Tesla’s big rig comes with a big up-front price.
The electric automaker has revealed that its new Semi starts at $150,000 for a model with a 300-mile range and $180,000 for a 500-mile version with a larger battery pack.
The diesel trucks it will compete against when it hits the highway no earlier than 2019 go for approximately $100,000-$125,000 each, but Tesla claims its Semi will cost 20 percent less to own and operate. This is thanks in part to the low-cost charges it will provide at a network of “megachargers” and expected lower maintenance costs for its electric powertrain.
A $20,000 deposit is required to purchase one, which is up from the $5,000 announced when the sleek semi was revealed on Nov. 16th. However, if you want to be one of the first 1,000 in line for one you’ll have to pony up $200,000 for a Founder’s Series model that requires payment in full for a reservation.
Walmart, J.B. Hunt and a handful of other companies have already announced plans to purchase a few of the trucks for evaluation, but Tesla hasn’t yet announced how many orders it has in hand.
Along with the promise of emissions-free driving, the Semi, which is fitted with four electric motors, also boasts superior acceleration to diesel trucks, a central driver's seat and is equipped with the cameras and sensors necessary to enable Tesla’s suite of semi-autonomous Autopilot features.