While Tesla continues to make headlines, progress on electric cars continues but those are not the only vehicles that are being prepped for all-electric solutions. Even as Tesla looks to bring Tesla Semi, a heavy-duty Class 8 truck to market in 2019, others including Daimler, Thor Industries and Volvo are testing their own versions, which in some cases include medium-duty class 6 trucks. Each of these is looking to tap incremental demand to be had as states look to address air quality, which is very much in sync with our Clean Living investing theme.
Much like we have seen with electric cars, the tradeoff between mileage and charge as well as the availability of charging stations will all be factors for the adoption of electric trucks. As that adoption rises, it will necessitate a pick up in demand for lithium as well as wide-bandgap semiconductors, which are all part of our Disruptive Innovators investment theme.
Volvo Trucks released teaser images Wednesday of the electric trucks it plans to bring to California next year as part of a demonstration project, the latest truck manufacturer to publicize its electric plans in the state.
The attraction to California is no accident. The state has set aggressive targets to improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions, particularly those generated from tailpipes.
Daimler Trucks North America said in July it would begin testing 20 fully electric heavy- and medium-duty Freightliner models at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach this year. Tesla, which unveiled the Tesla Semi prototype in November 2017 , began testing its prototype semis in California and Nevada earlier this year. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said production of the Tesla Semi, a Class 8 heavy duty truck, would begin in 2019.
Newcomer Thor Trucks is developing a medium-duty Class-6 electric truck for UPS, which will also be tested in California.
Volvo Trucks plans to test its new electric VNR truck, a refitted version of its diesel-powered VNR model. The electric VNR, which will be based on powertrain technology used in the Volvo FE Electric, will be produced for the North American commercial vehicle market starting in 2020, the company said.