Tesla reveals a less-long-legged truck, but a bigger reservation price
$20k up front to get in the queue, $200k to buy a 'Founder's edition'
Tesla's revealed more details about its forthcoming “Semi” electric truck, including a starting price of US$150,000.
That sum will probably buy you a version of the vehicle with a range of 300 miles (480 km). Tesla founder Elon Musk did not mention that model at the Semi's launch, instead choosing to talk up the 500-mile (800km) model as capable of handling 80 per cent of round-trip truck journeys in the United States.
To get your hands on either model, you'll need a down payment of US$20,000, four times the $5,000 Musk mentioned at the launch. The $150,000 price is also flexible: Tesla describes it as an “expected base price”. The same YMMV* pricing applies to the $180,000 500-miler.
If you absolutely must have a Tesla Semi, there's also an option to pay $200,000, today, to become one of the lucky 1,000 buyers who get a "Founder's Edition". Just what you get for the extra $20,000, other than being one of the first 1,000 to get behind the wheel, has not been revealed.
The 300 and 500-mile range Semis sell for $200,000, considerably more than a diesel truck, but Tesla has again emphasised total cost of ownership as the vehicles' selling point and claimed cost-per-mile on fuel alone will soon make its trucks value for money. The company has also said the reliability of an all-electric drive train would mean more hours on the road, again lowering cost of ownership.
Tesla's new information repeated past promises of shipping some time in 2019. If all goes well. The company's previously missed shipping dates, or delivered fewer vehicles than hoped once its deadlines passed. ®
*YMMV= your mileage may vary, for those of you unfamiliar with acronyms who may otherwise miss this play on words.