Since the unveiling of the Tesla truck prototype last week, the big rig has received even more backlash from the trucking community.
One truck driver said he doesn’t trust CEO Elon Musk’s motivation for creating an electric powered truck whatsoever. Truck driver Matthew Garnett does not think that the Tesla truck was made with truck drivers in mind. Garnett claims that is the electric truck was built by a company other than Tesla, like Cummins or Peterbilt, that he might trust it a little bit more.
Musk is now referring to the truck as “The Beast.”
It can transform into a robot, fight aliens and make one hell of a latte pic.twitter.com/8h9vvWu4f5
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 15, 2017
Garnett commented on Musk, “He’s motivated by his environmental agenda, not by making truck driving easier, not by making the trucking industry more profitable none of that is what’s motivating him primarily. So as long as that is his agenda then the product is going to suffer.”
Tesla reported that the new truck can travel for 500 miles at full speed without needing to be recharged – in order to fully recharge, the truck would need at least 30 minutes. Thirty minutes to charge every 500 miles seems somewhat tedious when you drive thousands of miles in a week.
In comparison to a traditional truck, Garnett also doesn’t think that the Tesla truck battery life rivals the efficiency of a diesel truck.
He added, “I fuel every few days, if I had to fuel every day it would waste all kinds of time so maybe that little bit of savings I’m getting in fuel efficiency is going to be wasted on all that time I’m spending on charging the batteries back up. 500 miles is nothing for a truck.”
Garnett does not think that the fuel efficiency is worth having to make more stops while on the road, he would rather travel with decreased fuel efficiency if fewer stops had to be made.
Compared to the 10 minutes refuel time of a diesel truck, that has an average travel range of 1500 miles, the 30 minutes to recharge the Tesla truck only has the ability to travel an average 500 miles on a single charge. Garnett and other truck drivers are surely not willing to waste valuable driving time to recharge.
“They are talking about putting in all of these charging stations everywhere and you know the roads are terrible, we can’t even get the roads right. The power grid is rickety right now and they are talking about putting all of this infrastructure in, that’s not going to happen,” he said.
Tesla Semi Truck unveil to be webcast live on Thursday at 8pm! This will blow your mind clear out of your skull and into an alternate dimension. Just need to find my portal gun …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 12, 2017
Combining these logistical issues with the threat of an ELD mandate is a regulatory nightmare waiting to happen. Too much regulation on one vehicle has the potential to strip the truck driver of any driving free will they had left.
Although the Tesla truck is not expected to start production until 2019 if Garnett is correct then charging stations could quickly be popping up everywhere.
“It’s not going to happen. Congress cannot find their behind with both hands… This is just not going to happen.” Tesla exists off government subsidies; therefore, it is not a wild statement for Garnett to make that government projects are not always the most timely.
To begin with, the reveal of the truck was delayed for months, so only time will tell how long it takes to install charging infrastructure, let alone how long it takes to get the electric trucks on the road actually hauling cargo.