“Tesla Semi Truck unveil to be webcast live on Thursday at 8 p.m.! This will blow your mind clear out of your skull and into an alternate dimension. Just need to find my portal gun,” Musk tweeted.
Previous reveal webcasts have appeared at tesla.com, and it’s safe to assume the 8 p.m. is Pacific time, given the fact that Tesla’s headquarters are in Fremont, California.
The reveal has been months in the making, going back to April when Musk revealed a teaser image of the truck at the TED 2017 conference in Vancouver:
“A lot of people don’t think you can do a heavy-duty, long-range truck that’s electric, but we are confident that this can be done,” Musk told Tesla shareholders at its annual meeting in September. “So we’ll be showing off a working prototype not too long from now, at the end of September.”
Musk has said the Tesla Semi truck will hit the roads in 2019. “We will probably reach scale production on the semi in about two years,” he said at the shareholder meeting in September. “Maybe 18 months, but probably about two years.”
Here’s Musk talking about the Tesla Semi truck at the TED 2017 conference in April, where he first revealed that teaser image:
Tesla’s ultimate goal is to eliminate the driver from the equation. During his talk at the TED 2017 conference in Vancouver, Musk outlined a vision where truck drivers transition into a “fleet manager” role, overseeing a number of vehicles instead of just driving one.
“Most of that semi is actually made out of Model 3 parts, by the way,” Musk said at the TED conference. “It’s using a bunch of Model 3 motors. We’re revealing too much about the future of it but … we’re able to use a very high-volume vehicle and then combine several motors to have something that I think is actually going to have a very good gross margin.”
How Will the Tesla Semi Drive?
“This will be a very spry truck,” Musk said. “You can drive it around like a sports car.”
Regional Trips for the Tesla Semi
Reuters reported in August that the truck’s battery will have a range of between 200 and 300 miles, making it useful for regional shipping. The average semi truck has a 250-gallon tank capacity, and if the average 18-wheeler gets 5.5 miles per gallon, that’s 1,375 miles between fill-ups. But different tank sizes, the weight of the load, the grade of the terrain, and other factors all play into it.