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The Tesla Semi will start at $150,000 and a longer-range version will sell for $180,000 (TSLA)

Bryan Logan
tesla semi

Tesla

 

  • The Tesla Semi will start at $150,000. A longer-range version will cost $180,000.
  • The electric-car company is also selling a "founder series" version for $200,000 — the cost of which is due in full, up front.
  • CEO Elon Musk unveiled the Semi last week. The base model will travel 300 miles on a single charge. The long-range version will travel up to 500 miles.

Tesla Semi, the automaker's newly unveiled electric big-rig truck, will have a base price of $150,000. Tesla's lowest-priced model is expected to travel 300 miles on a single charge, while the longer-range truck will have a 500-mile range and cost $180,000.

Morgan Stanley analysts initially predicted the Semi could start at $100,000, on the assumption that batteries may be leased separately. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during the big reveal last week that the truck would cost less to operate compared to traditional diesel trucks — to the tune of about $1.26 per mile compared to the $1.51 per mile it costs to maintain a traditional hauler.

A $20,000 deposit is required to reserve a standard Tesla Semi. Buyers who want the limited founders series must pay the full $200,000 price up front. Production is expected to begin in 2019. Several major corporations, including Walmart, J.B. Hunt, and Meijer have already placed orders for the Semi.

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Tesla's brand-new Roadster has a similar pricing structure as the Semi: $200,000 for the base model, and $250,000 for the founders series — the payment for which is due in full, up front. Roadster production begins in 2020.

Some industry watchers have pointed to the new vehicles as a cash-grab for Tesla; the company is struggling to overcome production bottlenecks with its mass-market Model 3, the most affordable and most-desired Tesla. There are some 450,000 orders for the compact sedan.

Tesla fell far short of expectations for Model 3 production in the early going, producing just 260 examples of the car by the end of September. The company has pushed back production and delivery estimates as a result.

According to a Bloomberg report published this week, Tesla in the last 12 months has been burning through about $480,000 per hour. In the absence of additional funds, the company would run out of money by next summer, the Bloomberg data concluded. Tesla has previously said it has the resources to keep the lights on.

Additionally, capital markets and Tesla customers have generally been reliable partners. Tesla stock hovered between $300 and $320 recently, with some investors expecting it to touch $400. But more volatility is on the horizon, according to one Morgan Stanley analyst, as investors look for more signs of progress on the Model 3 assembly line.

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