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Tesla unveils 'the quickest auto in the world'

Tesla unveils 'the quickest auto in the world'”

Tesla shares are up 4.07% to $325.22 on Friday after the company announced its new semi truck and surprised investors with a new Roadster vehicle. Tesla says the new Roadster will have 620 miles of range and a top speed of 250 mph (402 kph).

Unlike the previous version of the Roadster, Tesla's first model which went out of production in 2012, this auto will have four seats.

Tesla hasn't released a price for the Semi, but the Roadster will cost at least $200,000 depending on the options chosen, the company says.

Just like it has built a global network of "superchargers" for its passenger EVs, Tesla plans to build a network of "megachargers" around the world for trucks refuelling on the go, with the powerful plugs able to deliver 400 miles of charge in less than 30 minutes. On the one hand, the Tesla Semi is shaping up to be the hot-rod of trucks, with a 0-60 miles per hour time of 20 seconds even when at maximum 80,000 pound load.

"Overall, the Semi is more responsive, covers more miles than a diesel truck in the same amount of time, and more safely integrates with passenger vehicle traffic", Tesla said.

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Tesla has unveiled its first articulated electric lorry with production due to begin in the U.S. in 2019. This technology allows for automatic breaking, lane keeping and lane departure warnings. "It probably is, based on the specs provided, but this isn't necessarily a slam dunk", said Rebecca Lindland, an executive analyst at Kelley Blue Book.

As Andrew J. Hawkins wrote of the new Roadster and Semi for The Verge, "These are just concept vehicles, really, but it's Tesla, and nothing is really ever as it seems". Production of the futuristic HGV will start in 2019.

This is a sign of how the Tesla Semi could make a bigger impact than many might suspect on the trucking industry.

Elon Musk describes what Tesla Semi can do. "So far, that final element has eluded Tesla Motors, which makes it hard to see these vehicles as more than "what if" concept cars". Tesla even claims any Semi can travel autonomously in convoy with other Semis. The pilot program will see the electric truck join Walmart's existing fleet of around 6,000 vehicles. Regulations require commercial trucks to be sidelined if their windshields are cracked in a way that could affect the driver's view.

But most of that growth is expected to be for smaller, medium-duty haulers like garbage trucks or delivery vans. The company, one of the largest supply chain solutions providers in North America, said that it had "placed a reservation to purchase multiple Tesla Semi tractors" though did not specify exact numbers. The company has a lot on its plate right now and the pickup truck likely doesn't rank high on the list of priorities, but it could come to life in the long run.



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