Tesla wants to electrify big trucks

Tesla wants to electrify big trucks

The American brand still wants to amaze the world of enthusiasts and above all investors. In 2006 his first revolutionary electric auto was a sporty discovery in 2006.

After shaking up the auto world with its electric cars, Tesla is tackling a new frontier in "green" transportation with the unveiling of a futuristic all-electric semi truck. It's also ramping up production of solar panels after buying Solar City Corp. a year ago.

The four-seater will be available for purchase in 2020, starting at $200,000 each and will require a $50,000 deposit to reserve the auto. The company didn't say how many it ordered. Musk said clients can put down a $5,000 store for the semi now and generation will start in 2019.

Musk, too, is being pulled in many directions. Tesla says the new Roadster will have 620 miles of range and a top speed of 250 mph (402 kph). He leads rocket maker SpaceX and is dabbling in other projects, including high-speed transit, artificial intelligence research and a new company that's digging tunnels beneath Los Angeles to alleviate traffic congestion. This will help offset the resistance companies may feel when investing large amounts into Tesla's Semi truck. Some analysts expect it to get around 200 miles per charge and be used for daily tasks like transporting freight from a port to a distribution center. The chief executive of the USA truck maker, Ron Armstrong, however said in April, that it would be about 10 years before electric trucks pose a credible threat. "We believe electric trucks will be most beneficial on local and dray routes, and we look forward to utilizing this new, sustainable technology".

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But most of that growth is expected to be for smaller, medium-duty haulers like garbage trucks or delivery vans. The truck will go 500 miles on a single charge.

Already a pioneer in electric-powered cars and innovative self-driving software, Musk is on record as saying that developing electric vehicles was "not some silly hippy thing, it matters for everyone". With the low and stable nature of electricity prices - which average $0.12/kWh in the US - owners can expect to gain $200,000 or more in savings over a million miles based on fuel costs alone. From now until manufacturing starts for the new Tesla Roadster, the company will have to address the issues that have resulted in the Tesla Model 3 production delay.

Moreover, Tesla would first of all need to invest substantially to create a factory for those trucks. It faces stiff competition from long-trusted brands like Daimler AG, which unveiled its own semi prototype last month.

Joseph Spak of RBC Capital Markets said he was impressed by the truck, saying its specifications "exceeded expectations".

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