Tesla Semi to break cover in September: Musk
New vehicle is ‘seriously next level’ and will be followed by a pick-up truck
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has nominated September as the month for its commercial vehicles venture to have rubber on the tarmac.
In a teasing tweet and answer nine months after announcing the initiative, Musk confirms a prime mover will be seen in the metal in five months’ time.
"Tesla Semi truck unveil set for September," Musk says.
"Team has done an amazing job. Seriously next level."
In a reply to a query about the emergence of a Tesla pick-up truck, Musk placed that "in 18 to 24 months".
The move into electric commercial vehicles, particularly heavy vehicles, appears to have had at least a seven-year gestation.
This thought is built on the move of the Daimler engineer and one of the driving forces behind a new generation of Freightliner Cascadia, Jerome Guillen, to Tesla in 2010.
However, Tesla-focused publications such as Teslarati point to the interest of co-founder Ian Wright, who has since left, in the US trucking industry dating from the last decade.
Guillen, the former Freightliner general manager of new product development who became Tesla vice president of worldwide sales and service, is in charge of the ‘Tesla Semi’ effort and Musk said of him last year: "At Daimler, he led their most successful semi truck program ever."
Little had been heard of the project until now, though, if February, in response to a tweeted question, Musk said progress was being made but the firm’s Model 3 "is the overwhelming priority".