Tesla unveils its electric Semi truck at last

Tesla reveals electric lorry to revolutionise haulage

While Tesla is saying that the new Roadster will arrive in 2020, the chances of that happening are slim.

Walmart says that it intends to be among the first companies to pilot Tesla's new all-electric Semi heavy-duty truck.

The Roadster has three motors (one in the front; two in the rear) and is capable of going 0-60mph in a stunning 1.9 seconds, with a top speed of over 250mph (402kph) and 620 mile range (998km or over 1000km as Musk puts it) at highway speeds.

The first 1,000 Roadsters will cost $250,000 each, paid in full upfront, with later models starting at $200,000.

While Musk suggested that the Tesla Semi could effectively replace all diesel trucks, the haulage companies themselves are being a little more tentative in their expectations.

Regardless of whether Musk is right about the typical length of trucking routes, 500 miles is still far less than diesel trucks can travel. There's also a version with a 300-mile range.

Using new Megachargers, the trucks can be powered up in 30 minutes to travel 400 miles. Torque sensors on the individual wheels, along with software that can correct steering, will make jackknifing impossible, Musk said.

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Tesla says production for the new Semi should commence by 2019 in the US.

While the official specs will be out closer to production, Tesla says that the Semi will go from 0-100 kmph in 5 seconds. The figure assumes a diesel price of $2.50 a gallon versus 7 cents/kWh for electricity and a maximum load traveling at an average speed of 60 miles per hour. The Semi also comes with regenerative braking for improved brake life, while there is no need to shift gears on this truck, which should make it convenient for drivers.

While shares in the company are up more than 40% this year, they have fallen 20% since hitting record highs in mid-September.

Also unique to the Semi is the driver's seating position.

The family vehicle was supposed to be Tesla's opening to a broad market, with a sticker price starting at $35,000 - but production snags have meant that instead of making thousands of Model 3s each month, Tesla produced only 260 in September.

Those setbacks didn't do much to dampen the hype surrounding Thursday's unveiling - and it gained more energy as the Roadster, which from 2008 to 2012 was Tesla's star vehicle, returned to the lineup.

Watch Tesla's stock price move in real time.

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