Tesla will soon be entering a new market, as it moves beyond its high-end electric SUVs and sedans and into heavy-duty trucks, which had been promised by Elon Musk.
The tech industrialist sent a tweet out on Wednesday saying Tesla would be revealing its biggest electric vehicle thus far: a semi that is battery powered that will be unveiled in suburban Los Angeles during October.
The tweet by Musk said the semi-truck would be unveiled tentatively on October 26 in the city of Hawthorne. The tweet went out to the over 12.6 million Twitter followers of Musk.
Musk has discussed the plans for a heavy truck at Tesla for over a year, but nothing specific has been released regarding the possible hauling ability or the range per charge for such a vehicle.
Class 8 semis typically are able to haul as much as 80,000 pounds, including the truck cabin’s weight. Diesel powered long range trucks, often with two fuel tanks, can travel as much as 500 miles.
Last month, a report was released by Reuters that said Tesla had a goal for its electric truck of 300 miles between charges, citing a Ryder System executive, but the report was not confirmed by Tesla.
Tesla is adding this task of an electric semi as it ratchets up its production of its latest vehicle the Model 3 that costs $35,000 for the base model prior to options being added.
A crossover will have common things with the Model 3 in development and is due to be in the market in less than two years. The electric car maker also is completing a massive Gigafactory of $5 billion in Nevada that will be the largest maker in the world of battery packs.
The interest of Tesla in moving into the truck business stirred up responses by established players from the industry.
In August, Cummins, a leader in the manufacturer of gas and diesel engines for commercial trucks unveiled a heavy-duty Class 7 truck cab that has a battery pack of 140 kWh that will be sold to commercial truck fleets and bus operators by 2019.
This past April, Toyota started testing of a prototype truck that is powered through hydrogen fuel cells that is currently hauling cargo at the Port of Los Angeles.
The automotive giant based in Japan has not given a time frame as to when the truck is to be sold commercially although its intention is to expand its test program.