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Tesla is trying to change law that would make its electric semi truck popular in Europe

Tesla is reportedly trying to get approval for electric trucks to get around a Sunday and holiday ban for semi truck travel in Europe, which would give a significant boost to commercial electric trucks, like the Tesla Semi.

In several European countries, there’s a ban of vehicles with a legal maximum weight exceeding 7.5 tons and semi-trailers between 00:00 and 22:00 on Sundays and public holidays all year.

Some markets have different applications of the ban with different exceptions, but the goal, in general, is to improve air conditions and reduce noise pollution.

Since electric trucks don’t contribute to air or noise pollution, Tesla and other electric truck makers are arguing that the ban shouldn’t apply to them.

But the law doesn’t differentiate between different types of powertrains and therefore, they are going to need to change the law in order to allow their electric trucks to operate on Sundays.

Business Insider Germany reported that Tesla has recently approached the German government to make that change (translated from German):

According to research by Business Insider, a Tesla delegation traveled to Berlin on Thursday last week and met for a confidential discussion with the Parliamentary State Secretary at the BMVI, Steffen Bilger. The meeting was about everything. At some point, however, the company representatives turned the conversation to electric trucks and called for a spectacular change in the law: The new, environmentally friendly generation of trucks should be exempted from the Sunday driving ban. The regulation that allows drivers to not be slowed down by truck columns at least one day a week.

The Federal Ministry of Transport has confirmed that Tesla approached them and that they are investigating the change:

“During a conversation at the BMVI with Mr. PSts Bilger and representatives from Tesla, options for strengthening sustainable modern mobility were discussed, especially with regard to the logistics area.”

When unveiling Tesla Semi in 2017, Tesla started guiding the start of production in 2019, but it delayed the production of the electric truck to 2020.

Later, Tesla added that it is planning Tesla Semi electric truck production to start “with limited volumes” in 2020.

Shortly after unveiling the electric truck, Tesla confirmed that it plans to bring a European version of the truck to production.

As we reported last week, we have received indications that Tesla is starting to prepare Tesla Semi production at Gigafactory Nevada.

Electrek’s Take

This would be a big deal. The Tesla Semi already promises a lower cost of operation per mile, which should be enough to convince a lot of fleet operators.

Now, if you add the fact that you can add over 50 days of operation per year to the truck, you just added a lot of value to it versus diesel truck by simply changing a law.

This would create a lot of demand for Tesla Semi and other electric trucks. It would also likely encourage other truck manufacturers to accelerate their electric vehicle programs.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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