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Tesla says electric trucks will start at $150,000 -- cheaper than expected

Lora Kolodny
Tesla revealed a starting base price of $150,000 for its electric semi-trailers.

Tesla said this week that its electric trucks will hit the market at a starting price of $150,000.

The Tesla Semi "expected base price" is for a truck that the company promises can drive fully loaded at highway speeds for 300 miles on a single charge. The Tesla Semi with a longer-range of 500 miles will cost $180,000.

The price was lower than what many analysts expected. Truck operators also won't have to pay for the fuel and repairs that diesel trucks require.

Several moving and retail companies have already reserved Tesla Semis, including J.B. Hunt, Loblaws, Meijer and Wal-Mart. Since the trucks were announced on Nov. 16, the reservation price has quadrupled from $5,000 to $20,000.

Many questions remain about the trucks. Tesla has not yet published a list of the features that will be included in the standard package and which features will come with additional costs.

Tesla also has yet to reveal how much the empty trucks, with their presumably hefty batteries, will weigh, so fleet owners don't know how much each truck will be able to carry.

Tesla has said it plans to start producing the trucks in 2019. The company burning through cash as it struggles with production bottlenecks around its Model 3 sedan.