Tesla Begins Using All-Electric Semi Trucks For Internal Logistics — What Operational Synergies Can We Expect?

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The first cargo delivery performed by a Tesla Semi has reportedly now taken place, going by posts on Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s social media pages, with battery transport between the Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada, and the Fremont, California, production plant now being partly handled by the firm’s own semi trucks.

Tesla SemiWhile this first delivery run of electric vehicle battery packs, via the two Tesla Semi prototypes seen below, doesn’t probably amount to much on its own as regards the reduction of logistics costs, but it does represent a sign of things to come.

The great thing about producing your own semi trucks, of course, is that you can use them yourself to ship the battery packs, auto parts, and other materials necessary for the production of the other vehicles, energy storage products, and solar panels and roof tiles that you are also manufacturing.

While mass production of the Tesla Semi isn’t slated to begin until 2019 or so, there will presumably be a fair number of prototypes of various designs put into service by the company before then — partly as a means of testing the trucks out and ironing out possible design flaws, and also as a means of reducing reliance upon third-party firms.

As you’ll recall, vertical integration has always been one of the pillars of the approach to auto manufacturing that Tesla has been pursuing over the last decade. The Tesla Semi certainly fits into the company’s operations well in that regard, with there being less of a need to rely on diesel semi trucks. The trip between Sparks, Nevada, and Fremont, California, of course, is well within the range of the Tesla Semi even without the proposed Megacharger network being built out yet. The trip is reportedly around 275 miles, and the Tesla Semi will reportedly feature at least 500 miles of range (it’s not clear what range the prototypes possess).

It’s interesting to note the differences between the 2 Tesla Semi prototypes seen above.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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