As technology progresses, certain industries can improve while others suffer. The Tesla Semi can revolutionize the trucking industry by providing allowing companies to save millions in fuel costs. On the other hand, Elon Musk said the railway industry will feel negative effects because of the Tesla Semi.
The Tesla CEO answered questions about the Tesla Semi during the company’s earnings call on Wednesday. When asked about the effects of the new electric semi-truck on the trucking industry, he explained that fuel costs are a big factor for trucking companies and the Tesla Semi would lower the costs per mile. On the other hand, since the rail industry benefits from those fuel expenses by offering a cheaper service to send goods a farther distance away, it would be affected the most when the Tesla Semi and companies make use of truck platooning.
“It will take quite a bit of revenue from railway,” Musk said. “Trains don’t go everywhere so you have a truck deliver things to the train rail spur and then at the destination, a truck has to pick it up from the rail spur there.”
Truck platooning is when two or more trucks link up via an autonomous driving system. By having multiple Tesla Semis forming a convoy and connected together, companies could potentially deliver the same amount of goods without the need of rail while saving money.
Tesla revealed the Tesla Semi last year. Planned production of the vehicle will start in 2019. During the call, Musk said the company is working to improve the battery to go 600 miles on a charge.
On Tuesday, Nikola Motors filed a lawsuit against Tesla claiming the design of the Tesla Semi is a rip-off of the Nikola One, its own electric semi-truck. Musk laughed during the earnings call at the notion that there was a lawsuit saying “Nikola sues Tesla.”