Electric semi-trucks sound like a natural progression from electric automobiles. The electric car is becoming more and more common, so it only makes sense that electric trucks would follow as one of the next steps in electric transportation.
Yet when you see an electric truck in pictures or if you’re lucky, in real life, they look like something out of a science fiction movie. Frankly, they look awesome.
But of course, there’s a big difference between aesthetics and functionality. How effective are the new electric trucks? When will we see them on the road? When will they be… everywhere?
Meet The Players of the Electric Trucking World
Some people are touting electric trucking as the future of the trucking industry.
One of the leading players in the electric trucking industry is, unsurprisingly, Tesla. The Tesla semi looks like something you’d see in Star Wars driving around the Capitol, but it’s very real.
However, Tesla’s futuristic shipping miracle does have some kinks that still need to be worked out before it’s ready to hit the road.
The truck was originally expected to hit the road in 2021, but after several delays due to issues with battery efficiency (the battery requires roughly 5 times more cell production than the car) and the recent departure of the company’s head of heavy trucking.
Of course, Tesla has produced some of the best electric cars that the world has ever seen, so perhaps the only thing stopping them from taking over this open market is time and resources.
While Tesla’s electric semi might be on hold, luckily there are a few other key players in the electric trucking world that are keeping the dream as alive as ever.
Old Players, New Game
Right now, there’s no worldwide leader in electric trucking and shipping.
Because of this, there are so many different companies booming for that top spot. Besides Tesla, you’ll notice that many of the top leaders are also leaders in traditional automobiles.
For example, Ford has begun to develop an electric cargo van and Volvo has also developed its own electric truck.
As these companies further develop their electric trucks and prepare for them to hit mass production, I’m sure other leaders in the automotive industry will follow with more electric truck prototypes and products.
Tesla, Meet Nikola
One of the other most interesting companies that are creating electric trucks is Phoenix-based startup Nikola.
Founded in 2015 by CEO Trevor Milton, Nikola is another company that’s making some really cool-looking trucks that are also showing promise for their effectiveness. In this regard, they appear to have an edge over the competition.
However, not even Nikola is the clear-cut favorite in this electric horse race. The company became publicly traded in June of 2020 but has lost nearly 80% of its stock value. That just goes to show the insecurity in this new industry: no one is safe.
Plus, Milton left the company towards the end of the 3rd quarter of 2020 after he was accused of exaggerating the potential of the company.
There are many other companies creating electric trucks, but these are just a few of the storyline leaders. Other competitors include Rivian, BYD, and Daimler Trucks.
Between the rapid increase of the world’s technological development and the ensuing global climate crisis, the automotive industry is going to shift forever in the next few decades, and the decade that we’re in right now will determine just how well we’re able to adapt.
The companies listed in this article are all responsible for leading the way in the world of electric trucking, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only players nor that others can’t emerge as the industry evolves.
Right now, electric trucking is like a high school basketball player skipping college and heading straight for the NBA: full of potential, question marks, and big dreams.
Over the next few years, we’re going to see just what this industry is made of, and of course, how much it’s worth.