To put that in perspective, a modern diesel big rig will cost you around $120,000 according to MIT Technology Review. However, for trucking companies that want to go full-tilt with a Tesla Semi purchase, there is a Founder Series model that will be available for a $200,000 ($200,000 will also get you into a new Tesla Roadster). There will only be 1,000 Founder Series Tesla Semis available, and there's no word on what the extra $20,000 will get you over the "standard" 500-mile version other than perhaps an earlier delivery date.
It should be noted that the 300- and 500-mile Tesla Semis can be preordered with a $20,000 down deposit. However, companies that have their eyes on the Founder Series will have to plunk down the entire $200,000 right now.
Although even the 300-mile version of the Semi represents a $30,000 premium over a standard diesel truck, Tesla says that the fuel savings will more than make up for the deficit. According to Tesla, electric energy costs for the Semi are half that of diesel, and there are fewer complex systems to maintain in the powertrain. The company reckons that the Semi would provide over $200,000 in fuel savings along and will pay for itself within two years.
The Tesla Semi features four independent electric motors attached to the rear axles, and promises energy consumption of less than 2 kWh per mile. In addition, the Semi can travel at 65 mph up a 5 percent grade, and will go from a standstill to 60 mph in 20 seconds with a full 80,000-pound load.
Tesla has already found some high-profile buyers for its Semi including Walmart -- which pre-ordered 15 of the trucks -- and Logistics company J.B. Hunt Transport Services, which has secured "multiple" trucks.
While all of this sounds like trucking nirvana, many are still skeptical about Tesla's ability to deliver. The company is still well behind schedule with its "mainstream" Model 3 electric car due to manufacturing difficulties. In addition, Tesla vehicles, which have been known to feature niggling quality problems that can annoy owners -- will have a more demanding clientele to appease, considering that a broken-down Semi could cost a company cost a company thousands (or more) in lost revenue.