As described in Rei’s diary, Tesla’s truck announcement is hugely important. I wrote a comment that turned into a diary… So here’s my view as a former owner of a medium-sized regional distribution business and fleet owner:

1. My driver would take our (leased, more in a moment) semi rig to the Mobil-Exxon refinery in LA (Torrance, about 110 miles) and pick up a full load of dry ice, then deliver to two aerospace companies nearby, then back on the 405 to the 101N and drop a portion of the load at Amgen and other medical/pharma companies in Thousand Oaks, then hit two more stops before returning to Santa Barbara. Maybe 250 miles round trip, plus some slow-speed delivery to different buildings in the industrial complexes. This Tesla rig would work beautifully for that sort of daily trip.

2. Most of the SoCal deliveries—retail such as Trader Joe’s, Safeway, Beer trucks, CostCo; industrial loads to factories and warehouses, etc., plus all the fuel delivery trucks (the ultimate ironic commentary: an EV semi delivering gasoline and diesel)—make daily round trips of 250 miles or less.

3. Further, most of the container traffic from the Port of LA and Long Beach (the busiest port in the country) is driven to huge facilities outside of LA, to be distributed from there. Trucks run every day and night, hooking up to a container and driven to so-called “inland ports” located in places like Riverside CA, about 75 miles. Trains haul a lot of those containers, but they have to be distributed from there to companies for further distribution. A single rig (with different drivers working shifts) will run day and night, back and forth, LA harbor to Riverside. From the “inland port” the containers are hauled to warehouses and distribution points all over SoCal and to other points beyond. This is true all over the U.S. and many of these distribution trips are under 500 miles.