News and industry buzz about electric trucks were a murmur until mid-November last year when Elon Musk unveiled Tesla’s latest creation, the Tesla Semi, touting impressive performance figures and an unbelievable range from an electric rig. The stunning reveal and specifics cast a new ember on the tinderbox of Transportation equipment manufacturers. What wasn’t as evident was the seemingly unending announcements of new partnerships between tech and auto companies and diesel-powered industry leaders such as Daimler, Kenworth, and Cummins throwing their hats in the ring with their own concepts, and new upstarts joining the ranks of the burgeoning market segment.
Of course there’s Tesla, the auto industry disrupter making it’s mark with the Tesla Semi, however another player from the Tech side, Thor, with strong backing and solid engineering, has announced the ET-One, which is currently being demo’d and will be in full production beginning in 2019—the same time Tesla Semi rolls off assembly lines. Daimler has invested heavily in two segments, with an urban truck, the Urban eTruck, for loads less than 26,000, and the E-FUSO Vision One filling the Class 8 position. Another local hauler (Class 7) from Cummins, called the Aeos Urban Hauler EV with a 100-mile range for local and regional hauls.
A few noteworthy partnerships have formed: Toyota-Kenworth, whose Class 8 electric tractor is actually powered by a hydrogen fuel cell and is currently in operation in California. Auto-tech company Nikola Motor Company have partnered with parts manufacturer Bosch to develop two tractors: Class 8 Nikola One and a straight truck Nikola Two, which are slated for production in 2020.
Being an early adopter in this industry may not in fact end up breaking the bank, with purchase prices for Class 8 tractors expected to range from mid-$100k to $200k, while oil-burning counterparts will frequently exceed $100k for a moderately-equipped rig. Pair that lower-than-anticipated price jump with an estimated lower cost-per-mile, and it wouldn’t be surprising if we see production reservations from businesses of all sizes—fleets down to owner-operators.
What Will Financing and Residual Value Look Like?
We anticipate funding and residual value to hold strong, given many of the technologies used in these tractors has been proven over the last decade or more in the consumer automotive industry, and battery technology has continued to improve. Considering becoming an early adopter for this new tech? Give us a call to discuss financing options!