The electric truck is a natural fit for Tesla, the company announced Tuesday, a move that has set off a wave in the electric truck industry that is now competing with conventional gasoline trucks.
The announcement of Tesla’s first truck battery system comes on the heels of a similar announcement by Toyota Motor Corp. While there is still much to learn about Tesla’s battery system, analysts expect the truck battery to be a major part of the company’s overall energy business and are expecting Tesla to offer several other truck battery options for 2019.
Tesla is a pioneer in truck battery technology, with its first truck using a solid state battery that was developed and manufactured by SolarCity Corp. and Panasonic Corp. Tesla says it plans to offer a variety of truck battery configurations in 2019, and the company is in talks with several suppliers to develop battery systems for other vehicles.
Tesla said in a statement that it plans “to build a diverse range of options” for electric trucks that are “in addition to our truck battery lineup, which includes a range of electric vehicles, including large cargo trucks.”
The company’s announcement comes at a time when electric truck sales are surging in the U.S., but analysts said the truck’s electric capability is still in its infancy.
Tesla has not yet unveiled a new truck that will be fully electric.
Tesla’s Model S, its newest model, is designed to be driven entirely on battery power.
The company has said it plans a “large, fleet of electric trucks” that will make up the company, but has not announced a date.
The truck’s battery is being developed by Solar City and Panasonic, which both use lithium-ion batteries.
Tesla said the battery system will be “similar to those used by the SolarCity system, which has proven highly successful in the industry.”
Tesla is building its battery system in a factory in Fremont, California, and plans to start selling it by the end of 2019, a company spokesperson said.