Tesla Inc. may have new plans to develop an electric semi-tractor, which could revolutionize the trucking industry in years to come. But what do commercial transportation companies think about the announcement of the Tesla Semi launch?
Not Ready for the Long Haul
At first glance, the idea of bringing an electronic big rig to long-distance trucking may seem worthwhile, smart, and even environmentally conscious. Yet upon further speculation, neither the trucking nor the technology industries appear ready for the addition.
Challenges Facing Electric Heavy-Duty Semi-Trucks
A range of struggles plagues the new idea, including a lack of market for electric trucks and a highway charging network for heavy-duty vehicles, which does not currently exist. What’s more, the batteries necessary to provide power to these kinds of trucks would significantly affect the cargo load capacity in both size and weight.
That hasn’t stopped Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, from revealing via Twitter last April that the company will be unveiling an electric semi-truck come fall. It may take some time to unfold, but this electric semi-truck could potentially create a problem for the industry as a whole.
The Impact Of Electric Trucks To The Trucking Industry
Stifel Financial Corporation analyst Michael Baudendistel commented on the issue: “Given the happily consolidated nature of the domestic truck manufacturing market, the prospect of a new competitive threat from a company with previous success in disrupting established industries, nonetheless, is undoubtedly news that is not welcomed.”
Though, he added, “We’re a long way out from a real threat.”
Antti Lindstrom, an analyst at global research firm IHS, offered his take on the subject.
“There is a certain amount of hype to Tesla’s announcement. However, it doesn’t seem that long-distance trucking is ready for electrification right now,” Lindstrom said.
Tesla also has a handful of other vehicles they are working on, such as a new sports car, Model Y compact SUV, small bus and pickup truck.
If (or when) an electric semi-tractor does make its way to freeways and other roadways, drivers should be ready.
Avoiding Accidents With Electric Semi’s
What measures can other drivers pursue to promote road safety when electric big rigs begin appearing on roadways? The answer is – the same measures you would take with any large vehicle. Since Tesla’s new big rig has not yet hit roadways, information is still lacking with the electronic vehicles. In the meantime, here are a few tips for avoiding a collision with big rigs of any kind:
- Allow trucks to merge. Speeding up to get in front of the truck might be your first reaction, but this could lead to a severe rear-end collision or worse since trucks need much more braking distance than your car.
- Avoid blind spots. The 4 main areas surrounding a big rig that aren’t visible to the driver are directly in front, behind, and either side of the truck near the front set of trailer wheels – especially the right side. The basic rule for this is if you can’t see the truck driver, he or she can’t see you.
- Watch out for turns. Truck drivers make very wide turns, often swinging out the opposite direction in the middle of the turn. Leaving enough distance between your vehicle and the trailer will help prevent a possible collision.
- Leave a cushion. Drivers should stay at least 4 seconds behind a truck when driving. This increases valuable reaction time should you need to avoid a crash.
If you happen to notice a large truck or commercial vehicle driving erratically, pull over and alert authorities immediately.
Contact a Trucking Accident Attorney Today
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