It seems some people weren’t too pleased about Tesla’s all-electric semi truck revealed Thursday. In a series of Twitter posts during the announcement that have now been removed, electric truck competitor Nikola Motors dismissed Elon Musk’s claims as “misleading shareholders” and “fraud.”
“With his pack, you’d get 125-200 miles range,” the tweet said, questioning Tesla’s claim that its semi truck could reach 500 miles on a single charge. The tweet then referenced Musk’s own previous post from the past weekend hyping the unveiling: “I guess he ‘blew his mind out of his skull with a portal gun’.”
At the Tesla Design Studio in Hawthorne, California, southwest of Los Angeles, Musk detailed an all-electric truck whose claimed features surpassed rumors and expectations. When it hits the road around 2019, it’s expected to have a 500-mile range, a slew of new safety features, and a guarantee that lasts for a million miles. A previous Reuters report had claimed the truck would only get around 200 to 300 miles per charge.
Before the show, Nikola detailed its hydrogen alternative to Inverse, set to launch in 2019 for $375,000. The company claims that the fueling itself will only take around 15 minutes to run for 750 miles, with plans to expand hydrogen refueling points across the United States next year. But Tesla appeared to reduce that advantage in its presentation, with a promise to build “megachargers” capable of charging the Semi’s battery with enough energy for 400 miles in around half an hour.
A representative for the company says that the tweets did not come from Trevor Milton, Nikola’s CEO, but from other employees.
“Nikola’s employees are incredibly passionate,” Milton tells Inverse.
On his personal Twitter account, Milton expressed a far more measured point of view:
“As you can see from my personal Twitter post, we look forward to Tesla’s fleet customers reporting their numbers from road testing,” Milton says.
Although the company’s tweets were now deleted, a follow-up tweet remained on the page at the time of writing.
“I believe we gave very clear data in the response,” the response said. “Data that we normally don’t share due to millions of dollars in simulations and trials. We went off his data that he announced in his unveiling. Don’t blame the messenger.”
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