Tesla to enter trucking business with new electric semi

Muriel Hammond
November 18, 2017

Musk has relied on batteries to power his vehicles in the past and many expect the new semi to fall in line, but there are questions about where a truck that's meant to carry cargo will find space for the batteries it would need to travel long distances.

It is not clear yet what the final price of the truck will be.

Remember the original Tesla Roadster - looked a bit like a Lotus Exige, costed a lot more and went like stink?

But problems with the Model 3 were far from the minds of attendees at Tesla's pep rally Thursday. "When we take off, if we're at full power, we'll go Plaid, we'll go Plaid", says the Tesla employee giving the Roadster test ride. Walmart has confirmed that it reserved fifteen Tesla Semi trucks, telling CNBC that it had earmarked ten for the United States and the remaining five for Canada.

"I hope you like what you see", said Musk.

Musk said Autopilot will come standard on its electric trucks. The question remains whether the company can keep up with demand for its electric vehicles (Model 3 owners are still waiting to get their cars).

Semi adds one more major project on the plate of Musk, who not only has several in the works at Tesla, but also runs aerospace company Space X, and The Boring Company, which is attempting to solve traffic woes by creating a high-speed transportation system featuring a series of tunnels.

"By the time you are done with your break, the truck is ready to go". Well Tesla has a new one out and it's even quicker than any other Tesla now in the market.

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

The surprise introduction of a new version of Tesla's beloved Roadster sports vehicle also helped push the stock higher. "So far, that final element has eluded Tesla Motors, which makes it hard to see these vehicles as more than "what if" concept cars".

Could this be the electric truck the world has been waiting for? However, Tesla will be up against some formidable challengers, Daimler being one which knows this market well and already has customer trust and loyalty.

But truck drivers may still have some reservations. When a truck is out of commission, money is lost.

Touting the sports car's speed, Tesla tweeted, "Going into plaid" - a reference to a hyperspace joke from the movie Spaceballs. 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.

Musk hopes his truck will eventually replace diesel lorries on the road.

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

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