He’s a busy man, Elon Musk. The billionaire entrepreneur just got out of whack on his newly acquired Twitter team and drove Tesla’s first Semi-production vehicle to a delivery event at the automaker’s Nevada Gigafactory on Thursday night, just hours after he offered an update on the neuroscience Neuralink initiative.
Tesla introduced the all-electric Semi to great fanfare five years ago, but production dates have dropped, causing the launch date to be later than it intended.
The first customer, Pepsi, ordered 100 Tesla Semis, and more companies are expected to take delivery of the vehicle as production increases. Tesla chief Musk previously said he expects 50,000 Semis to come off the line by 2024.
During the live-streamed delivery event, Tesla released a series of short videos highlighting its new Semi truck.
The new truck comes in two variants – a 500-mile-range model that costs $180,000, and a 300-mile-range model that costs $150,000. A group of rival automakers are also in the process of launching all-electric Semis, but Tesla’s more expensive model seems to have the best range by far.
Tesla’s Semi has a sleek appearance and can reach speeds of 60 miles per hour in 20 seconds when loaded to a maximum gross vehicle weight of 80,000 pounds. It includes four independent motors for maximum power and acceleration, giving it a low energy cost per mile.
“Charging with electricity is about 2.5 times cheaper per mile than refueling with diesel. [based on average diesel prices in California in the first half of 2022]”Tesla says on its website. “Operators can see fuel savings of an estimated $200,000 in their first three years of ownership.”
During Thursday’s event, Musk highlighted how toxic regular Semi trucks can be, explaining that while oversized trucks account for only 1% of vehicle production, they cause 20% of vehicle emissions and more than a third of all particulate emissions. .
“In terms of health, especially in cities, it’s a huge impact… that’s why we’re doing it,” Musk said.
Looking at the Tesla Semi next to him, Musk added: “There’s a huge shortage of drivers, and so if you’re a truck driver and want the toughest gear on the road, this is it.”