Tesla handed over the first of its electric Semi trucks Thursday, a milestone for the automaker more than five years after it unveiled the vehicle.
“If you want the most badass rig on the road, this is it,” CEO Elon Musk said at a low-key “delivery event” at Tesla’s battery factory in Sparks, Nevada.
While electric passenger cars get most of the buzz, the move to electrify trucking could be transformative for an industry known for high emissions and hefty fuel costs. Adding driver assistance features can also help operators save on labor expenses.
Tesla has designed the Semi truck around the driver, with a central seating position, plenty of room to stand up and ample storage space.
On stage, Musk said Tesla had pulled off a 500-mile (805-km) demonstration run on a single charge and full load in California, between Tesla’s Fremont plant and San Diego. A time-lapse video was shown of the route.