Tesla reveals its first electric truck

After a year of romance Amber Heard and Elon Musk split up last August. A decision taken by the billionaire that the latter was not very well-lived

After a year of romance Amber Heard and Elon Musk split up last August. A decision taken by the billionaire that the latter was not very well-lived

But it was easy to forget about all the snags and delays plaguing the production of Tesla's first mass-market electric auto, especially with Musk dropping phrases like "zero to 60 in 1.9 seconds" and "620-mile range".

The world's best-known electric vehicle company Tesla has finally revealed the zero-emission vehicle it hopes will make the major inroads into the commercial freight market, unveiling its first electric truck in Los Angeles yesterday. That's a figure usually associated with luxury sedans, not big trucks.

In his presentation, Musk said the cost of operating an electric tractor-trailer would be $1.26 per mile, compared with $1.51 per mile in a diesel truck.

The company also plans to create a global network of solar-powered "megachargers" that could get the trucks back up to 400 miles of range after charging for only 30 minutes. There's also a version with a 300-mile range. Regulations require commercial trucks to be sidelined if their windshields are cracked in a way that could affect the driver's view. The 500-mile version will be able to do round-trip runs on the vast majority of USA freight routes, which are 250 miles or less, Musk said. It also reaches speeds over 250mph and can go almost 620 miles on one charge.

By contrast, the Roadster will be able to run a quarter-mile in 8.9 seconds. For comparison, the 840-horsepower Dodge Challenger Demon, a single-seat vehicle engineered specifically for drag racing, manages it in just under 10 seconds.

However, while a shiny, fast red Roadster has got everyone excited, production of the company's first "affordable" vehicle, the Model 3, is behind schedule due to factory delays.

The Roadster will cost $200,000 and a $50,000 deposit will be required to reserve one.

The price tag on the semi truck is unknown for now.

The semi's drive systems are guaranteed to last for 1 million miles, Tesla said.

While shares in the company are up more than 40% this year, they have fallen 20% since hitting record highs in mid-September.

Inside the Tesla semi's cab, the driver is seated in the center - rather than on the left or right - with a large touch screen on each side.

Musk added that the overall cost of ownership of the lorry, the manufacture of which is planned for 2019, would be more economical than diesel engine trucks.

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