Elon Musk unveiled Tesla’s first electric semi-truck at an event in Los Angeles that also included the surprise reveal of a new Tesla sports car. The new Roadster, which has the same name as the first electric vehicle produced by Tesla from 2008 to 2012, emerged from the back of one of the trucks at the end of a presentation that focused largely on the economic and performance needs of truck drivers.
There was no espresso machine to be seen, but Musk did promise a laundry list of features that he claimed would ensure the overall cost of ownership will be 20% less per mile compared with diesel trucks. Among them: faster acceleration, better uphill performance, a 500-mile (805km) range at maximum weight at highway speed, and “thermonuclear explosion-proof glass” in the windshield.
Tesla has revealed its first electric semi-trailer truck and surprised many by rolling out a new roadster sports car.
The company plans to build a network of “Megachargers” (as opposed to the “Superchargers” used by other Tesla vehicles) that can produce a 400-mile charge in 30 minutes.
Safety features include enhanced autopilot, lane-keeping technology, and a design that makes jackknifing “impossible”
The CEO’s promises for the new Roadster were no less ambitious. Musk said the car’s acceleration from 0 to 60 mph and 0 to 100 mph, as well as its quarter-mile speed, were all “world records” for production cars.
He said production on the trucks would begin in 2019 and the sports cars would be available in 2020.
Competition in the electric truck market has been heating up. In September, Daimler AG announced the delivery of its first electric trucks to the United Parcel Service (UPS). Other companies working on electric trucks include Volkswagen, Cummins and Nikola.
Musk claimed it would be “economic suicide” to continue using diesel trucks, saying the Tesla version, if driven in convoy, would be cheaper than shipping goods by rail.