Last week, Tesla delivered its first heavy-duty Semis to PepsiCo’s factory in Modesto, California. Now that the Palo Alto-based company’s usual marketing effervescence has brought the electric truck market under the spotlights, some wonder how the freight-hauling world would look if more established names from the passenger car realm would decide to join the club. And this Porsche electric semi truck proposal is just the tip of the rendering iceberg we’ve brought along as an answer.
This list of renderings depicting commercial trucks made by car companies that enthusiasts resonate with is much longer. So we can also feast our eyes on an Audi electric semi, with this being joined by commercial trucks from Toyota, Ferrari, BMW (cue to the kidney grille jokes), Mazda, Land Rover—via the Range Rover family—and even Rolls-Royce.
That last one sounds really funny, but keep in mind that Rolls-Royce’s C-range diesel engines, which were built from the 1950s through the 1970s, did end up powering multiple commercial trucks back in the day, including American models.
Some of these appear more like the oil-burning trucks we’ve already seen on the road (think: Rolls resembles a Western Star). Others are more focused on the passenger car inspiration, such as the Toyota semi, which seems to draw inspiration not just from the brand’s styling language in general, but also from the Mk V Supra (not this 10,000 rpm V10-powered example, though).
Then we have a pair of diesel CGI efforts, namely a Cadillac semi and a commercial truck that seems to have 1960s Ford Mustang written all over it, even though the hood-mounted air scoop and lower front fascia may have learned a few tricks from the modern Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.
Artificial intelligence made these luxury and performance Semis
In fact, making these images required quite a bit of learning, albeit with most of it being done by machines rather than humans. You see, the renderings, which come from the Instagram label known as automotive.ai saw the enthusiast behind the account masterfully pushing the buttons of an AI image generator. Oh, and have you seen the label’s C8 Corvette-based semi truck?
While there aren’t too many companies that build passenger cars and commercial trucks under the same badge like Tesla does (China’s BYD is one of the examples), many of the badges shown in these renderings belong to groups that also make trucks.
Perhaps the most notable example comes from Audi and Porsche—the Volkswagen Group’s Traton subsidiary controls multiple commercial truck brands, such as Naviastar, MAN, Scania, and others.
Electric trucks have their limitations
Returning to the marketing hype Tesla built around the Semi, CEO Elon Musk stated that the all-electric commercial truck completed a 500-mile drive on a single charge, while the Semi and cargo’s combined weight sat at 81,000 pounds.
However, while we know the truck has a 1,000V architecture that improves performance and charging times, the exact specs haven’t been released yet.
For one, the current Lithium-ion battery tech has its energy density limitations, which have seen all-electric pickup trucks fall below expectations in terms of towing. So we’re curious to see what the maximum load for that 500-mile range is.
Then again, a report released by the U.S. Department of Transportation back in 2017 shows that 80% of freight in America is carried less than 250 miles.
So perhaps these all-electric commercial trucks can prove an efficient emission reduction solution, even before the more advanced solid-state batteries take over in the final part of the decade, or the much-needed expansion of the country’s EV charging station networks takes place. Meanwhile, we can’t help but imagine a semi truck drag racing series involving all the big rigs portrayed here.