Nov. 14–Tesla chief Elon Musk doesn’t just want to blow our minds with his new semi-truck that’s being unveiled on Thursday.
He wants to blow it right out of your skull.
Musk doesn’t mess around when it comes to dishing out the hype. Thursday’s launch should be fun, even if all skulls remain intact.
So what will a Tesla semi look like anyway?
Good question. And the online mavens have seen to it that there are plenty of rumors, a ton of speculation, some intriguing photographs and details about the coming vehicle that should titillate one and all. Have a look at what’s floating out there:
First, from Musk himself, are some suggestions that the electric 18-wheeler will be both a “beast” and “unreal.” In other words, expect to see an unreal beast that will presumably be soon prowling our interstates, which is actually pretty scary to ponder.
Then, from Tesla Motors Club, comes this:
The club, which calls itself “an online community for EV enthusiasts to discuss and learn about Tesla Motors and electric cars in general,” has an active and engaged group of Tesla fans out there busily scooping up any and all hints of what pipeline products might look like. These are the kind of people who play amateur sleuth, sneaking around outside the Tesla factory in Fremont hoping to snap a furtive shot of something moving along the assembly line within. They often come up with cool stuff.
On Nov. 13, they posted Musk’s mind-blowing tweet, which said the truck would be unveiled Thursday at 8 p.m. Pacific time in a live-streamed event. “Little is known about the truck beyond a few reports of range and some possible photos of a prototype,” said the blog post. Reports have suggested the truck will have a range of 200-300-miles, is intended for short trips, and will include some self-driving capabilities. Musk says the truck’s specs are better than reported.”
“While it’s exciting to see Tesla introduce a new vehicle, the company’s current production woes likely complicate the timeline for the Tesla Semi,” said the blogger. “It’s also unclear where the vehicle will be manufactured, as Tesla’s current facilities are maxed out. It will be interesting to see if the Tesla Semi program will be housed in a new factory.”
Here’s a speculative drawing from Jalopnik.com’s Jason Torchinsky, doing his rendering for the online car site once owned by Gawker Media before Peter Thiel came to town:
And there’s this from Teslarati, where a guy named Gene says the coming truck fits perfectly into Tesla grand electrical scheme of things:
“Thursday’s semi-truck reveal is the next logical step for Tesla who in June 2016 revealed through the company’s second Master Plan that it was looking to enter the commercial trucking industry,” Gene writes. “We believe the Tesla Semi will deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate.
“An all-electric truck would be less expensive to operate than its gas and diesel counterparts on account of reduced maintenance, fuel, and reduced insurance costs once autonomous “platooning” technology is in place. According to a previous report by Adam Jonas of Morgan Stanley, a Tesla Semi could result in operational cost reductions of 70% over existing trucks on the market.”
Gene recognizes that details about the new truck are scarce, “with the only hint being that the all-electric truck drives like a sports car, according to Musk, and a ‘seriously next level’ truck that can compete in the heavy duty, long-haul trucking sector.”
The post goes on to talk about Ryder CTO Scott Perry, “who reportedly met with Tesla officials and learned that the company was looking to target regional hauling with its upcoming semi-truck, Tesla could also have a strategy for tackling long distance hauling. ‘I’m not going to count them out for having a strategy for longer distances or ranges, but right out of the gate I think that’s where they’ll start,’ said Perry.”
Gene things Tesla will probably focus first on the short-haul segment of the market, “due to the lower cost barrier to entry because of the smaller battery packs needed, but also because the market has the broadest range of applications that can benefit from an all-electric semi-truck. We previously analyzed the ROI for a Tesla Semi and found that there’s a clear business case for it in the short-haul industry.”
Here’s the image that accompanied Gene’s post:
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