Elon Musk’s brand new all-electric Tesla Semi is so expensive, its base price costs just as much as the high-end of most traditional semi trucks.
We know this because over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Tesla updated its Tesla Semi pre-order page with pricing for the giant cargo hauler that Musk introduced in Hawthorn, California, on November 16.
The base price of the 300-mile range Tesla Semi is $150,000, and the 500-mile range model costs $180,000. That’s almost double the base price of a traditional semi truck. According to CostOwl, semi trucks start at $80,000, but can cost as much as $150,000.
Reserving you spot on the Tesla Semi delivery list will also cost you $20,000. You can reserve a Founders Series Truck for an insane $200,000, and for that, the reservation is the full $200K.
Obviously, diesel fuel trucks are not directly comparable to Tesla’s electric semi truck. Sure, they’re both giant and each can haul many tons of cargo (the Tesla Semi is designed to work with all standard freight compartments), but where the diesel truck might suck many gallons of fuel over a long haul, Tesla’s semi, which isn’t scheduled to arrive until 2019, is designed to sip energy. According to the Tesla website, it will consume “less than 2 kWh per mile” and the energy costs are half of what they are for diesel trucks.
No one should be surprised that Tesla’s first semi truck is instantly one of the most expensive commercial vehicles on the market. Tesla’s first Roadster listed for over $110,000 and the Model S sedan had a base price of $72,000. However, just as those electric vehicles were not like the cars from the Big Three automakers, the Tesla Semi is not like other trucks.
It has a huge interior, centered steering wheel, no traditional dashboard, a three-piece windshield, built-in communication for logistics and fleet management, autonomous driving features, and four electric motors, but no transmission. It’s also supposed to be quite fast and powerful with the ability to reach 60 mph (with an 80-ton haul in two) in 20 seconds.
However, some fleet managers and truckers may balk at the fact that, even at $150,000, there’s no sleeping compartment on the Tesla Mini. Most truckers spent at least some time sleeping in their trucks, but Tesla only says they considering adding sleeping cabins to future models, which will probably increase the price, as well.
What the Tesla Semi web site doesn’t mention is whether they’ll be discount pricing if you buy more than one truck. Surely shipping companies are considering fleet overhauls and may what to buy five or more of these electric rigs. Will Musk cut them a deal?