Toyota and Tesla are both working on a real-world very important transportation solution that will improve air quality for Americans. The Tesla electric semi truck and the Toyota hydrogen-electric semi both offer a solution to one of the worst-polluting types of transportation. What is perhaps most encouraging about this race to the first electric semi truck is that the two are now competing.
Tesla's Elon Musk staged a PR event by sending some Model 3 cars to owners who had ordered them via its electric semi. We applaud this move. Tesla should be doing more to "walk the walk" on green transportation. Building luxury/performance EVs is great. Using fleets of gasoline-powered vehicles in that business and in Tesla's solar power business while pretending EVs are a real solution to everyday vehicle needs is hypocritical at best. Sending EVs to other continents via massively polluting ships just seems crazy.
Elon Musk tweeted the image of Tesla's semi hauling four cars. Not counting the trailer, that is about 16,000 pounds of car. Everyone knows that four cars being hauled by a semi is silly. Six to eight is more typical.
Toyota has been moving freight around in LA now for a couple of years using its electric semis. We have been following the company's progress and its partnership with Kenworth makes sense.
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For its part, Toyota sent out a press release showing its electric semi hauling six of its EVs. The equivalent of 24,000 pounds not counting the trailer. Of course, Toyota's Mirai is a kid's science project compared to Tesla's now wildly successful Model 3.
We're not rooting for one winner here. We hope both Toyota and Tesla's electric semi business takes off and is wildly successful. The real winners will be the breathing public.