Tesla CEO Elon Musk will unveil an all-electric semi truck on Oct. 26 in Hawthorne, Calif., home to the automaker's design studio and the billionaire entrepreneur's other company, SpaceX.
Musk, who made the announcement via Twitter, first teased the unveiling of a "seriously next level' electric truck in April. At the time, he said the event would be held in September, but that has since been pushed back. In his tweet Wednesday, Musk said the unveiling and test drives of the truck would be "tentatively" scheduled for Oct. 26, leaving an opening to push the date back further. Continuing his perpetual salesmanship, he described the truck as "unreal" without elaborating.
The idea for an electric semi truck that would offer an alternative to diesel-powered trucks was first floated last year in Tesla's long-term Master Plan. The "Master Plan, Part Deux," which Musk posted on the company's blog in July 2016, describe building a grander sustainable energy ecosystem that includes electric semi trucks, pickups, and high-density passenger vehicles (like buses)—all of which would be powered by integrated solar and battery systems.
Tesla Semi truck unveil & test ride tentatively scheduled for Oct 26th in Hawthorne. Worth seeing this beast in person. It's unreal.- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 13, 2017
The electric semi truck would "deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate," he wrote last year.
An electric semi truck would likely be in high demand as companies try to meet increasingly strict emissions regulations. But producing an electric semi (and turning a profit) isn't any easy task. Current technology would require these trucks to carry a large and heavy battery that would take up valuable cargo space, which could cause trucking companies to stick with diesel-powered ones instead.
Since then, Musk has offered up just one teaser image of the Tesla semi and comments about his test drive of a prototype, calling is a “spry” vehicle.
A recent Reuters report said the Tesla semi will have a range of 200 to 300 miles on a single battery charge. The heavy-duty truck will have to hit the 200-mile mark if it hopes to make the long-haul trucking category.