Tesla is finally getting ready to reveal its electric semi-truck, first mentioned in its CEO Elon Musk’s Master Plan, Part Deux in July 2016.

Musk tweeted about the unveiling and test ride of the vehicle in Hawthorne, California.

“We believe the Tesla Semi will deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate,” Musk had stated in his Master Plan.

Tesla is the forerunner when it comes to self-driving, so the Tesla Semi truck is not only expected to be running on an electric battery like all other Tesla vehicles, it is also expected to be capable of self-driving.

A semi-truck consists of a tractor unit bound to one of more semi-trailers and is usually used to carry freight. The semi-truck is Tesla's first venture into commercial transport and enlarges the company’s portfolio post the launch of its first mass-market car, the Model 3.

Here are some of its expected features:

Heavy weight ‘beast’

Musk called the upcoming vehicle a ‘beast’ and ‘unreal,’ so the upcoming vehicle is expected to compete with large rigs. Generally, such large rigs have eighteen wheels and weight carrying capacities of around 30 tons. If Tesla wants to compete with companies that make such trucks such as Ford and Volvo, it will have to make the trucks as large and as capable as those trucks.

Battery Powered

These trucks are generally fuel guzzlers and contribute to air pollution, but Tesla will differentiate itself by powering its truck with a large battery. What’s not known yet is how the company will accommodate this battery inside the truck’s frame.

Tesla has accommodated its battery in place of the regular engine in its cars, but the frame of a truck and its engine are designed differently and Tesla’s design is expected to be interesting.


One feature, that will make the Tesla Semi truck different, and vital to it competing with the currently available semi-trucks is the range that it covers on a full charge.

Reuters had reported in August that these trucks will have a 200-300 miles range on a single charge. But to compete with traditional long haul trucks, the Tesla Semi trucks will need to boost this range to 1,000 miles as regular long haul trucks have a range of 600-900 miles at least.

But that brings up a quagmire — the company will need a larger battery to provide the truck with an extended range, but if the battery is too big, it could actually interfere with the truck’s weight carrying capacity.

How Tesla finally deals with this issue will be interesting to see next month.


Just like the rest of its cars, Tesla’s semi-trucks are expected to be semi autonomous on arrival and capable of full autonomy in the future. The major hurdle in getting self-driven vehicles on the road is self-driven legislation, which has been passed recently. The company is expected to bring fully autonomous vehicles on the road by 2025.

Fleet mechanism

Tesla is rumored to have fleets of semi-trucks in the works, according to a report. The company is rumored to be working on its own fleet technology for the Tesla Semi trucks, which would let such trucks move around in a convoy formation and follow a lead vehicle, either human-driven or autonomous, which will guide them along the way.