As expected, last night Telsa Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) unveiled its take on the freight-hauling heavy duty truck. The Tesla Semi truck goes into production in 2019. The electric-powered big rig delivers 500 miles of range on a battery charge, and Telsa promises much lower overall operating costs than a traditional diesel-powered semi along with improved safety.
But CEO Elon Musk — ever the showman — had something else up his sleeve. Driving out of the trailer being hauled by the new truck on stage was a $200,000 new Tesla Roadster, claimed to be the world’s fastest production car.
What will the reveals do for TSLA stock? It’s up 48% on the year, but had been sliding recently on news of Model 3 production delays. Investors do seem to be happy with the announcements as TSLA stock is up over 2% in after hours trading.
The Tesla Semi
Last night was the big event that Tesla has been teasing. The company unveiled the Tesla Semi, its take on the big rigs that are everywhere on North American roads.
Unlike the traditional versions that run on diesel fuel, the Tesla Semi truck is battery powered. That gives it a range of 500 miles on a charge, and Tesla says just 30 minutes on a “megacharger” nets 400 miles of driving. That’s far better than the 200-300 mile range that had been predicted. Performance would put many sports cars to shame — Tesla calls it “badass.” The Tesla Semi posts zero to 60 mph times of just five seconds. Fully loaded with 80,000 pounds of cargo, it still manages a 20 second zero to 60 time.
Helping boost its range is a high tech design that extends to the Tesla Semi’s shape. With a 0.36 drag coefficient, it is sleeker than any other truck on the road, and many cars. Other major advances include a single gear, so there’s no frenzied shifting. The driver sits centrally, with touchscreens on either side.
Because it’s a Tesla, there is plenty of additional tech onboard, including an Autopilot system to help with braking and staying within a lane. Semi-autonomous capability will be coming as well. Additional safety innovations include a low center of gravity for reduced risk of rollovers. The Tesla Semi will also be durable, with a claimed operational life of 1 million miles.
Tesla Semi Price?
The company was mum on the actual sticker price of the Tesla Semi. What it did confirm is the 2019 production date, a $5,000 deposit to reserve one and the fact that Tesla will be its own first customer, using the new truck as part of its own manufacturing operations. The company also claims $200,000+ in fuel savings over a diesel truck and lower maintenance costs, for a two-year payback period.
New Tesla Roadster
Not content with the Tesla Semi dominating the stage, a flashy red, high performance sports car zipped out of the back of one of the truck trailers.
The new Tesla Roadster is a modern take on the car that started it all for the company. Claimed to be the fastest production car ever, it boasts a 1.9 second zero to 60 time, with a top speed that Musk hinted would be over 250 mph. The all wheel drive, four-seater sports car will also be practical –outside of its $200,000 starting price ($250,000 for the “Founders Edition”) — with a claimed battery range of 620 miles on a charge.
The new Tesla Roadster goes into production in 2020. Tesla is taking $50,000 deposits now. “Founders Edition” buyers will have to pony up the $250,000 up front.
Another Boost for TSLA Stock?
The Tesla Semi and new Tesla Roadster are welcome news to Tesla investors, but both products are still a few years from production. Both will be entering markets where the established competition is scrambling to electrify. And after the production challenges plaguing the Model 3, there’s no guarantee that we won’t see similar issues when the Tesla Semi and new Tesla Roadster ramp up.
However, Tesla already has orders on the books for its truck, with Michigan-based grocery chain Meijer, Inc. reportedly putting down the deposit for four of the electric rigs. And there are an estimated 3.4 million tractor trailer trucks currently operating in the U.S., burning 38 billion gallons of diesel annually.
If Tesla can deliver, expansion of its product line with the Tesla Semi and new Tesla Roadster bode well for TSLA stock.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.