Tesla to unveil its electric big-rig truck tonight
Tesla Inc (TSLA) to unveil a prototype electric big-rig truck, which may be able to drive itself, tonight at 8 pm PST.
Chief Executive Elon Musk has described electric trucks as Tesla’s next effort to move the economy away from fossil fuels through projects including electric cars, solar roofs and power storage.
Reuters in August reported that Tesla was working on self-driving technology for the truck. Several Silicon Valley companies see long-haul trucking as a prime early market for the self-driving technology, citing the relatively consistent speeds and little cross-traffic trucks face on interstate highways and the benefits of allowing drivers to rest while trucks travel.
The truck would have a working range of 200 to 300 miles, at the low end of what is considered “long-haul” trucking, Reuters reported. Diesel trucks are capable of traveling up to 1,000 miles on a single tank of fuel.
Musk said this week that the truck would “blow your mind clear out of your skull” when it was introduced in a webcast on Thursday at 8 p.m. PST.
He later tweeted, the truck “can transform into a robot, fight aliens and make one hell of a latte.” Musk seems to be embracing the criticism and he’s a hype man and making light of it.
“Semi specs are better than anything I’ve seen reported so far. Semi eng/design team work is aces, but other needs are greater right now,” Musk tweeted in October.
A Tesla truck with a range of 300 to 450 miles would be able to address less than half of the total semi-truck market, estimated Bernstein analyst .
The original debut date for the truck was October 26, which was delayed because of Model 3 production delays, and Tesla’s battery projects in Puerto Rico after the hurricane took out power on the island country after Hurricane Maria.
“A lot of people don’t think you can do a heavy-duty, long-range truck that’s electric, but we are confident that this can be done,” Musk told Tesla shareholders at its annual meeting in September. “So we’ll be showing off a working prototype not too long from now, at the end of September.”
Musk has said the Tesla Semi Truck will hit the roads in 2019. “We will probably reach scale production on the semi in about two years,” he said at the shareholder meeting in September. “Maybe 18 months, but probably about two years.”
TSLA last traded at $313.92.
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