MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Tesla is getting into the big rig business.
The electric carmaker promises to shake up the $700 billion trucking industry with the unveiling of its first semi-tractor trailer.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the all-electric truck at an airport hangar near Los Angeles.
“I hope you like what you see,” said Musk.
Musk says the truck burns no gas, will never need its brakes replaced, and is capable of traveling 500 miles on an electric charge-even with an 80,000-pound load.
The tech CEO also says it’s easier and safer to drive.
“If you’ve got 80,000 pounds moving at 65 mph, it’s a very dangerous thing. Every truck we sell has autopilot as standard,” said Musk.
Government statistics show trucks account for nearly one-quarter of transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions in the country.
Tesla’s ultimate goal is to usher in sustainable transportation.
“Take the least cost, insurance cost, maintenance, and consider true cost trucking. A diesel truck will be 20 percent more expensive than a Tesla truck per mile,” said Musk.
Customers can put down a $5,000 deposit to reserve the truck with production beginning in 2019.
Demand for electric trucks is expected to grow over the next decade as the U.S., Europe and China all tighten their emissions regulations.