• Sanjay Manival Raju

The 'Transportation' Game-Changer

The 16th of November 2017, was perhaps the beginning of a new era, displaying the adoption of a sophisticated technology and its potential to change the face of commercial transportation. The product’s formulation seems to negate the challenges of the trucking industry and most importantly sets a new theme and image to the category of vehicles—Trucks.

Tesla’s unveiling of its Semi-truck set the ball rolling for the idea of an electric motor having capacity to haul goods across states.The first look to me was breathtaking-- mesmerized by its silhouette and appearance, I strongly felt that this was Tesla’s greatest breakthrough so far. However, to my eyes, this unveiling brought ripples with it: Let’s revisit this after a look at some highlights of this Semi-truck.

It has an impeccable drag coefficient of 0.36, yielding a per mile operating cost 20% less than conventional trucks. With 80,000 pounds of load, it attains 60 mph in 20 sec and has a range of 500 miles. It also receives a safety package that has a wide coverage, keeping the truck and its environment safer. Along, comes a unique and a thoughtful safety inclusion that prevents the cracking of the windshield. Musk described this as a fine detail and one that safeguards an ‘aspect’ that often could get overlooked but remains very vital, and indeed it is.

The ‘Thermonuclear Explosion Proof’ glass fitted in a Tesla Semi makes it immune to cracks or shatters caused by an external source. A cracked windshield could potentially disable a truck and the business it serves, as safety concerns and regulations would not allow the truck to be used on road thus resulting in loss of valuable revenue and service to customers. However, with this safety feature, the Tesla Semi would never have to see the face of such a day.

I deduce that, in the event of a nuclear attack, you could still shop online and pick up the package from your door step…….

Let’s talk sustainability!

Transportation is critical to the survival of every business and forms a link in each Supply Chain. It is a notorious and an aggressively used component that not only incurs high costs but also has the highest impact on the environment. However, we have now begun to more consciously acknowledge these impacts and have been making efforts for the betterment of the environment by adopting the concept of ‘sustainability’.

So, coming back to my earlier point on the unveiling having created ripples through the industry, I strongly believe Tesla’s Semi would now rid the transportation industry of not just the challenges in trucking but also from its ill effects to the environment. Major companies like Pepsi, Walmart, DHL and few others have placed orders for the Tesla Semi with UPS r

ranking the highest at 125 trucks.

This is where the change begins! I can now only wonder how the Transportation/Logistics Service Providers and companies with private fleets will revamp their network and eventually gain a competitive advantage. The Tesla Semi is bound to overturn and change the economics that govern the transport sector.

Firms going after low cost and highly reliable carriers will begin to choose a service provider with a fleet of Tesla trucks. Ownership of a Tesla Semi will greatly enhance the value and image of a company which will also be shared with the businesses they serve. With increasing conscience towards sustainability and companies heavily investing in it, cost being a factor would probably be less in focus.

This ain’t just a truck, but a Trend Setter!

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