Tesla Technoking, Elon Musk announced on Twitter that a fully loaded (with 81,000 lbs) Tesla Semi electric heavy truck has completed a 500-mile (800kms) trip without having to recharge. The only detail in the reveal, which was made on the Twitter social media channel he now owns and has long used as his soapbox, was that the Tesla Semi weighed 81,000lbs, or around 36 tons. The Tesla Semi has impressive range to not stop for a charge.
When Tesla makes its first formal delivery to a customer and conducts its official unveiling of the Tesla Semi later this week, further information will be made public. Robyn Denholm, its chair and an Australian businesswoman, reportedly stated that 100 Tesla Semis would be produced this year for delivery, while Elon Musk has indicated that 50,000 units might be produced annually by 2024.
The market for heavy-duty vehicles is split between those who believe electric trucks will best serve the market, others who advocate hydrogen trucks, and those who advocate a combination of both. For the larger short-haul industry, electric makes the most sense without a doubt, but there is still discussion on which will be better for the long-haul market.
Microsoft founder, Bill Gates is one who favors hydrogen or alternative fuels, and has been openly skeptic about electric-powered semi trucks. Musk referenced this on Twitter stating that Gates is welcome to drive the car himself.
Gates and Musk at the 2015 conference: Technology & Innovation for a Sustainable Future
Gates vs Musk
Elon Musk dethroned Bill Gates as the richest man in the world and even though they shared the same title, the two men do not get along and have very opposing views on most things. Back in 2020, Elon Musk's Tesla Semi project and discussion for commercial electric aircraft received criticism from Bill Gates. No big issue, but Gates' statements become more contentious when he asserts that electric semi-trucks like the Tesla Semi and electric jets will probably never materialize. Would Gates eat his words from two years ago?
“The problem is that batteries are big and heavy. The more weight you’re trying to move, the more batteries you need to power the vehicle. But the more batteries you use, the more weight you add—and the more power you need. Even with big breakthroughs in battery technology, electric vehicles will probably never be a practical solution for things like 18-wheelers, cargo ships, and passenger jets. Electricity works when you need to cover short distances, but we need a different solution for heavy, long-haul vehicles.”
Then in April this year, Musk took to Twitter to accuse Gate of shorting Tesla. Musk claimed that he questioned Gates about whether or not he was shorting the company's stock. Investors who short a stock are wagering that the value of the asset will decline.
“I heard from multiple people at TED that Gates still had half billion short against Tesla, which is why I asked him, so it’s not exactly top secret.”
Musk was replying to a tweet questioning the validity of a supposed conversation between Gates and Musk. Then in May, the Microsoft co-founder revealed he had doubts about why Musk went ahead and bought Twitter considering the social media platform is known for its vitriol and spreading misinformation.
Gates acknowledged that Musk's track record is excellent and that he has done a good job of acquiring people for his firms, despite his reservations about the intentions of the Tesla CEO. Gates referred to Musk’s efforts at Tesla and SpaceX as mind-blowing, but he is less certain that the EV automaker's valuation can rise as the world switches to electric vehicles. Gates, though, expressed skepticism that the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX will be able to achieve the same results on Twitter. The Technoking is hardly phased by his critics and so far, he has proved Gates wrong.