Tesla unveils semi truck and a new roadster

Tesla electric big rig

Teaser mage of Tesla’s electric big rig. Courtesy Tesla

Unveiled last night, the Tesla Semi does away with traditional diesel engines altogether and, like the California automaker's cars, replaces them with high-powered electric motors.

Tesla revealed an all-new version of its Roadster sports vehicle that can go from a stop to 60 miles an hour in 1.9 seconds, a figure that would make it the fastest-accelerating production auto ever.

In 2020, the company will also begin producing a roadster, which was unexpectedly unveiled at the Semi event.

The first 1,000 Roadsters will cost $250,000 each, paid in full upfront, with later models starting at $200,000. He said it should have a maximum range of 500 miles, and could be charged up for another 400 miles in 30 minutes using Tesla's yet-to-be-deployed, solar-powered Megacharger stations. 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 USA roads.

The Tesla Semi is a standard Class 8, the largest commonly used class of heavy-duty freight trucks.

The Tesla Semi is its first-ever electric articulated lorry, and can go for 500 miles without needing recharging. Of course, with the pickup truck business being huge in the United States, it might just happen eventually to allow the Palo Alto company grab a piece of the action.

The Tesla Semi is big on safety too and comes with a reinforced battery to keep it from exploding or catching fire in the event of a crash.

But Walmart's statement reveals yet another key selling point: Tesla's Semi can help with corporate sustainability efforts, and companies all over the world have committed to reducing emissions and lowering their ecological impact, whether due to internal targets and image considerations, or requirements from regulators and governing bodies.

Tesla Semi interior. Image source: Tesla. Further, thanks to lower electricity prices at Tesla's Megachargers, Tesla said owners can expect to save $200,000 or more on fuel costs alone over one million miles of driving. Though the vehicle is clearly priced in supercar territory, it's far cheaper than numerous supercars it outperforms.

Krebs added: "In contrast to Tesla's current buyer bases, the priority for truck drivers and fleet operators is reliability and up-time".

But most of that growth is expected to be for smaller, medium-duty haulers like garbage trucks or delivery vans.

"From a purely economic perspective, if Tesla's cost of ownership stats prove accurate in practice, Tesla's Semi has a strong chance of taking significant share", he said. And charging even a mid-sized truck would likely require a two-hour stop, cutting into companies' efficiency and profits, says Brian Irwin, managing director of the North American industrial group for the consulting firm Accenture.

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