Musk reveals surprise cargo in Tesla Semi

Musk reveals surprise cargo in Tesla Semi

Tesla didn't reveal horsepower or kilowatt figures, but said wheel torque is 10,000 Newton-meters, or 7,375 pound-feet.

"I can drive this thing and I have no idea how to drive a semi", Musk said.

The truck can go up to 500 miles (800 km) at maximum weight at highway speed, Musk said.

And as Giles Parkinson wrote here, the Tesla Semi stands to do to the massive global road freight industry what the Model S, 3 and X will do - already are doing - to petrol cars; and what the Spacex program did to the space industry; and what the Tesla battery storage devices and the solar tile might do to the utilities and roofing industries respectively. The Roadster, available a year later, will be the fastest production vehicle ever made, he said.

The truck has Tesla's latest semi-autonomous driving system, created to keep a vehicle in its lane without drifting, change lanes on command, and transition from one freeway to another with no human intervention.

Production of the truck will begin in 2019.

Musk did not give a price for the truck. "If you order now, get a truck in two years", he said. Musk said diesel trucks were 20 percent more expensive per mile to operate than his electric truck. "By the time you are done with your break, the truck is ready to go".

"Turns out there was some cargo in the truck", Musk deadpanned.

Coming in 2020, the new Tesla Roadster is said to do the 0 - 60 sprint in 1.9 seconds and continue on through the quarter mile in less than eight seconds. Tesla has stumbled out of the gate with the Model 3 sedan, the first auto it's trying to mass produce and sell to more mainstream consumers.

The company we know as Tesla launched with the Roadster, a repurposed, eviscerated Lotus with its guts largely replaced with a freezer-sized battery pack and a repurposed electric motor.

Old Dominion Freight Line, the fourth-largest U.S. less-than-truckload carrier, which consolidates smaller freight loads onto a single truck, said it would not use the Tesla truck.