Musk unveils first Tesla truck, but no update on performance, price

  • Tesla ships its first Semi five years after introducing it to PepsiCo
  • There are no orders or capacities available for the electric truck
  • The Semi uses existing Tesla engines to power the new Supercharger

Dec 1 (Reuters) – Tesla Inc ( TSLA.O ) Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk announced the first heavy-hauler to PepsiCo ( PEP.O ) on Thursday, without providing updated estimates on the truck’s price, production plans or how much it will carry. Sam introduced. could draw.

Appearing on stage at an event at Tesla’s Nevada factory, Musk said the battery-powered, long-haul truck would reduce highway emissions, outperform existing diesel models in terms of power and safety, and develop fast-charging technology that Tesla would use in its operations. the upcoming Cybertruck pickup truck.

Noting that it’s been five years since Tesla announced it was developing an all-electric truck, Musk said, “If you’re into trucking and you want the baddest rig on the road, this is it.” However, industry experts are skeptical that battery-electric trucks can economically struggle to transport large loads over hundreds of miles.

In Musk’s first Tesla announcement since his Twitter takeover — a purchase that distracted some investors — the company did not reveal pricing for the Semi, detail options for the truck it had originally forecast, or provide a forecast for deliveries to PepsiCo. other customers. Tesla said it will begin using Semi to ship parts to its factory in Fremont, California.

In 2017, Tesla said the 300-mile version of the Semi would cost $150,000 and the 500-mile version would cost $180,000, but prices for Tesla’s passenger electric car have risen dramatically since then.

Tesla chairman Robyn Denholm recently said the automaker could build 100 Semis this year. Musk said Tesla will aim to produce 50,000 trucks by 2024.

PepsiCo ordered 100 trucks in 2017, completing its first shipment of a Tesla truck to deliver snacks to attendees at a Nevada launch event.

Brewer Anheuser-Busch ( ABI.BR ), United Parcel Service Inc ( UPS.N ) and Walmart Inc ( WMT.N ) were among the other companies that booked Sam. Tesla did not provide details on orders or deliveries to customers, nor an estimate of how the total cost of ownership for prospective buyers would compare to diesel alternatives.


Musk said the Semi has been testing between Tesla’s factory in Sparks, Nevada, and its factory in Fremont, California. Tesla says it can travel 500 miles on a single charge, with the Semi and cargo weighing a total of 81,000 pounds.

Tesla did not disclose the weight of the unloaded Semi, one of the key specifications that analysts hope to learn and an important consideration for the efficiency of electric trucks.

Musk has previously talked about the prospect of fully autonomous trucks. Tesla did not provide details on how Tesla’s driver-assistance systems will work in the Peninsula, which it unveiled Thursday, or in future versions.

The semi-delivered presentation ended without Musk taking questions, as he often does at Tesla events.

Oliver Dixon, senior analyst at consultancy Guidehouse, said: “It’s not very impressive – chip shipments (an average package weighs 52 grams) are by no means a definitive proof of concept.”

Tesla originally set a 2019 production target for the Semi, which was introduced in 2017. Since then, competitors have started selling their own battery-powered trucks.

Daimler’s ( MBGn.DE ) Freightliner, Volvo ( VOLVb.ST ), startup Nikola ( NKLA.O ) and Renault ( RENA.PA ) are among Tesla’s rivals in developing alternatives to combustion-engine trucks.

For example, Walmart ( WMT.N ) said it is testing Freightliner’s eCascadia and Nikola’s Tre BEV trucks in California.


Musk said the Semi is capable of 1 megawatt of charging and has liquid-cooling technology in the charging cable in an updated version of Tesla’s Supercharger, which will be introduced to the Cybertruck. Production of the Cybertruck is scheduled to begin in 2023.

Semi trucks account for just 1% of US vehicle sales but 20% of total vehicle emissions, Tesla said.

Tesla said other future cars will use the powertrain technology developed for the Semi. The Semi uses three electric motors developed for Tesla’s performance version of the Model S, with only one running at highway speeds and two in reserve when the truck needs to accelerate, a feature that helps the truck conserve energy, Musk said. .

“This thing has crazy power compared to a diesel truck,” Musk said. “Basically it’s like an elephant moving like a cheetah.”

In a slide shown as part of Musk’s presentation, Tesla showed an image of a future “robotaxis” in development with a tarp covered with a mock-up of the future car.

The presentation came after Tesla shares closed at $194.70. The stock is down about 45% so far this year, losing about $500 billion in market capitalization to about $615 billion.

Among the factors cited by investors are Musk’s sale of Tesla stock to finance his takeover of Twitter, signs that a slowing global economy is starting to dampen demand for Tesla’s high-priced cars and warnings that the company may not be able to meet its plan. It aims to increase deliveries by 50% this year.

Reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru and Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco; Edited by Kenneth Maxwell

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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