THE CENTER-MOUNTED SEAT, HOWEVER, DOES FEEL WEIRD
Whether Tesla can actually impact the freight truck market remains to be seen, but design is certainly part of that statement, as Tesla makes it clear that it wants to do things differently and staged a full scale media event blitz to emphasize that point, It is perhaps the first reveal of an 18-wheeler to take the stage to the tune of trance music. Tesla is taking a page from its Model 3 playbook, a game plan that’s currently a roll of the dice, but one that tends to generate tons of hype and whip the media and Musk fans into a frenzy.
It’s a delicate moment for Tesla, with both fans and investors watching the rollout of its first mass market car intensely, and now they are tuning in to see a truck, because it’s Tesla. The usual audience for freight innovation is far more niche. But when Elon Musk talks trucks, his fans whistle and shout.
The reveal event was held in the shadow of two of Musk’s other pet projects: SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and a mile-long hyperloop tunnel. Both served as reminders that this was no ordinary company, and no ordinary truck.
Musk appeared Thursday night in Hawthorne, California to show off his company’s newest vehicle, promising a range in the neighborhood of 500 miles for the Class 8 Heavy Duty vehicle. Earlier reports pegged the range between 200 and 300 miles, but Musk delighted in besting those numbers in his remarks, including his claim that the truck has a 400 mile range in 30 minutes. Musk had also promised self-driving abilities, and Tesla says this delivers at least semi-autonomous capability.