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Three years late, Tesla CEO Elon Musk delivered the company's first Semi big rig truck. (Photo: Courtesy Tesla)

The Electric: Tesla Has Delivered Its First Electric Big Rig. Now Comes the Hard Part

Photo: Three years late, Tesla CEO Elon Musk delivered the company's first Semi big rig truck. (Photo: Courtesy Tesla)

Three years after he promised to deliver the Tesla Semi, Elon Musk last week finally handed over five of the big rigs to PepsiCo. Musk is promising to follow those with the production of 50,000 Semis in 2024. This week, we look at why he will get nowhere near that production number this decade.

In 2017, Elon Musk unveiled the Tesla Semi, an electric big rig he said would go 500 miles on a charge and cost $180,000, just a few tens of thousands more than a diesel-powered truck.

Five years later, Tesla has delivered its first Semis to a customer, with a battery that alone likely cost $180,000 or more. At an event in Reno, Nev., on Thursday, Musk didn’t reveal the Semi’s price tag, nor many other details when he handed over five trucks to PepsiCo executives. But they are likely to cost two to three times his original estimate­ before government incentives.

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