Elon Musk recently highlighted that the upcoming Tesla Semi truck will work towards establishing an on-road range of around 1,000 kilometres, a claim - if proven true - that could contradict Bill Gates' opinion of heavy battery-powered vehicles being rather unfeasible. The massive per-charge range on the Tesla Semi may be made possible by making use of in-house batteries being developed by the EV-maker.
Musk has been vocal about the range capabilities of its 36,000-kilo capacity vehicle with the initial figure pegged between 480 and 800 kilometres. This figure was ramped up to around 960 kilometres but now, the Tesla CEO is claiming that a 1,000 kilometre-range is also possible and that that could make the Semi a winner in long-haul journeys. "If you want, for long-range trucking, you can take the range up to, we think, easily 800 km, and we see a path over time to 1,000 km range for an heavy duty truck," he was quoted as saying by Electrek.
Many are seeing this claim as yet another salvo directed towards Gates who had previously expressed his doubts about batteries powering heavy trucks, ships and even airplanes. "The problem is that batteries are big and heavy. The more weight you’re trying to move, the more batteries you need to power the vehicle. But the more batteries you use, the more weight you add—and the more power you need," he had said. (Full report here)
The remark had led Musk to hit back by saying Gates has 'no clue' about powering electric trucks. (Read report here)
Musk has often proven skeptics wrong and with Tesla working on high capacity battery packs, what may seem improbable today could be feasible tomorrow.
Tesla Semi was first unveiled in 2017 with the promise of clean transportation in the commercial fleet. Deliveries are expected to start from 2021 even if the claimed range of 1,000 kilometres is not possible for at least a few more years.