Analysts for Wall Street research and brokerage firm, Bernstein, expect Tesla to unveil an all-electric Class 8 truck that will have 300 to 450 miles of driving range and mid-2019 availability.
Toni Sacconaghi Jr. and David Vernon, who maintain a $265 price target for shares of Tesla, note that the Silicon Valley-based company will face a significant uphill battle as it looks to enter the commercial trucking sector. Even with battery range as high as 450 miles (724 kilometers) per single charge, Tesla’s Semi would fall short of the 500-600 miles driven per day traveled by long-haul trucks. Tesla’s addressable market size with its initial truck would be less than half of the total semi-truck market, says Sacconaghi, Jr.
Despite the allure of Tesla’s “mind blowing” Semi, which Tesla CEO Elon Musk says could be driven like a sports car, Bernstein believes that truckers may not be keen on operating the all-electric big rig, especially if it means delaying cargo deliveries due to charging interruptions. Analysts Sacconaghi and Vernon expect Tesla to hold a 3 percent market share over five years, contributing 7 percent to Tesla’s 2025 revenue forecasts.
“On net, despite a potentially compelling value proposition, we do not see the Tesla Semi opportunity as a thesis changing initiative for the company, at least initially,” said the Bernstein analysts, according to Benzinga. “It is somewhat unclear why the company needs another major initiative (beyond Model 3, forthcoming Model Y, battery production, solar roofs and energy storage) on its already full plate.”
Bernstein’s note that the Tesla Semi will have anywhere from 300 to 450 miles of driving range is a big step up from earlier reports citing a 200 to 300 miles of range. Tesla was reportedly testing its autonomous “platooning” technology at the time.
Tesla will unveil its semi-truck this Thursday, November 16 at its Design Center in Hawthorne, California. A livestream of the event will be broadcasted beginning at 8:00pm Pacific Time.
Follow us @Teslarati to see behind the scenes event coverage beginning at 6pm Pacific Time.
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