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

tesla semi

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 diesel 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.
Semi-relatedly, Tesla's brand-new Roadster comes in around the same price point 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, there could be some volatility on the horizon, according to one Morgan Stanley analyst as investors look for signs of progress on the Model 3 assembly line.