Tesla expands electric-vehicle portfolio with first truck and an updated roadster

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Chief executive Elon Musk said it is capable of travelling 500 miles on an electric charge and will cost less than a diesel truck considering fuel savings, lower maintenance and other factors. Musk claimed that the top speed is 250 km/h and can go from 0 to 60 in just 1.9 seconds, and 0 to 100 in a mere 4.2 seconds.

On Thursday night, Tesla surprised fans with another product: An updated version of its first sports vehicle, the Roadster. A Carnegie Mellon study estimated the cost of the Semi's battery pack alone to be roughly $200,000, with the typical diesel truck priced at just $120,000, the BBC points out. Charging takes 30 minutes to add 400 miles (643km) of range at Megachargers worldwide. On the one hand, the Tesla Semi is shaping up to be the hot-rod of trucks, with a 0-60 miles per hour time of 20 seconds even when at maximum 80,000 pound load.

Tesla has unveiled its first articulated electric lorry with production due to begin in the United States in 2019.

Tesla Semi electric truck
TESLA POWERFUL The Tesla Semi will be able to go from 0-60mph in just 20 seconds

Some analysts fear the trucks will be an expensive distraction for the company, which has never posted an annual profit and is in self-described "manufacturing hell" related to the $35,000 Model 3 saloon.

It also has a system that automatically keeps the vehicle in its lane. Taking a page from Apple and other tech companies in using showmanship to wow crowds, Musk surprised the crowd by announcing there was one more thing to add - and the new auto rolled out of the truck's trailer.

Analyst at Kelly Blue Book, Rebecca Lindland, told CNBC: "The biggest challenge Tesla faces with its semi is customers".

During the rally, Musk compared the experience of driving the big rig to the feeling of being behind the wheel of one of his company's other electric vehicles that feature its semi-autonomous Autopilot feature.

Acceleration junkie and Tesla drag racing veteran Brooks from Drag Times documented his experience blasting off from a standstill to over 80 miles per hour, in record-setting fashion, inside a Tesla Roadster prototype.

The Tesla Semi is set to offer remarkable performance. "If you order now, get a truck in two years", he said. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, said in a statement Friday that it has pre-ordered five Tesla units in its Walmart U.S. division and 10 units at Walmart Canada.

Mr Musk is involved in many other projects and announced plans he says could allow his SpaceX company to colonise Mars in September. Though the vehicle is clearly priced in supercar territory, it's far cheaper than numerous supercars it outperforms.

Watch Tesla's stock price move in real time. The company has a lot on its plate right now and the pickup truck likely doesn't rank high on the list of priorities, but it could come to life in the long run.

But most of that growth is expected to be for smaller, medium-duty haulers like garbage trucks or delivery vans.