Without a trailer, the Tesla Semi goes from zero to 60 miles per hour in five seconds, compared to 15 seconds in a comparable diesel truck, Tesla said, and does zero to 60 miles per hour in 20 seconds with a full 80,000-pound load.
Tesla also has a lot on its plate right now with trying to deliver its new Model 3 to customers in a timely fashion. Shares rose Friday and they are up nearly 50% so far this year.
"By the time you are done with your break, the truck is ready to go".
All Tesla Semi models come with Enhanced Autopilot to help avoid collisions, plus its centred driver position ensures maximum visibility and control, and a low centre of gravity prevents rollovers.
However, the Tesla chief did not reveal the truck's purchase price.
"You'll be able to travel from LA to San Francisco and back without recharging", Musk said, adding that production of the Tesla Roadster is scheduled to begin in 2020. These are business people not fans, and they will need convinced that this truck is better for their balance sheet than existing technology.
All the excitement of yesterday's product launches is not going to make people forget about the ongoing delays in the production of the Model 3 vehicle due to "production hell", as Musk put it earlier this year. And so is a startup called Nikola Motor, which just so happens to be the first name of the famed inventor that Tesla is named after.
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The tech CEO also says it's easier and safer to drive.
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. Its top speed is "above 250 miles per hour", Musk said.
Automotive News quoted Karl Brauer, executive publisher of Kelley Blue Book, as saying that "Elon's showmanship remains intact".
The new Tesla Semi has already found some high-profile buyers, with Walmart and more confirming they've placed reservations for the all-electric truck. "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? "Diesel fuel is readily available and relatively efficient for heavy long-haul trucks that cruise open highways at a fixed speed".
Meanwhile, J.B. Hunt Transportation Services also announced today that it would be experimenting with the Tesla Semi.
Just when Tesla's product event looked like it was over, the electric-car maker pulled one of Apple's "one more thing" surprise announcements.