The Thursday invite-only event held near Los Angeles highlighted the ambitions of the luxury car maker while it struggles for the affordable version called Model 3 sedan, on which the future of car depends. They unveiled two products, including the unexpected Roadster.
Tesla quietly announced in some way a while ago that they were considering buses and trucks in their original “Secret Master Plan” blog post years ago.
The event was held for the Tesla Semi. When the presentation appeared to end, the Tesla Semi opened its trailer and, the surprise Roadster drove out.
The Roadster is the updated version of Tesla’s first production vehicle. It can travel 1000km on a single charge, that’s new record for an electric vehicle. It goes from 0 to 100 km per hour in 1.9 seconds. This makes Roadster a faster car in general production.
Tesla upstaged its own debut of an electric heavy-duty truck when a Roadster pulled out of the big rig’s trailer and Chief Executive Elon Musk said the new $200,000 sports car would be the fastest production car ever.
The first 1000 cars will cost $250,000 each, paid full in up front. The later models will start at $200,000.
Caption: Roadster emerges from new lorry’s trailer as CEO Elon Musk announces it will be quickest produced car.
“I won’t say what the actual speed is, but it’s above 250 mph [402 km/hr.]. The point of this is to give a hard-core smack down to gasoline cars,” Musk told the crowed assembled at company’s design studio in Hawthorne.
Then he showed off the prototype of the new vehicle, a convertible which he said will go from 0to 160 km/hr. in 4.2 seconds while covering half a kilometer in 11.2 seconds. “These are all world records,” he added.
“The battery pack will allow the three-motor, four-seat car to travel 1000 km on one charge, enough to drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles and back. That will make the vehicle the first production electric car to cover 1,000 kilometers on a single charge”, he said.
The Roadster, a new edition of the Palo Alto electric car maker’s first vehicle, will be available in 2020, Musk said. He boasted of roomy luggage storage, but warned that “you can’t put giant people in the rear seat.”. Put the kids in there or just the luggage!
The Roadster, which won’t be available until 2020, will have three motors and be able to drive 1000 km on a single charge. For those keeping track, that’s double what Tesla’s other vehicles the Model S, Model X, and Model 3 currently get.
Musk did not say where the truck would be built nor the price of the Semi. But he stated that the production will begin is 2019 and the Roadster would be available a year later. “The truck can go up to 800 km at maximum weight at highway speed”, Musk stated. Tesla said the Class 8 vehicle, the heaviest weight classification for trucks, in 30 minutes can recharge the battery enough to go 640 km.
It’s tough competition to the diesel/petrol trucks as it can cover a long distance on single charge. Diesel trucks travel up to 1600 km on a single tank of fuel. The tank can be filled in a minute or two. However, Musk also said that diesel trucks were 20% more expensive per mile to operate than his electric truck.
“From day one, having a Tesla semi will beat a diesel truck on economics,” Musk claimed. “It’s got a better drag coefficient than a supercar.”
If a driver has a medical emergency, the truck will automatically come to a gradual stop, and can call for help if the driver doesn’t respond to a prompt, Musk said.
The truck’s low center of gravity makes for good handling and roll-over prevention, and its technology makes jack-knifing impossible, Musk said.
The Semi has automated-driving features as lane-keeping and automated braking, and has four independent motors. “Even if you have only two of the motors active, it’ll still beat a diesel truck,” he said.
On one charge, Tesla’s truck can travel 800 kilometers at 100 km/hr., carrying the maximum allowed weight in the U.S., Musk said, adding that 80 percent of trucking routes are shorter than 400 kilometers.
Production begins in 2019, he said.
“Order now, you get the truck in two years,” he said.
The record of accomplishment of Musk’s promises and Model 3 production shouldn’t have people believing they’ll get a truck in two years if they order now. Mileage claims for trucks resembling those for commuters or local trips in support of electric cars earlier typically fall flat, because they don’t fit all the uses that owners and users normally expect of their vehicles.
Tesla showed off the semi on a webcast which offered reservations for the truck at $5,000 each, but Musk did not discuss reservation volume.
The specs on semi-truck and sports car put both vehicle at the top of their segments, assuming tesla Motors can produce them.
Photo credit: Tesla Photo
Caption: Tesla shows interior overview of the new electric semi tractor-trailer unveiled on Thursday
The two-vehicle launch event was held despite financial, legal and production issues at Tesla Motors. It was revealed that it’ll be a three-month delay to produce the Model 3 sedan. The company had $2.98 billion in revenue last quarter but still had a loss of $619 million. Legally, it is alleged of racial discrimination at the company in a lawsuit this week.
By force of habits, Tesla’s live-streamed announced of new truck was delayed. It was originally scheduled for 8pm. As the event was about to begin, the company tweeted that it would go ahead at 8.15 pm. Finally, it started after 8.25 pm.
The advantages held by standard semis could limit the scale of electric trucks’ operations, said Auto trader and Kelley Blue Book Managing Editor Michael Harley, who said Tesla had “incorrectly aimed its sights.”
“Diesel fuel is readily available and relatively efficient for heavy long-haul trucks that cruise open highways at a fixed speed,” Harley said.
“A more appropriate target for the electric vehicle maker would be the short-haul.”
The roadster has a base price of $200,000. And yes, there’s already a reservations page (https://www.tesla.com/roadster/). You just need $50,000 to make a deposit. Tesla was giving rides to those who made a reservation immediately.
The company also plans to produce a founder’s series for $250,000—you’ll need a full deposit to make a reservation for one of these.
You can also reserve the Tesla Semi; no deposit information is given.
Watch the recorded 36-minute of tesla Livestream at https://livestream.tesla.com/
What do you think of Tesla Motors and Elon Musk? Musk have almost been bankrupted a multiple time, but still did not limit his ambitions and somehow managed to get out of it to success. He is a determined busy leader. But can he make tesla launch the new vehicles on time or will it meet the fate of Model 3 sedan?
Shares of Tesla have risen 46 percent this year to make the company the No. 2 US automaker by market value.
Charging and maintaining electric trucks that crisscross the country could be expensive and complex.
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