Published: Sat, November 18, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

Tesla Semi Truck Unveiled; Plus New Roadster, 'Quickest Car in the World'

Tesla Semi Truck Unveiled; Plus New Roadster, 'Quickest Car in the World'

The four-seater convertible boasts a 200 kilowatt-hour battery pack and a 620-mile range, as well as three motors, all-wheel drive, and torque steering.

Elon Musk said in a press conference that the electric truck will do 0-60mph in five seconds with a trailer attached, with the figure rising to 20 seconds towing a gross weight of 36,000kg.

So, yes, the Tesla Semi will be able to drive itself, on the highways at least.

Tesla also has a lot on its plate right now with trying to deliver its new Model 3 to customers in a timely fashion. Tesla estimates a two-year payback for the added cost of the truck, meaning more than $200,000 in saved fuel.

After touting the utility and efficiency of what he called a game-changing truck, Musk welcomed the Roadster to cheers from those attending the event at the Hawthorne Municipal Airport near Los Angeles. But it was easy to forget about all the snags and delays plaguing the production of Tesla's first mass-market electric auto, especially with Musk dropping phrases like "zero to 60 in 1.9 seconds" and "620-mile range".

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.

Japanese company apologises after train departs 20 seconds early
The 20-second gaffe may not sound like a big deal, but the Japanese train system is world-famous for its precision and efficiency. Japanese trains are known for their punctuality, and the early departure apparently mortified the Tsukuba Express management.

Tesla claims the Semi Truck can charge from empty to 400 miles in 30 minutes, which is the legal required break time in the United States for truckers to take. Instead, they showed a truck with a dramatically greater range.

Although Thursday night's event celebrated Tesla's largest and smallest new offerings, the company is grappling with how to smooth problems that have hit its flagship Model 3.

Only after talking about the truck's speed did Musk mention its range. "We guarantee that this truck will not break down for a million miles", Musk said.

And in a surprise announcement, Musk also used the event to reveal a new sports auto he claimed would be the "fastest production vehicle ever" made.

He noted that engine maker Cummins, German auto giant Daimler and commercial truck company Navistar are all working on their own electric trucks. "So far that final element has eluded Tesla Motors, which makes it hard to see these vehicles as more than "what if" concept cars".

Tesla Semi interior. Image source: Tesla. The Semi also comes with regenerative braking for improved brake life, while there is no need to shift gears on this truck, which should make it convenient for drivers. "We believe electric trucks will be most beneficial on local and dray routes", John Roberts, president and chief executive officer at J.B. Hunt, explained of his company's reservations, "and we look forward to utilizing this new, sustainable technology".

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