Car video reviews:

Tesla Releases Prices for the Two Semi Versions and They Are Unbelievably Low

Tesla Semi during presentation 1 photo
 When Elon Musk got up on that stage six days ago and started talking about the new electric semi truck that his company is supposed to build in 2019, his speech focused on the kind of things that were sure to give the event the needed "wow factor."  

He mentioned the truck's fabulous acceleration, its drag coefficient that would put the Bugatti Chiron's to shame, its towing capabilities and, one very important aspect for the businesses that buy these products to help them make money, the operating costs. However, he didn't whisper one word of what the initial acquisition costs would be.  

Even so, several companies - including retail giant Walmart who booked 15 of them - flocked to place the $5,000 deposits to make sure they would be among the first to get them. It's just like the Model 3 all over again, only this time the end user are companies, not private individuals.  

Probably after seeing what the media thought the price for the Semi would be - and realizing it could get even more interest if people knew the reality - Tesla published the official info (via Electrek). We learn that the 300-mile version will sell for $150,000 while adding two-thirds more range for the 500-mile model only brings an extra charge of $30,000 for $180,000.   

There's also a Founders Series that goes for $200,000, though we don't know exactly what sets it apart from the rest. The price reveal also comes with a significant hike in the reservation deposit which is now $20,000 for the first two and the full $200,000 for the limited Founders Series.   

With a battery pack estimated to have a capacity of 1,000 kWh - for the 500-mile version - these prices are well below what everyone thought. At first glance, they suggest Tesla is relying on one of two things: either they find a way to drop the manufacturing cost of batteries, or they are about to make a major breakthrough that would allow them to obtain that range from a much lower-capacity battery.  

If you put the new Roadster into context - with its 200 kWh battery pack and 620-mile range (over 1,000 km) - the latter doesn't seem likely. That leaves only one available option as far as we can tell, which is dropping the cost of battery manufacture, which was the point of the Gigafactory in the first place.   

Whatever the case, we'd like to remind Tesla that 2019 is only two years away at best, which means they have a lot of work to do until then. With the Roadster coming a year later and the Model Y smaller crossover also on the cards - not to mention a new Model S, maybe - it'll be busy times at Tesla. But first things first: sort out the Model 3 production so that there will still be a Tesla in 2019.


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories