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Price, release date, specs for Elon Musk’s industry EV

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The Tesla Semi is almost here.

First announced in 2017, the all-electric truck is the company’s first foray into non-consumer vehicles. It’s expected to cover most existing journeys currently undertaken by diesel trucks, with some welcome improvements like a central seating position and dual touchscreens. While relatively elusive since its 2017 debut, evidence suggests it could launch soon.

It could be the next step in CEO Elon Musk’s overall goal to transition the world to sustainable energy. The company’s 2020 impact report explained that combination trucks account for just 1.1 percent of the U.S. vehicle fleet, but account for 17 percent of the fleet’s emissions. Electrifying trucks could tackle a major source of emissions.

Want to find out more about Tesla’s plans to electrify transport? Subscribe to MUSK READS+ for exclusive interviews and analysis about spaceflight, electric cars, and more.

As Tesla gears up to launch its truck, here’s what you need to know.

When will Tesla Semis be on the road?

The big question. The Tesla Semi was announced in 2017 with a 2020 launch date. But in the company’s second-quarter 2021 earnings report, it announced that production would be pushed back to 2022 “to better focus on these factories, and due to the limited availability of battery cells and global supply chain challenges.”

At the October 2021 shareholders’ meeting, Musk went further. He said that “hopefully” Tesla will be producing the Semi and the second-generation Roadster in 2023.

But earlier this month, PepsiCo CEO Ramon Laguarta suggested it could launch sooner than expected. Speaking from the COP26 climate change summit in Scotland, Laguarta said that it would receive the first of its 100-truck order “this Q4.”

The Tesla Semi truck loaded with cargo.Tesla

How much does a Tesla Semi cost?

The company asks for a base reservation of $20,000. From there, Tesla’s website lists the following prices:

  • 300-mile version: $150,000
  • 500-mile version: $180,000

By comparison, Statista lists the average sale price of a Class 8 truck in the U.S. at $117,430 in 2018.

The Tesla Semi may sound expensive, but Tesla claims that the truck could offer fuel savings of over $200,000 and a two-year payback period. It is unclear, however, how the company arrived at these figures.

It is also unconfirmed whether Tesla charges the same price to companies placing bulk orders.

The Tesla Semi truck in blue.Tesla

What is the Tesla Semi range?

The Tesla Semi lists a range of either 300 or 500 miles depending on the model. Musk claimed at the unveiling that 80 percent of U.S. trucking routes are 250 miles or fewer.

Note that these figures remain unchanged from the truck’s unveiling in 2017. It is unclear whether Tesla’s September 2020 Battery Day announcements, where the company detailed new batteries with a 54 percent increase in battery range, will change these figures.

In November 2020, Musk suggested the Semi could offer even better range. Speaking at the European Battery Conference, Teslarati reported that Musk said (bolded for emphasis):

“Getting a range of 500 km [310 miles] is I think, quite easy. And this is assuming a truck that is pulling a load of something in the order of 40 metric tons. So that’s a heavy truck. For long-range trucking, up to, we think, easily 800 kilometers [500 miles], and we see a path over time, to get to about 1,000 kilometers [620 miles] of range. We think this is going to be extremely competitive and compelling to trucking companies.”

This would beat the Tesla Model S, which currently has the best range in the company’s lineup at just 405 miles.

What is the Tesla Semi top speed?

Tesla has not revealed the top speed of the truck. Its website does reveal, however, that the truck can reach a speed of 60 mph at a five percent grade slope. At the truck’s unveiling, this figure was 65 mph, but it was revised downwards after the event.

By comparison, Musk claimed at the event that a similar truck can reach 45 mph.

Beyond this, the truck also achieves a 0 to 60 mph acceleration time of 20 seconds. It uses four independent motors on rear axles to reach these times, plus a drag coefficient of just 0.36 that helps it glide through the air.

The Tesla Semi driving down the road.Tesla

What is the payload of the Tesla Semi?

It’s expected to compare favorably with diesel trucks.

In August 2021, Tesla’s 2020 impact report explained that the truck payload would be “at least as high as it would be for a diesel truck.”

It also explained that U.S. rules allow electric trucks to be 2,000 pounds heavier than diesel equivalents when loaded. For the EU, rules allow two tons (around 4,400 pounds) of extra load.

A Class 8 truck has a weight limit of 80,000 pounds. That means, for the Semi, the weight limit would be 82,000 in the U.S. and around 84,400 pounds in the EU. SeekingAlpha noted in 2013 that more than 90 percent of loaded trucks in the U.S. weigh less than 73,000 pounds.

