Terraline to Carry Out Prototype Class 8 Truck Tests in Q1

Crowley to Test Battery-Electric Truck in Florida
Terraline electric truck
Fremont, Calif.-based Terraline is putting the first prototype of its EV 500 through its paces with Jacksonville, Fla.-based logistics, fuel and shipping company Crowley. (Terraline Inc.)

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A prototype of a battery-electric Class 8 truck with an expected range of 500 miles is set to begin its first pilot tests in Florida in the first quarter of 2024, according to vehicle developer Terraline Inc.

Fremont, Calif.-based Terraline is putting the first prototype of its EV 500 through its paces with Jacksonville, Fla.-based logistics, fuel and shipping company Crowley, which will test the truck between Florida facilities in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville and Miami. After the Crowley test, pilot runs with other partners will take place, Terraline founder and CEO Graham Doorley told Transport Topics. Pilot testing with these potential customers is expected to take two weeks to as long as a month, and Terraline is planning four or five pilot trials before it begins focusing on production.

The EV 500 is a ground-up design, Doorley said.

“We had a clean sheet of paper,” the former Tesla and Waymo engineer said. “You can’t use a legacy platform to build an electronic or autonomous vehicle. The only way you can build a successful battery-electric truck is by starting from the ground up.”

Graham Doorley


Doorley added, “We have partners, but we’re not buying a chassis.”

Founded in the third quarter of 2021, the initial focus at Terraline was longhaul, autonomous battery-electric trucks. However, Terraline has shifted its focus to a battery-electric truck that can be driven by a human or autonomously. The company currently has one prototype truck, initial testing of which began in August 2022. Terraline aims to start serial production in the first quarter of 2027, Doorley said.

Manufacturing is taking place in Fremont, where Terraline has a facility situated 100 yards from a Tesla factory — a coincidence, Doorley said. This location, however, is not intended to be the company’s long-term manufacturing site; in coming years, serial production is set to be carried out by a contract manufacturer. Terraline is in talks with several potential providers, he added.

Crowley has a formal option to order electric trucks for delivery in 2026, the companies said, and those trucks will include capability for autonomous operation.


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“If our customer wants a driver, we’re OK with that — we’re agnostic. If they want to use a driver first, then switch to autonomy, we’re building a platform for that,” Doorley said.

He added, “We’re not an autonomy company. Having come from the autonomous industry, I am enabling the driver. We’re not building the [artificial intelligence], the brain.”

Doorley sees longhaul trucking as a significant opportunity in the electrification of transportation.

“The real prize in this country’s logistics industry is a 500-mile vehicle,” he said.

The Tesla Semi has an advertised range of 500 miles. Those trucks operating at PepsiCo Inc.’s Sacramento Beverages depot completed 384 miles on a single charge and 806 miles in a 24-hour day in the North American Council for Freight Efficiency’s Run on Less-Electric Depot program in September.

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