The company’s CEO joked ahead of the launched and said the truck can transform into a robot and fight aliens.
Tesla Unveils Its First Electric Truck And New Sports Car
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, unveiled his company’s first electric semi-truck on Thursday evening at an event in Los Angeles where they also launched their new sports car.
At the launch, Musk said: “The point of doing this is just to give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars,” Musk said.
While the sports car provided a nice surprise to Tesla fans, the focus of the event was the unveiling of the new truck.
Ahead of the launch, Musk joked that the truck “can transform into a robot, fight aliens and make one hell of a latte”.
At the launch he said Musk the overall cost of ownership of the truck will be 20 percent less per mile compared with diesel trucks, that it boasted faster acceleration, better uphill performance, an 805km range at maximum weight at highway speed, and “thermonuclear explosion-proof glass” in the windshield.
He said safety features also include enhanced autopilot, lane-keeping technology, and a design that makes jackknifing “impossible”.
According to the Guardian, Musk claimed it would be “economic suicide” to continue using diesel trucks, and that the Tesla version, if driven in convoy, would be cheaper than shipping goods by rail.
He said production on the trucks would begin in 2019 and the sports cars would be available in 2020.
However, the Guardian reported that questions have been raised over whether the company has the capacity to meet the demand of the new vehicles.
Tesla debuted its first mass-market sedan, the Model 3, to much fanfare in July, when the waitlist for the vehicle already numbered more than 500,000. Since then, production has not gone smoothly.
In the third quarter of 2017, the company produced just 260 Model 3s – well below the 1,500 it had promised in August. Tesla blamed “production bottlenecks” for the delays. The Wall Street Journal reported that as recently as September, the cars were still being built by hand, rather than on an automated assembly line.