Tesla unveils electric Semitractor-Trailer

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HAWTHORNE, Calif. (AP) -- After more than a decade of making cars and SUVs - and, more recently, solar panels - Tesla Inc. wants to electrify a new type of vehicle: big trucks.

Photo courtesy: Tesla

The company unveiled its new electric semitractor-trailer Thursday night near its design center in Hawthorne, California.

CEO Elon Musk said the semi is capable of traveling 500 miles (804 kilometers) on an electric charge - even with a full 80,000-pound (36,287-kilogram) load - and will cost less than a diesel semi considering fuel savings, lower maintenance and other factors. Musk said customers can put down a $5,000 deposit for the semi now and production will begin in 2019.