(Net events / Laith Muhammad)
Terraline is a new name for a company formerly known as Solo Advanced Vehicle Technologies that specializes, or at least used to, in autonomous commercial vehicle hardware and has undergone a rebranding process following its latest investment round. According to what was mentioned by the arenaev website.
With its components and instrumentation expertise, the company felt it had an opportunity to compete in a very crowded but very lucrative Series 8 truck market. Terraline believes its new truck is exactly what the industry needs and in theory has two points of interest.
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Let’s get out of the way first – the design. If you think the Tesla Semi looks futuristic, the Tangra LH1 is completely out of this world. The name is derived from a mountain range in Antarctica and the company claims it boosts employee optimism. This is a bit of a stretch as they are more likely to realize they have one mountain to climb and are only being honest about it.
Back to the Tangra LH1 The truck is designed to last 10 years and in that time it should cover over 3 million miles without serious maintenance. That’s twice as good as a conventional 8 Series truck.
The company claims 500+ miles of range from an uncapped battery pack and towing performance on par with a Class 8 diesel truck. Active air is responsible for best-in-class apparent efficiency and the Tangra LH1 boasts the lowest towing coefficient of any truck in existence. For now, these are just claims and we’ll have to wait and see the real numbers.
So far an interesting thing is the ability to charge the truck from the existing infrastructure. This is where the marketing leak ends and leaves us hanging for more details. Does that mean it will charge for hours on even the fastest DC chargers? Will it contain a new magic technology to speed up the charging process?
There must be a problem. Tesla has promised similar results and capabilities only to keep details of its battery secret and leave unanswered questions about its near-real diameter range. So what’s the point here?
It’s amazing even though the company claims the first truck will be delivered to customers for long-term testing this year you’ll never be able to buy a Tangra LH1 and the company introduces a new business model (not really) for TaaS – Truck as a Service. Carriers will simply hire Tangra and pay per mile of use without you having to worry about any other expenses.
For many companies this will simplify their business and Terraline will become the Uber of the trucking industry and in the process will at least save the planet that is the plan and the reality may be hard as many companies are hoping to take advantage of the generous electric vehicle tax breaks in the US for electric trucks . Many companies prefer 100% control of the fleet including its maintenance and these companies are clearly not potential customers of Terraline.
What about the owners of the backbone operators of the industry? Getting an easy lease on a brand new electric van sounds like a dream come true and the Tangra LH1 promises a top-of-the-range driver’s cabin, low operating costs and not having to worry when it comes to maintenance can be tempting. Now Terraline just needs to deliver on its promises and that’s what separates the dreamers from the doers. Time will tell which category Terraline falls into.