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Tesla Semi Truck live launch: Specifications, availability and more!

17 Nov 2017 | Written by Gogona Saikia; Edited by Shikha Chaudhry

It is one field day for Tesla as it launches its Semi Truck, which CEO Elon Musk has promised will "blow your mind clear out of your skull and into an alternate dimension."

The Truck can go 0 to 60 in five seconds, and it can do 65mph up a 5% grade when it's hauling 80,000 pounds.

Excited? Here's more about Tesla's 'new beast'.

In context: Tesla Semi Truck launch

17 Nov 2017Tesla Semi Truck live launch: Specifications, availability and more!

SpecificationsMusk describes Tesla's new Semi Truck to a cheering audience

In his signature style, Musk entered the dais on a Semi Truck and jumped out to cheers.

The Truck is extremely smart, Musk claims: autopilot will keep it in its own lane and brake automatically.

It's in the 500-mile range: speculations had put it at 300.

There's a new term: "megachargers". The Truck can charge up to 400 miles of ramge in 30 minutes.

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Musk addresses the Truck's safety and reliability

SafetyMusk addresses the Truck's safety and reliability

Musk claimed incredible levels of safety and reliability. For one, there are onboard sensors which will look for signs of jackknifing.

The Truck has four engines, so even if you break two, it will still keep motoring for a million miles.

The windshield is apparently thermonuclear explosion-proof. Musk has guaranteed a refund if the beast doesn't survive a nuclear explosion!

DesignAs always, the design stands out

What took the cake was the Truck's design: Tesla has borrowed elements from the Model 3, including a turn signal, flush-mounted doors and two screens beside the steering wheel.

There's a centre-mounted and significantly-more-forward seat for the driver and one behind and to its right for a passenger: the battery mounted below the floor left enough space inside to even walk around, Musk claims.

AvailabilityProduction to start in 2019

Here comes the reality check: its production is yet to start. Musk announced Tesla would begin work on it in 2019, which means even if you order now, you will have to wait for years to receive it.

But it'll be worth it, according to him: on a 100-mile route, a diesel truck would cost $1.51/mile, while this truck will cost just $1.26/mile.

VentureTesla's entry into commercial vehicles segment

Just to note, this is Tesla's first offering in commercial vehicles. It has made a mark in the luxury vehicles segment, but commercial vehicles are a different game altogether.

Experts point out that battery-powered vehicles will face several hurdles, like weight restrictions and availability of charging points, before they can be widely accepted.

Besides, truck manufacturers have already shifted to alternative-fuels like natural gas.

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Reality checkWill the Tesla Truck dent the market?

Despite Tesla's over-the-top launch, will it actually change the game? There are doubts. Truck manufacturers have already forayed into cleaner fuels.

The battery-operated trucks' market specifically is becoming increasingly crowded with industry leaders like Bosch, Daimler and Cummins lining up with their own products.

Also, thanks to low diesel and gasoline prices in the US, demand for electric trucks hasn't been high yet.

Of failed promisesWill Tesla deliver this time?

Tesla doesn't have a shining record of keeping promises: the Model 3 is yet-to-be-delivered to the 500,000 people who reserved it.

The company is burning $1bn/quarter to keep up. Just last month, Tesla fired hundreds, reportedly as cost-cutting.

The Truck's unveiling is bad timing, but it isn't whimsical: it's been in the works for two years.

Let's hope Musk has a plan in place.