The Tesla share price broke through the $1000-a-share barrier yesterday after chief executive Elon Musk told the company’s workforce that the time had come to start volume production of its electric freight truck model. The prototype of the all-electric Tesla Semi commercial truck, which has a range of around 500 miles on a single charge, was first revealed in 2017. But it will now join the Tesla Model S, Model X and Model 3 cars in mass production.
In a message to Tesla staff announcing the move, Mr Musk wrote:
“Production of the battery and powertrain will take place at Giga Nevada,” which is Tesla’s production facility near Reno. Following the announcement the Tesla share price rose to close at $1,025.05 – 9% gain. The company is now worth $186 billion and is the second most valuable car maker in the world, despite revenues remaining a fraction of those of traditional rivals and still struggling to turn a profit.
The Tesla Semi freight truck should, in coming years, be available as an autonomous, driverless vehicle. For now, it will still require a driver to be present at the wheel at all times, though semi-autonomous driving will be the norm while the truck navigates longer stretches of motorway. It is believed the vehicles will cost between $150,000 and $200,000 a unit.
All-electric freight trucks are perfectly suited to the long, open highways that connect the vast distances between major U.S. cities and states. Their future has been previously tied by Mr Musk to the availability of next generation ‘megachargers’, able to recharge their batteries within 30 minutes or so. Such megachargers are not yet widely available but other pressures are quickly building up in favour of electric trucks. Particularly the increasingly tight rules being laid out by big cities on the emissions vehicles driving into them are able to produce.
Some believe that the size of the batteries needed for all-electric freight trucks means such vehicles will be better suited to being powered by hydrogen fuel cell technology. That would use a refuelling infrastructure very similar to that which currently services petrol and diesel vehicles. But Tesla and driving force Elon Musk are betting on making electrical battery technology work for its zero emissions fleet of freight trucks.
This article is for information purposes only.
Please remember that financial investments may rise or fall and past performance does not guarantee future performance in respect of income or capital growth; you may not get back the amount you invested.
There is no obligation to purchase anything but, if you decide to do so, you are strongly advised to consult a professional adviser before making any investment decisions.