Big Electric Trucks by Tesla is a Reality Now
Tesla Inc unveiled a prototype electric big-rig truck that it will start producing in 2019, throwing itself into a new market even as it struggles to roll out an affordable sedan on which the company’s future depends.
Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors, in his tweet mentioned that Tesla Semi Truck unveiling is set to blow your mind clear out of your skull and into an alternate dimension. Just need to find my portal gun.
Chief Executive of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk unveiled the big rig, dubbed the Tesla Semi, by riding the truck into an airport hangar near Los Angeles in front of a crowd of Tesla car owners and potential buyers.
Later the semi truck opened its trailer, and a new Roadster drove out. The car is an updated version of Tesla’s first production vehicle. It can seat four and travel 620 miles (1,000 km) on a single charge, a new record for an electric vehicle, Musk said. It can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour (100 km per hour) in 1.9 seconds.
Musk has described electric trucks as Tesla’s next effort to move the economy away from fossil fuels through projects including electric cars, solar roofs and power storage.
Some analysts fear the truck will be an expensive distraction for Tesla, which is burning cash, has never posted an annual profit, and is in self-described “manufacturing hell” starting up production of the $35,000 Model 3 sedan.
Musk did not give a price for the truck.
Tesla also has to convince the trucking community that it can build an affordable electric big rig with the range and cargo capacity to compete with relatively low-cost, time-tested diesel trucks. The heavy batteries eat into the weight of cargo an electric truck can haul.
The truck can go up to 500 miles (800 km) at maximum weight at highway speed, Musk said.
Diesel trucks are capable of traveling up to 1,000 miles (1,600 km) on a single tank of fuel. Musk said diesel trucks were 20 percent more expensive per mile to operate than his electric truck.
The Tesla Semi can also go from 0 to 60 mph in five seconds without cargo or reach 60 mph in 20 seconds at the maximum weight allowed on U.S. highways of 80,000 pounds (36,300 kg).
“I can drive this thing and I have no idea how to drive a semi,” Musk joked.
Ahead of the unveiling, Tesla executives showed off the Class 8 truck to journalists, describing it as “trailer agnostic,” or capable of hauling any type of freight. Class 8 is the heaviest weight classification on trucks.