Tangra LH1 comes to challenge Tesla Semi with its 500+ miles range
Terraline may not be a completely new company, it has been previously known as Solo Advanced Vehicle Technologies. The company specializes, or at least it used to, in autonomous commercial vehicle hardware, and it went through a rebranding exercise after its latest round of investments.
With its know-how in the component and hardware business, the company felt it had a chance to compete in a very busy, but very lucrative, class 8 truck market. Terraline believes its new truck is exactly what the industry needs and, in theory, they have a couple of interesting points.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first - the design. If you thought the Tesla Semi looked futuristic, the Tangra LH1 is outright out of this world. It's named after an ancient Bulgarian god and the company claims it boosts the optimism of the employees. That’s a bit of a stretch, it’s more likely they realize they have one heck of a mountain to climb and are just being honest about it.
Back to the Tangra LH1. The truck is designed to remain operational for 10 years and in that time it should cover over 3 million miles without serious maintenance. That’s twice as good as traditional class 8 trucks.
The company claims 500+ miles of range from an unspecified battery pack and towing performance on the same level as diesel class 8 truck. Active aero is responsible for the apparent best efficiency in the class and the Tangra LH1 boasts the lowest drag coefficient of any truck out there. These, for now, are just claims and we’ll have to wait and see the real numbers.
So far so good, an interesting bit is the ability to charge the truck from the existing infrastructure. That’s where the marketing spill ends and leaves us hanging for more details. Does it mean it will charge for hours even on the fastest DC chargers? Will it have some new, magic tech to speed the charging up?
There has to be a catch, Tesla promised similar results and capabilities only to keep the details of its battery secret and leave questions unanswered about its Semi’s real life towing range. So, what’s the catch here?
It’s a whopper. Despite the company claiming the first truck will be delivered to customers for long term testing this year, you will never be able to actually buy the Tangra LH1. The company offers a new (not really) business model of TaaS - Truck as a Service. Haulage companies will simply hire the Tangra and pay per mile of usage without having to worry about any other outgoings.
For many companies, this will simplify their business. Terraline will become the Uber of the trucking industry and in the process will save the planet - at least that’s the plan. The reality may be tricky though, with many companies hoping to take advantage of generous EV tax credits in the US for electric trucks. Many companies prefer having 100% control over the fleet, including its maintenance - clearly, those companies are not Terraline’s prospective customers.
What about owner operators, the backbone of the industry? Getting an easy lease on a brand new electric truck sounds like a dream come true, the Tangra LH1 promises the highest standard cabin for the driver and with low running costs and nothing to worry about when it comes to maintenance - it can be tempting. Now, Terraline just needs to deliver on its promises and that - that is what separates the dreamers from doers. Time will tell, which category the Terraline falls in.
Come on guys! It is called Tangra because of the ancient Bulgarian god of thunders - Tangra. Bulgarian named that mountain. You are support to be a Bulgarian site, and you should know that kind of public knowledge.
- 03 Feb 2023