Tesla expands electric-vehicle portfolio with first truck and an updated roadster

Posted November 18, 2017

The all-new (and ridiculously quick) Roadster wasn't the only surprise Tesla had in tow for its belated reveal of the Semi as Elon Musk also briefly previewed (teased?) a pickup truck.

Both vehicles are fast: The Roadster can take itself from zero to 60 miles per hour in 1.9 seconds, and the Semi can perform the same feat in five seconds (unburdened by a trailer), Tesla says. These are the words used by Tesla's head honcho, who also mentioned the workhorse is based on the semi and that it can be legally driven with a regular driver's license, admitting it's "kind of wrong".

Tesla hasn't released a price for the Semi, but the Roadster will cost at least $200,000 depending on the options chosen, the company says.

The truck has a range of 500 miles and can recharge to a range of 400 miles in just 30 minutes with the company's new Megacharger.

While the official specs will be out closer to production, Tesla says that the Semi will go from 0-100 kmph in 5 seconds.

"Overall, the Semi is more responsive, covers more miles than a diesel truck in the same amount of time, and more safely integrates with passenger vehicle traffic", Tesla said.

Tesla is getting into the big rig business.

Tesla recently unveiled its electric semitruck. The company is promising that the truck won't break down for a million miles, pointing to the fact that even if two of the four electric motors were to stop working unexpectedly, the remaining motors could still keep the Semi running.

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

It can reach up to 160 kilometers per hour (99.4 miles per hour) in 4.2 seconds. They can also be charged overnight.

Only after talking about the truck's speed did Musk mention its range.

The price tag on the semi truck is unknown for now. Right now, there's little charging infrastructure on global highways.

Irwin says truck companies will have to watch the market carefully, because tougher regulations on diesels or an improvement in charging infrastructure could make electric trucks more viable very quickly.

But even lower costs won't make trucking a sure bet for Tesla.

Tesla's last debt sale in August was well received in a hot bond market, allowing the company to upsize the offering to $1.8 billion from $1.5 billion.