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Tesla Unveils Its Electric 'Semi' Truck, And Adds A Roadster

Thursday evening, CEO Elon Musk introduced Tesla's two latest products: a 'semi' truck and the Roadster he called, "the fastest production car ever made, period".

Tesla's Semi

The Thursday program was originally geared toward the new semi truck, but Musk followed the lead of Apple and other tech companies by throwing the crowd for a curve ball. He surprised the group by saying there was one more thing to add to the program as the new car rolled out of the truck's trailer.

Both new vehicles are fast: The Roadster can go zero to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds while the semi can accomplish the same in 5 seconds while unburdened by a trailer.

The new truck has a 500 mile range on a single charge even if it's fully loaded at a gross vehicle weight of 80,000 pounds. It can also maintain speed of 65 mph even while going up a 5 percent grade and comes with a million mile guarantee on its powertrain.

In contrast, the Roadster will have a top speed of "above 250 mph" said Musk, and a range of 620 miles. This vehicle will be available in 2020.

The truck's production is expected to begin in 2019 and customers who order now will receive their vehicle in two years.

Just this morning, trucking and freight company J.B. Hunt announced that they have placed a reservation to buy multiple Tesla semi tractors with plans to use them primarily on the West Coast.

"Reserving Tesla trucks marks an important step in our efforts to implement industry-changing technology," J.B. Hunt President and CEO John Roberts said in a news release. "We believe electric trucks will be most beneficial on local and day routes, and we look forward to utilizing this new, sustainable technology."

A price for the semi hasn't been released, but the Roadster will cost a minimum of $200,000 depending on the options chosen by the purchaser. Reservations for both vehicles can be made with an initial deposit of $5,000, but a total of at least $50,000 is due within 10 days for the Roadster.

During the presentation held at the Hawthorne Municipal Airport near Los Angeles, Musk said the cost of operating the semi would be $1.26 per mile versus the $1.51 per mile cost for a diesel truck. This calculation assumes a diesel price of $2.50 a gallon versus 7 cent/kWh for electricity and a maximum load traveling at an average speed of 60 mph.

The semi's windshield is made of "thermonuclear explosion-proof glass" Musk said. This feature will allow truckers to stay on the road and avoid being sidelined for windshield cracks. The driver seat's position is unique as well, with the chair and steering wheel in the cab's center, allowing drives to stand in the cab.

A complete article about Tesla's latest unveiling can be found here.

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