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

Tesla is accepting reservations for the Tesla Semi requiring a $5,000 deposit. Production is slated to begin in 2019

Tesla is accepting reservations for the Tesla Semi requiring a $5,000 deposit. Production is slated to begin in 2019

But even with those impressive stats, the Tesla Semi isn't quite up to the performance level of its diesel-fueled competition, which will still be able to travel longer distances between refueling, and will likely have a much lower price tag.

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 is getting into the big rig business.

Leading up to the event, there was speculation that Tesla might deal with the range problem by devising some kind of battery swapping service at truck stops, but there was no mention of this on Thursday. Musk said it will be able to maintain a speed of 65 miles per hour while going up a 5 percent grade. The Roadster will have a range of 620 miles, he added.

Musk also said Tesla would build a network of Megachargers that would charge the trucks' batteries to a 400 mile range in just 30 minutes, but there has been scepticism that the battery cost of the truck could be prohibitive.

The semi, which is set to start production in 2019, is accepting pre-orders for $5,000 apiece.

Tesla reveals electric lorry to revolutionise haulage

The semi can travel 500 miles between charges.

Unveiled last night, the Tesla Semi does away with traditional diesel engines altogether and, like the California automaker's cars, replaces them with high-powered electric motors.

However, the Tesla chief did not reveal the truck's purchase price. Tesla also could equip its trucks with the semi-autonomous driving features found in its cars, like automatic braking and lane changing. Nothing else matters: not the mortgage, not the store, not my team and all their bullsh!t.

For those looking to get the new Roadster early, the cost will be $250,000.

Now, a little over two years after Musk's post, we get a first-person look on what it's like to experience dizzying acceleration in the planet's quickest production auto. In what has become something of a pattern in recent years, Musk has unveiled ambitious and even visionary new plans for Tesla, as the company copes with putting those ideas into effect - and cars on the road. Its first mass-market EV, the Model 3, is way behind on its delivery schedule, with just 260 finished during the third quarter of 2017 compared to the 1,500 originally promised.

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