Tesla's bid to transform the trucking industry from one of old-timey gas-guzzling vehicles to sleek electric-powered ones gained a major foothold on Thursday with the unveiling of the new Tesla Semi. The Tesla Semi truck also has a better drag coefficient thanks to its extremely aerodynamic design. It's way behind on production of the Model 3, a new lower-cost sedan.
The Tesla Semi checks a lot of boxes in terms of addressing bottom line considerations, offering 500 miles of range to avoid too much compromise vs. diesel truck travel capability, and providing a way for a company to decrease its net Carbon dioxide emissions without having to undertake expensive endeavors like sponsoring the construction of renewable power plants.
With these heavy-hitting clients standing in line for their Teslas, it's no wonder that the future of the electric semi truck market is looking bright.
Tesla spent $1.1 billion on its auto business in the third quarter, and expects expenses of $1 billion in the current one.
Furthermore, Tesla says that a lot of components on the Semi have been shared with the Model 3, to achieve higher economies of scale.
Musk said customers can put down a $5,000 deposit for the semi now and production will begin in 2019.
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Could this be the electric truck the world has been waiting for?
The stock is up more than 4% after the event.
But most of that growth is expected to be for smaller, medium-duty haulers like garbage trucks or delivery vans. The auto can reach 100 miles per hour in just 4.2 seconds, according to Musk.
It is not clear yet what the final price of the truck will be.
Only after talking about the truck's speed did Musk mention its range. They can also be charged overnight. Right now, there's little charging infrastructure on global highways.
The semi can travel 500 miles between charges. Tesla estimates a two-year payback for the added cost of the truck, meaning more than $200,000 in saved fuel. It faces stiff competition from long-trusted brands like Daimler AG, which unveiled its own semi prototype last month. "It probably is, based on the specs provided, but this isn't necessarily a slam dunk", said Rebecca Lindland, an executive analyst at Kelley Blue Book. The company, one of the largest supply chain solutions providers in North America, said that it had "placed a reservation to purchase multiple Tesla Semi tractors" though did not specify exact numbers.