Tesla Is Getting Into The Big Rig Business With Electric Semi-Truck

Tesla reveals electric lorry to revolutionise haulage

Walmart plans to pilot test the new Tesla Semi

The company will unveil its new electric semitractor-trailer Thursday night near its design center in Hawthorne, California.

Tesla says there will be a host of fleet management tools and routing tools, which will be made available on the Semi, and are otherwise seen on cars. But if Musk follows through on the promised specs, the Semi and the Roadster should set new standards for electric vehicles.

What do you make of the Tesla Semi Truck?

The price tag on the semi truck is unknown for now.

"Reserving Tesla trucks marks an important step in our efforts to implement industry-changing technology", said J.B. Hunt CEO John Roberts in a statement.

Speaking onstage at the launch, Musk boasted his Tesla Semi was unlike "any truck that you've ever driven".

That makes sense, according to Jerry Hirsch, editor at Trucks.com.

Mr Musk said several Tesla lorries will be able to travel in a convoy, autonomously following each other.

That's because there still appear to be limitations for how far the Semi can go before being charged. According to Musk, the truck can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 20 seconds when carrying a full load of 80,000 pounds-the maximum weight allowed on US roads.

Tesla reveals electric lorry to revolutionise haulage
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But as CNNMoney's auto guru Peter Valdes-Dapena pointed out, diesel trucks can travel much further before needing to be refueled.

The Tesla Semi is expected to begin deliveries in 2019, and reservations are being taken now. Regulations require commercial trucks to be sidelined if their windshields are cracked in a way that could affect the driver's view. "You can lose two of the four motors and the truck will still keep going", he said.

What if we just made a mini version of the Tesla semi?

Of course, the Model 3 loomed over it all. The Model 3, with a starting sticker price of about $35,000, has been plagued by production problems. The units will be even more powerful than the Supercharger network Tesla already offers for its cars.

Wall Street seems to be buying into the Tesla hype though. Tesla estimates a two-year payback for the added cost of the truck, meaning more than $200,000 in saved fuel.

In a nod to the bottom-line concerns of trucking companies, Musk said Tesla would guarantee the Semi won't break down in the first million miles of operation. Tesla shares are about 20% below their record high.

The company has spent more than a decade making cars - and more recently, solar panels. The company's latest offering will lock horns with the electric trucks from Daimler while a few other players could crop up by then in this space.

Tesla sold just 222 Model 3s from July through September. "There's only thing that's beyond Ludicrous, which is Plaid", Musk said. "There may not be meaningful distribution of this vehicle for at least three years".

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