Elon Musk just disrupted the entire trucking industry with his autonomous 500-mile-per-charge Tesla Semi that might save drivers enough to buy the sexy 250 mph Roadster he unveiled with it.
The first 26 minutes of what was billed as Elon Musk’s biggest day looked like a bust. His SpaceX Falcon 9 liftoff of a top-secret “Zuma” payload from the Florida’s Kennedy Space Center had scrubbed on countdown a few hours earlier, and the Hawthorne, California, Tesla development center’s stage was empty.
The highly disappointed live and online crowd was buzzing about Jim Chanos of Kynikos Associates telling the Reuters “Global Investing 2018 Outlook Summit” he was adding to his Tesla short position, because it is a “multi-billion-dollar loss-making enterprise in a cyclical business, with a leveraged balance sheet, questionable accounting, every executive leaving, run by a CEO with a questionable relationship with the truth.”
But then the lights dimmed, the music changed and then the legendary Jerome Guillen, the director of the Model S Program, and the former Daimler-Mercedes General Manager who developed the 12 miles-per-gallon Cascadia commercial “SuperTruck,” strolled out.
As he surveyed the crowd, Guillen simply stated that we already have orders because “We have the best trucks ever!” His comments were acknowledged by industry sources: J.B Hunt Transportation Services, America’s largest truckload carrier, had reserved “multiple” Semis and Wal-Mart preordered 5 Semis for a fleet test.
As two highly aerodynamic-shaped silver and white Tesla Semis rolled out. Wired’s Live Stream posted, “In white, this truck looks a little like a Stormtrooper from the side, which I am VERY into.” Then, as the trucks stopped, Elon Musk jumped out to the roaring crowd.
Musk welcomed everyone and then stated, “We designed the Tesla truck to be like a bullet.”
There are numerous competitors introducing all-electric trucks, including Daimler’s E-FUSO Vision ONE all-electric class 8 “superTruck 2,” introduced three weeks ago, that pushes 47,000 lbs. of cargo for 220 miles on a single charge range.
But none can compare to the promised capability of a Tesla Semi. Musk did not give pricing for the Semi, but industry commenters believe the specifications mean it could command a premium.
Musk was not done yet: he rolled out a sexy new “Roadster” two-seater convertible that he says is the fastest production car ever made, going 0 to 60 miles per hour in 1.9 seconds and traveling 620 miles on a single charge. Musk, with a Cheshire Cat grin, said, “I won’t say what the top speed is, but it’s above 250 miles per hour.”