Tesla unveils its electric Semi truck at last

Elon Musk

Tesla reveals electric lorry to revolutionise haulage

The new Roaster seats four and costs at least $200,000.

While the official specs will be out closer to production, Tesla says that the Semi will go from 0-100 kmph in 5 seconds.

Elon Musk describes what Tesla Semi can do. Each of the truck's wheels is powered by a Model 3 engine, and the cab of the truck itself boasts two of touch screens also found in the Model 3. "But charging can be a challenge and Tesla big rigs will cost far more than diesel trucks".

The truck will have Tesla's Autopilot system, which can maintain a set speed and slow down automatically in traffic.

Elon Musk says the latest generation of the Tesla Roadster can go 0-60 miles per hour in under 2 seconds.

And J.B. Hunt Transport Services, a top logistics and trucking company, said Friday it had made a reservation to buy "multiple" Tesla Semis.

Just like it has built a global network of "superchargers" for its passenger EVs, Tesla plans to build a network of "megachargers" around the world for trucks refuelling on the go, with the powerful plugs able to deliver 400 miles of charge in less than 30 minutes.

The cost of the Semi Truck outright is not yet known but is said 20 per cent cheaper per mile than diesel lorries, with a cost of $1.21 (£0.91 approx) per mile compared to conventional diesels' $1.51 (£1.14 approx) per mile. Instead, they showed a truck with a dramatically greater range.

The release of the new vehicle prototypes comes two weeks after Tesla reported its biggest-ever quarterly loss as the company delayed by months a production goal for its critical Model 3 sedan.

Tesla sold just 222 Model 3s from July through September. Drive-train redundancy should also guard against jackknifing and boost the Semi's reliability. Speeds can reach up to 104 kmph, which is more than what the diesel trucks achieve, while the battery range is around just above 800 km at highway speeds. "We guarantee that this truck will not break down for a million miles", Musk said. You, the truck, all your hopes and dreams, whatever cargo was in the back (let's say, lettuce?), all gone in an instant.

Automotive News quoted Karl Brauer, executive publisher of Kelley Blue Book, as saying that "Elon's showmanship remains intact".

Musk also announced yesterday the launch of his new Roadster, an electric sports vehicle that he described as a "hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars". "So far that final element has eluded Tesla Motors, which makes it hard to see these vehicles as more than "what if" concept cars". Inside the truck's cabin - tall enough for a driver to stand upright - there are two large touchscreen interfaces. 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.

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