Viknesh Vijayenthiran

With production of the Model 3 now underway, Tesla’s next major product announcement will be the unveiling of an electric semi-trailer truck.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in June that the reveal would take place in September. However, he tweeted on Wednesday that the truck will now be revealed and available for test rides on October 26, although that date is a tentative one so we could see it pushed back further.

Musk first alluded to the truck in 2016 during the reveal of part two of his overarching product strategy known as the Tesla Master Plan. The plan also calls for an electric pickup truck and new mobility solutions.

Since then all we’ve seen is a teaser shot. Some additional info has surfaced from non-official sources, though. For example, in August we learned that Tesla wants the truck to be able to form a “platoon” on highways, where only the lead truck would require a driver. We also learned that Tesla’s truck would likely have a range of 200-300 mileson a single charge.

Tesla is certainly not alone in exploring the potential for electric commercial vehicles. In fact, in this regard Tesla is slightly behind the competition.

Daimler is already conducting trials of a handful of electric vans and trucks and expects to have an electric semi truck similar to its Urban eTruck concept from 2016 in production towards the end of the decade. American startup Nikola also in 2016 showed us an extended-range electric semi truck that’s promised for production by the end of this decade. And just in August, engine manufacturer Cummins showed off an electric truck concept. Cummins, however, is yet to mention production.

Given stricter emission regulations coming into force in coming years, plus some cities possibly banning the use of vehicles powered solely by internal combustion engines, we should continue to see more players enter the segment.

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