When Elon Musk revealed his Master Plan Part Deux last year, it included a hint that Tesla was in the early stages of designing an electric tractor to be used to pull semi-trailers. “We believe the Tesla Semi will deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate,” the plan said.
That would be an important step forward for Musk in his quest to replace fossil fuels with electricity in the transportation sector. In most countries, diesel powered heavy trucks do most of the hauling of cargo and freight, leaving a vapor trail of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides, and particulates in their wake. Getting rid of diesel pollution would go a long way towards cleaning up the atmosphere.
After the Plan was revealed, Musk tweeted:
For those not in the know about who’s who at Tesla, Jerome is Jerome Guillen, formerly head of Tesla Sales and Service, is now head of the Tesla Semi program. before joining Tesla, he worked for Daimler Trucks North America on Class 8 truck development and headed up the Cascadia Class 8 truck team.The team worked closely with Freightliner, which is owned by Daimler, and the US Department of Energy on the SuperTruck program, a research effort seeking to greatly increase the fuel efficiency of tractor trailers. Guillen brought a few other engineers from the SuperTruck program with him to Tesla.
On February 5, following an epic Musk Tweet storm about politics, immigration bans, Donald Trump, and social justice, Musk got a tweet from Fred Lambert of Electrek asking if Jerome was making any progress on the Tesla Semi program.
Yes, but Model 3 is the overwhelming priority
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 5, 2017
That leaves the status of the Tesla Semi somewhat in limbo. Obviously, nothing is being allowed to stand in the way of getting the Model 3 into production on schedule. Tesla really can’t afford for that project to fall. But Musk never stands still. Whether it is drilling tunnels underground, building colonies on Mars, or disrupting the freight business, the mind of Musk is always busy with the next new thing.
It’s a safe bet that once the Model 3 is safely launched, the next bit of news from Tesla will be about the Tesla Semi. Can’t wait.
Source: Inside EVs