Tesla is getting ready to unveil its big rig, the Tesla Semi, but a clue in a recent Rolling Stone interview with Elon Musk could mean that another vehicle could be revealed tonight, too.
As Business Insider notes, when Rolling Stone writer Neil Strauss interviewed Musk, he took him to the Tesla Design Studio where all of their vehicle prototypes are stored. This is an area where few non-Tesla employees have ventured. So the fact that Strauss was allowed to enter seems to indicate there are plans to reveal these prototypes tonight at the Tesla Semi unveiling.
It’s not that far-fetched to think that Elon Musk will reveal another vehicle prototype tonight. They have some new products in production that they want to put to market by 2020, Business Insider reports. Some of these vehicles include the Model Y, an all-electric cross-over SUV, and a pickup truck. There may also be plans for another Roadster, but that has not been confirmed as yet.
As for the star of the event, the Tesla Semi, there are some who believe that a big rig is a bad choice for the premium electric vehicle manufacturer.
One of the main voices of dissent comes from one of Tesla’s main competitors, hybrid automaker Nikola Motors. Company CEO Trevor Milton shared his opinion of the Tesla Semi with Inverse.
“Tesla’s truck will do good for the industry, very bad for Tesla’s balance sheet and good for Nikola,” he said. “We are happy either way.”
His reason for the critique? He expects that the Tesla Semi’s electric batteries will be a tough sell to the trucking industry. Milton thinks that Tesla will use high-powered batteries that have a total life-cycle of 5,000 recharges. For comparison, Tesla’s regular vehicles use batteries that have a maximum lifespan of 1,000 recharges. The issue Milton sees here is that the Tesla Truck’s batteries would be 30 percent less energy dense than the regular batteries and will be heavier. More weight could make the vehicle slower, which isn’t something you want in a commercial long-haul vehicle.
Then there are still questions about the Tesla Semi’s range. How far can it actually go on one charge? An August, 2017, report from Reuters said that Tesla aimed for 200 to 300 miles. But as Inverse notes, big rigs typically travel 1,000 miles on a tank of fossil fuel.
If you make a donut with Tesla semi truck you got to make sure you are well strapped in because you will be pulling more Gs than a Falcon 9 during ascend pic.twitter.com/DGIdmBMzHJ— Ion Musk (@ionmusk) November 13, 2017
Nikola Motors plans to reveal its own big rig in 2019. The company has said the hauler will be able to travel up to 750 miles on one charge but, according to Inverse, those claims have not been verified by an independent body.
[Featured Image by Tesla Motors, Mark Brake/Getty Images]