The Tesla Semi debuted Thursday and CEO Elon Musk made a strong pitch for how the vehicle will reshape the trucking industry.
“On day one, the Tesla truck beats diesel trucks on economics,” Musk said.
Musk said that a diesel truck would be 20% more expensive to operate than a Tesla truck, $1.26 per mile compared to $1.51 per mile. If the trucks are able to draft in a convoy, the price per mile drops to 85 cents.
With four independent motors, the truck can go 0-60 mph in 5 seconds. At a 5 percent grade, the truck can hit 65 mph, compared to 45 mph for a standard truck.
The truck has a 500 mile range at highway speeds with maximum weight. Musk said the company is working on Megachargers that can add 400 miles of range to the truck with 30 minutes of charging.
The interior consists of a single seat and a center-mounted steering wheel, giving the driver more room in the cab. Two large screens are mounted on either side of the dash. Equipped with Autopilot, the truck has feature such as Automatic Emergency Braking, Automatic Lane Keeping and Forward Collision Warning.
Musk said the truck will start production in 2019. Price was not disclosed.