What are the rivals to the Tesla Semi?

A number of companies have unveiled rivals to the Tesla Semi.

In November 2021, Chinese firm Geely unveiled the Homtruck. The truck comes from Geely’s commercial unit vehicle, Farizon Auto, and is set to hit roads in 2024. It’s designed for autonomy, similar to all Tesla’s vehicles. Geely hopes to introduce partial autonomy features by 2026 before reaching full autonomy by 2030.

The Homtruck differentiates itself by offering a series of comfort features. It includes a refrigerator, bathroom with a shower, a kitchen, a washing machine, and more. It offers a range of powertrain options alongside full electric, and the electric option includes a battery swap feature.

Beyond Geely, Freightliner is also developing the eCascadia Class 8 truck. This offers battery range of up to 250 miles, recharge times of 80 percent in 90 minutes, and between 360 to 500 horsepower. Combined with the smaller eM2, Freightliner’s all-electric trucks have racked up over a million miles in real-world operations.

Utah-based electric truck developer Nikola also demonstrated a series of zero-emissions vehicles during the Semi’s development, but scandals have shaken its credibility. In July, the U.S. Department of Justice charged former CEO Trevor Milton with making false and misleading statements about the company’s technology.

It could shake off its tarnished reputation in the future, as new CEO Mark Russell struck a series of deals in 2021 to bring its fuel cell semi trucks to the road. Dan Ives, an equity analyst for Wedbush Securities, told Forbes that “Nikola has done a commendable job the last six months with this flurry of partnerships.”

Nikola aims to deliver its battery-powered Tre truck, with up to 350 miles of range, by the end of 2021.

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Mark Meadows Agrees to Cooperate With Jan. 6 Attack Inquiry – The New York Times

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Mark Meadows Agrees to Cooperate With Jan. 6 Attack Inquiry  The New York Times

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Rajasthan health minister directs officials to increase Covid testing, speed up vaccination- The New Indian Express

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By PTI

JAIPUR: Rajasthan Health Minister Parsadi Lal Meena on Wednesday asked officials to increase COVID-19 testing and speed up the vaccination drive in the state as the tally of active cases of the disease crossed the 200-mark.

He held a meeting with senior officials and reviewed the department’s preparedness in view of the apprehension of a possible third wave of the disease.

Meena asked the officials to increase testing, ensure 100 per cent coverage of the first dose of the vaccine by December-end and speed up the drive to administer the second dose to the beneficiaries.

The minister also asked them to disburse the compensation for the deaths due to the disease as soon as possible.

It was informed in the meeting that 84 per cent of beneficiaries have received the first dose of the vaccine and 54 per cent have got the second dose.

Meena directed the officials to conduct door-to-door vaccination and motivate the general public to take the second dose.

Twenty-one COVID-19 cases were reported in the state on Wednesday, with the maximum of 10 cases being from Jaipur.

Two cases each were reported from Alwar, Jodhpur and Nagaur, and one each from Ajmer, Bhilwara, Bikaner, Sikar and Udaipur.

With this, the number of active cases has increased to 203. So far, a total of 9,54,806 people have tested Covid positive in the state. The death toll stands at 8,955 and the count of recoveries is at 9,45,648.

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Murder plot, Christmas favorites: Waco stages bring variety of holiday plays | Arts & Theatre

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Braziel, who co-founded the theater troupe with Collin Selman, serves as the production’s stage manager with Luann Jennings as its director. Performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Dec. 10-11, and 2 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 12, at Jubilee Theatre, 1319 N. 15th St. In keeping with another Silent House mission, the Friday night performances will be translated into sign language. Tickets are $15 and available through Silent House’s website, silenthousetheatre.com.

Waco Civic Theatre starts its holiday lineup on Thursday with its production of Barbara Robinson’s “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” in a four-performance run directed by Tredessa Thomas.

The show, which concerns a church’s Nativity pageant that unwinds when it includes a rowdy bunch of siblings in its casting, is the first of three holiday shows by the community theater.

After this weekend’s production, the WCT will stage “A Little House Christmas,” directed by Krystal Marshall, and “The Most Wonderful Show of the Year,” written and directed by Melissa Green.

Executive director Eric Shephard said the triple-billed December wasn’t intentional, but developed from an overflow of actors and directors interested in doing something for the holidays after a prolonged pandemic break from the stage. “It’s sort of like, ‘Let’s do all the theater we can manage to do,'” he said. “It’s hard to say no to an opportunity when it arose.”

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