the same size, the electric HGVs look as though they’re going to retail at a relatively low £112,000 for a 300-mile range model or £135,000 for a 500-mile option. The total savings can add up to around £150,000 for the lifetime of each truck.

 

The cost is likely to be the game-changer for the industry, and the unveiling of the new Tesla HGVs came on the same day as news that Portsmouth, for example, is now suffering more from the pollution caused by HGVs than by cars. With all these features, the cost savings, and the environmental impact these vehicles could have, the importance of this latest unveiling cannot be overstated. And the HGVs could be commercially available as early as 2019 if Mr Musk has his way. Of course, there are other companies developing rival vehicles, but this is no bad thing, and the competition will only serve to prove that the industry as a whole is headed in this all-electric direction.

 

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