Tesla's electric truck boosts stock price of Elon Musk's company

Javier Howell
November 18, 2017

Unlike the previous version of the Roadster, Tesla's first model which went out of production in 2012, this vehicle will have four seats.

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.

This is a sign of how the Tesla Semi could make a bigger impact than many might suspect on the trucking industry.

Tesla also showed a second, smaller truck model they described as a "pickup". Shares rose Friday and they are up nearly 50% so far this year.

Tesla revealed an all-new version of its Roadster sports vehicle that can go from a stop to 60 miles an hour in 1.9 seconds, a figure that would make it the fastest-accelerating production auto ever.

For one, it's unclear if Tesla will actually get the Semi rolling out by 2019 as promised.

Arthur Wheaton from Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations said that the electric truck signalled the future of long-distance haulage but risked stretching Tesla's production resources too far.

Cost of vehicle is definitely a consideration, and Tesla hasn't said much about what the trucks will retail for once available, but cost of operation is something they addressed, saying it's below that of diesel Class 8 heavy duty vehicles. These are business people not fans, and they will need convinced that this truck is better for their balance sheet than existing technology.

The company is still working on production issues with its Model 3.

Tesla sold just 222 Model 3s from July through September.

The tech CEO also says it's easier and safer to drive. Musk said it will be able to maintain a speed of 65 miles per hour while going up a 5 percent grade.

Musk said Tesla will guarantee the big rigs will not break down for a million miles because they have will have multiple motors.

"Survives a nuclear explosion, or you get a full refund", Musk said.

"I think the electrification of large trucks makes sense", Wheaton said in a statement shared with Newsweek.

Karl Brauer, executive publisher of Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader, said the challenge for Tesla now will be keeping its promises, especially when it comes to potential truck buyers.

Tesla's truck can also follow other Semis autonomously to form a convoy of several vehicles - a feature that Musk outlined in his masterplan for the company a year ago.

Tesla Semi interior. Image source: Tesla. These are just concept vehicles, really, but it's Tesla, and nothing is really ever as it seems. Electric truck sales totaled 4,100 in 2016, but are expected to grow to more than 70,000 in 2026, says Navigant Research.

But truck drivers may still have some reservations.

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