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Musk delivers Tesla’s first truck, but no production and pricing update

Musk delivers Tesla's first truck, but no production and pricing update
  • Tesla ships its first Semi to PepsiCo five years after it was unveiled
  • There are no details on orders or capacity for the electric van
  • The Semi uses existing Tesla engines, to feature a new supercharger

Dec. 1 (Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) CEO Elon Musk handed over the company’s first heavy half of the business Thursday to PepsiCo (PEP.O) Without providing up-to-date forecasts of truck prices, production plans, or how much cargo can be moved.

Appearing on stage at an event at Tesla’s factory in Nevada, Musk said the long-range, battery-powered truck will reduce highway emissions, outpace existing diesel models in terms of power and safety, and outperform the fast-charging technology that Tesla will use in its production. . Next pickup Cybertruck.

“If you’re a truck driver and you want the best platform on the road, this is it,” Musk said, noting that it’s been five years since Tesla announced it was developing the all-electric truck. However, industry experts remain skeptical that battery electric trucks can economically handle the burden of hauling heavy loads for hundreds of miles.

In Tesla’s first disclosure to Musk since he took over Twitter — the acquisition that some investors fear has become a distraction — the company didn’t announce pricing for the Semi, provide details on the different types of truck it initially anticipated or provide projections for deliveries to PepsiCo or other customers. . Tesla said it will start using the Semi to ship parts to its factory in Fremont, California.

In 2017, Tesla said a 300-mile-range version of the semi-semi would cost $150,000, and the 500-mile version $180,000, but prices for Tesla’s passenger electric cars have increased sharply since then.

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Robyn Denholm, head of Tesla, recently said that the automaker could produce 100 semis this year. Musk said Tesla aims to produce 50,000 trucks in 2024.

PepsiCo, which completed its first Tesla truck shipment to deliver snacks to those attending a Nevada launch event, ordered 100 trucks in 2017.

Brewer Anheuser Bush (ABI.BR)United Parcel Service Inc (UPS.N) and Wal-Mart (WMT.N) It was among the other companies that booked half. Tesla didn’t provide details on orders or deliveries to customers, nor an estimate of the total cost of ownership for future buyers that would be compared to diesel alternatives.

Ineffective

Musk said the semi-truck was conducting trials between Tesla’s Sparks, Nevada, factory and its factory in Fremont, California. Tesla said it completed a 500-mile march on a single charge, with the semi truck and cargo weighing 81,000 pounds in total.

Tesla did not disclose the truck’s half-empty weight, which a key spec analyst was hoping to learn and an important consideration for the efficiency of electric trucks.

Musk has talked in the past about the possibility of fully self-driving trucks. Tesla didn’t provide details about how Tesla’s driver assistance systems will work in the halving revealed Thursday or future releases.

The presentation ended halfway through without Musk taking questions, as he often does at Tesla events.

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“It’s not impressive – moving a shipment of chips (average weight per package 52g) can in no way be a conclusive proof of concept,” said Oliver Dixon, senior analyst at the consulting firm Guidehouse.

Tesla initially set a 2019 production target for the Semi, which was first revealed in 2017. In the years since then, competitors have begun selling battery-powered trucks of their own.

Daimler (MBGn.DE) Freightliner, Volvo (VOLVb.ST)Nikola (NKLA.O) and Renault (RENA.PA) It is among Tesla’s competitors in developing alternatives to combustion engine trucks.

Walmart (WMT.N)For example, it said it was testing Freightliner’s eCascadia and Nikola’s Tre BEV trucks in California.

“like a cheetah”

Musk said the Semi is capable of charging at 1 megawatt and has liquid cooling technology in the charging cable in an updated version of Tesla’s Supercharger that will be made available to the Cybertruck. The Cybertruck is scheduled to go into production in 2023.

Tesla said semi-class trucks account for only 1% of US auto sales but 20% of all vehicle emissions.

Tesla said other future vehicles will use the half-developed powertrain technology, without providing details. Musk said the semi-truck uses three electric motors developed for Tesla’s performance version of its Model S, with only one of them running at highway speed and two backing up when the truck needs to accelerate, a feature that makes the truck more energy efficient. .

“This thing has insane power for a diesel truck,” Musk said. “It’s like an elephant moving like a leopard.”

In a slide shown as part of Musk’s presentation, Tesla showed an image of a futuristic “robotaxi” in development with a mockup of the future car covered in a tarp.

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The offer was made after Tesla shares closed at $194.70. The stock is down about 45% so far this year, and has lost about $500 billion in market value, down to about $615 billion.

Among the factors cited by investors are Musk’s sales of Tesla shares to fund his acquisition of Twitter, signs that a slowing global economy is beginning to dampen demand for Tesla’s premium-priced cars, and warnings from the company that it may not meet it. It aims to increase births by 50% this year.

Additional reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru and Hyunju-jin in San Francisco; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

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