Never one lost for a hyperbole, Elon Musk promoted Thursday’s upcoming Tesla Semi Truck unveiling in Hawthorne, California, with a little Rick and Morty-inspired hucksterism.
The Tesla CEO, who has a known affinity for the acerbic, dimension-twisting show, also revealed on Sunday in the same tweet that, like the Model 3 launch in July, this one will be live streamed on Thursday, November 16, starting at 8 PM PST.
Tesla Semi Truck unveil to be webcast live on Thursday at 8pm! This will blow your mind clear out of your skull and into an alternate dimension. Just need to find my portal gun …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 12, 2017
Musk first teased the idea of a Tesla truck way back in 2013, but it wasn’t clear it would be a commercial vehicle until 2016 when Musk laid out a master plan for Tesla that included the Model 3 affordable sedan, Model X SUV, and an all-electric truck that could be used for hauling freight and as the foundation or an electric-bus urban transport system.
Musk ratcheted up the hype on the semi in April of this year, confirmed a fall release, praising his team’s work, and proclaiming the semi “seriously next level.”
There’ve been, though, some bumps in recent weeks. In the months following Tesla’s roll-out of the first 30 Model 3 electric vehicles, Musk and Tesla have struggled to meet production goals.
Those Model 3 production bottlenecks and Musk’s decision to increase battery production to help with Puerto Rico’s hurricane recovery efforts forced Musk to move the Semi Truck launch from October to November.
An 18-wheel semi-truck may seem like an odd choice for a company that’s been focused on consumer/family vehicles for nearly a decade, but cargo hauling is big business. According to the American Trucking Associations, at least 70% of all U.S. freight is moved by trucks, which consume approximately 38 billion gallons of diesel fuel a year. The Tesla Semi has the potential to disrupt a core part of the U.S. economy.
It’s no wonder that Tesla isn’t alone in the race to put an electric semi on the road.
Aside from a silhouette image (above) and Musk’s description of the truck as a “beast,” little concrete information is available for Tesla’s Semi. There is, however, a lot of speculation, which includes that the truck may have a range of 300 miles per charge (below the maximum range on a Model S) and that it will be ready for autonomous driving. The other prevailing theory is that cargo-carrying Tesla-Semi Trucks will operate in platoons.
Mashable will be at the unveiling and we’ll be sure to share the live stream link as soon as Elon Musk tweets it.