The Tesla Semi already has some big-name reservations

Posted November 18, 2017

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 sports auto, described as a "hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars" by Musk, will have a range of almost 620 miles on a single charge and go from 0 to 100 mph in 4.2 seconds.

Musk pulled a major surprise for the audience at its event after the Semi unveiling, by debuting the company's new second-generation Roadster, which it calls the "quickest vehicle in the world, with record-setting acceleration, range and performance".

He said Tesla plans a worldwide network of solar-powered "megachargers" that could get the trucks back up to 400 miles of range after charging for only 30 minutes.

Without a trailer, the Tesla Semi goes from zero to 60 miles per hour in five seconds, compared to 15 seconds in a comparable diesel truck, Tesla said, and does zero to 60 miles per hour in 20 seconds with a full 80,000-pound load.

Tesla didn't release exact pricing information but said operating costs-including power, lease payments and insurance would be 20 percent lower for the Semi than a diesel truck.

Tesla is getting into the big rig business.

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Of course, the Model 3 loomed over it all.

In addition, let's not forget Tesla has already teased the Model Y, a smaller crossover slated to be positioned below the Model X. It's due in 2019, though knowing Tesla, we're not so sure it will actually be launched before 2020. Most recent yet, Walmart has placed an order for five electric trucks for the USA and 10 for Canada. Electric truck sales totaled 4,100 in 2016, but are expected to grow to more than 70,000 in 2026, says Navigant Research. The vehicle can reach 100 miles per hour in just 4.2 seconds, according to Musk. Those trucks can have a more limited range of 100 miles or less, which requires fewer expensive batteries. That is until they come to realize the $200,000 to $250,000 price tag. Right now, there's little charging infrastructure on global highways.

The Semi is the company's first electric truck, which it claims can travel up to 500 miles on a single charge.

"It probably is, based on the specs provided, but this isn't necessarily a slam dunk".

The semi's drive systems are guaranteed to last for 1 million miles, Tesla said.