Walmart plans to pilot test the new Tesla Semi

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A workhorse truck and a new supercar are in the works for Tesla, after founder and CEO Elon Musk introduced his company's latest effort to widen the USA market for electric vehicles Thursday night.

At last night's event, Tesla had another surprise up its sleeve, a revamped Roadster: "A bonus, Tesla also unveiled a refresh of its original Roadster, targeting production in 2020, created to be the fastest production auto ever made with 0-60 mph acceleration in 1.9 seconds and a huge 200kWh battery pack enabling 620 miles of range".

The Tesla Semi truck going into production in 2019 will boast 500 miles of range, while the Roadster, available a year later, will be the fastest production vehicle ever made, said Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Tesla's Roadster has a base price of $200,000 and a top price of $250,000 for the fully loaded Founders Series version.

The semi truck, called Tesla Semi, can go as far as 500 miles between charges and can haul 80,000 pounds at a time. According to Musk, the truck can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 20 seconds when carrying a full load of 80,000 pounds-the maximum weight allowed on US roads.

Irwin says truck companies will have to watch the market carefully, because tougher regulations on diesels or an improvement in charging infrastructure could make electric trucks more viable very quickly.

The Tesla Semi is expected to begin deliveries in 2019, and reservations are being taken now. And the truck integrates several components of the Model 3, including the screens, motors and door handles.

The PayPal founder - who also owns private rocket company SpaceX - announced the two new vehicles at a swanky launch party at his headquarters in Los Angeles yesterday. And if three streamlined Semis are platooned as a close-following convoy, the cost per mile would go down to 85 cents, Musk said.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk stands as chief designer Franz von Holzhausen drives a prototype of the new Roadster from the back of the Tesla Semi
Tesla CEO Elon Musk stands as chief designer Franz von Holzhausen drives a prototype of the new Roadster from the back of the Tesla Semi

"The Tesla Roadster is absolutely fabulous and Elon Musk's ambition is admirable".

Suggested retail price is $200,000, Tesla said.

Total cost of ownership is supposedly 15% to 20% cheaper than traditional diesel trucks, and if then add on "meaningfully better performance", the analyst cheers.

The Tesla Semi is big on safety too and comes with a reinforced battery to keep it from exploding or catching fire in the event of a crash.

Tesla Semi interior. Image source: Tesla.

We would be hard-pressed to find anyone that doesn't think they absolutely need to have Tesla's Next Gen Roadster after watching the video by Brooks. Though the vehicle is clearly priced in supercar territory, it's far cheaper than numerous supercars it outperforms. The pilot program will see the electric truck join Walmart's existing fleet of around 6,000 vehicles.

There's been a lot of speculation about the semi truck concept - including if the semi truck market is even a good fit for the company.

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