Tesla working with carriers on electric semi design

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When Tesla debuts a working prototype of its electric semi this summer, it will be a product of design input from those who will ultimately rely on the rigs: trucking companies.

Speaking Tuesday at the company’s annual shareholder meeting, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said carriers have helped drive the development process of its electric tractor.

“We’re getting them closely involved in the design process,” he says. “The biggest customers of the heavy duty Tesla semi are helping ensure that it is specified to their needs.”

Musk says bringing trucking companies into the engineering process has removed some of the mystery surrounding the truck for end users and helped the company provide a truck that meets trucking’s needs and expectations.

“We’ll be showing off a working prototype at the end of September, and we have shown it to a number of organizations that buy heavy duty trucking and they all love it,” he says. “They just want to know how many can they buy and how soon.”

“It’s really just going to be a question of scaling volume to make as many as we can,” Musk adds.

Jason Cannon has written about trucking and transportation for more than a decade and serves as Chief Editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. A Class A CDL holder, Jason is a graduate of the Porsche Sport Driving School, an honorary Duckmaster at The Peabody in Memphis, Tennessee, and a purple belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Reach him at [email protected]