>> As Elon Musk promises to roll out electric semi trucks next year that can run 500 miles on a charge, Tesla will need an extensive network of charging stations to support the new vehicles throughout the country. And according to a Reuters exclusive, some companies who have preordered the new trucks, are collaborating with Tesla on getting a charging plan.
Reuters reporter Eric Johnson.>> The significance of these companies working with Tesla means that they can deploy their semi trucks on key routes serving manufacturing and distribution points. As soon as they take possession of their semis, which according to Tesla, could be at some point in 2019.>> Separately, industry executives say Tesla is also moving ahead with plans for its own stations to sell electricity to truckers.
Musk has talked about installing a network of solar powered mega chargers that could juice up a semi battery in 30 minutes. Experts say that would move Tesla one step closer to being an energy supplier rather than an auto maker. But just how quickly Tesla could build a robust network of electric filling stations for truckers isn't clear.
It's already stretched thin and burning cash. The companies have also remained silent on who is paying for the new fast charging stations that some industry insiders say could cost millions of dollars.