Thor is the name of a small company in southern California that is building a Class 8 all-electric truck it says will start production before the Tesla Semi does. Designed for short- to medium-haul duties of up to 300 miles, the Thor ET1 is the brainchild of 25 year old Dakota Semler. He and his co-founder Giordano Sordoni say they don’t want to disrupt the entire trucking industry the way Tesla wants to do. Almost one million commercial trucks are sold in the US every year. All Semler and his 17 employees want is to get a little piece of that market.
At the present time, Thor doesn’t actually make any trucks from the ground up. What they do is rip the diesel engines out of existing trucks and replace them with electric motors. Semler and his team, which includes people who previously worked for Faraday Future, Boeing, and BYD, custom design the batteries and control systems for each vehicle to meet the specifications of clients.
The ET1 is beautiful in a brutal sort of way. Unlike the svelte Tesla Semi, it features an enormous grille that sports a large logo inspired by the Norse god of thunder himself. It will cost $150,000 for the base model, which comes with a 22″ center touchscreen. Like all electric trucks, lower maintenance and fuel costs are touted as the main reasons to buy one. The lack of tailpipe emissions is just an extra bonus.
Production is scheduled to begin in 2019. Being first to market may be the advantage Thor Trucks needs to break into the heavy truck market and establish itself as a player in the electric truck world Musk and his minions have created.