Is Tesla betting it can rapidly change current battery equation by 2019?
Tesla released its design for a new all-electric last week in an airport hangar in Hawthorne, CA in a spectacle orchestrated by company founder Elon Musk.
The big news for the Tesla Semi is the promised range for the new class 8 tractors. The company said the standard version – with a price of $150,000 – will have a range of 300 miles from a full battery charge. An enhanced version with a price tag of $180,000 will get 500 miles from a charge. However, it should be noted that Tesla is calling those figures "expected base prices," so they could change.
Just as importantly, the company is promising a network of superfast solar-powered charging stations across the US that it says will be able to charge the larger battery model to 80% capacity to support a 400-mile range in just 30 minutes.
On a follow up podcast, Tesla offered its view of the likely economics of its new truck, for which it is now taking orders for claimed delivery in 2019. "If a trucker travels 90,000 miles a year - let's say the cost of fuel for a diesel truck is $2.70 a gallon. And let's say that's 35 cents per mile. If you think about that, for fuel alone, that's $31,000 to $32,000 that that trucker is spending," a Tesla spokesperson said.