Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock is in full focus as the electric vehicle (EV) company gets ready to hold an event on Dec. 1 to celebrate the first deliveries of the electric Semi Class 8 truck. Over the weekend, CEO Elon Musk tweeted out that Tesla had completed a 500-mile test drive with an 81,000 pound payload using the Semi. The payload was 1,000 pounds short of the truck’s gross combination weight of 82,000 pounds.
The Semi truck was designed for carrying heavy payloads over long distances and is estimated to be able to reach a 70% charge in 30 minutes. In addition, the truck uses less than 2 kilowatt-hours per mile. It’s drag coefficient tallies in at just 0.36 as well, compared to the “average truck-trailer combo coefficient of 6.08.”
Several companies have already expressed interest in Tesla’s new truck. These include Anheuser-Busch (NYSE:BUD) and PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP). The former has already placed a deposit for its trucks while the latter is expected to be one of the first recipients of the Semi.
Dear TSLA Stock Fans, Mark Your Calendars for Dec. 1
By 2024, Tesla seeks to produce 50,000 Semis per year. That would position the company as a solid competitor in the Class 8 truck space.
Production of the Semi has already commenced at Tesla’s facility in Reno, Nevada. However, the prices of each truck are still unknown, though an event in 2017 revealed the base prices for the 300-mile and 500-mile range trucks to be $150,000 and $180,000, respectively. That said, a lot has happened since then — namely inflation — so it wouldn’t be surprising to see higher price tags.
By producing 50,000 Semis annually, Tesla would become the second-largest manufacturer of Class 8 trucks in the United States, according to InsideEVs. For comparison, the top U.S. Class 8 manufacturer, Freightliner, produced 100,000 trucks in 2019 and more than 71,000 in 2020. Freightliner is owned by Daimler (OTCMKTS:DTRUY).
Meanwhile, Elon Musk took to Twitter over the weekend to invite billionaire Bill Gates for a test drive. In the past, Gates has cast doubt on the sustainability of batteries to power long-haul trucks.
Is Another Tesla EV on the Way?
In addition to the Semi, Tesla may have another new vehicle on the way, pushing TSLA stock into focus. According to sources familiar with the matter, the company is currently in the process of developing a revamped Model 3.
The project, called “Highland,” focuses on reducing components and increasing customer satisfaction. Sources say that production of the EV will take place in Shanghai and Fremont. Production may begin in Shanghai during the third quarter of next year, but the production timetable for Fremont is not yet known.
On the date of publication, Eddie Pan did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.