Tesla Semi Event This Week: What to Expect

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If maximum hype is a thing, Tesla's (NASDAQ: TSLA) Elon Musk has achieved it for the company's upcoming semitruck unveiling. "This will blow your mind clear out of your skull and into an alternate dimension," Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter earlier this week, adding, "Just need to find my portal gun ..."

Obviously, there's some jest in his publicity for the truck. But in light of Musk's exuberant optimism about the new vehicle, investors will certainly be watching closely when the electric-car maker unveils its Tesla Semi on Thursday evening. Here's a look at what to expect from the event.

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What we know

Tesla has already shared a teaser photo of the semitruck. And it looks good, featuring a large curved-glass windshield, futuristic headlights, and sporty shoulders over the front wheels.

But Musk has shared a few more tidbits about the semi beyond a teaser photo. In Tesla's "Master Plan, Part Deux," released last year, he said Tesla Semi "will deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate." The CEO also confirmed earlier this year that the semi truck will be capable of long hauls.

Musk seems particularly excited about this product. In April, he said the semi would be "seriously next level." And this excitement persisted as the semitruck's unveiling neared. "Worth seeing this beast in person. It's unreal," he tweeted in September. And Musk drummed up the vehicle's specifications in October, saying that they "are better than anything I've seen reported so far."

In addition to what Musk has said, rumors have surfaced. Reuters reported in August that Tesla Semi trucks will move in "platoons," featuring a lead vehicle with a driver, while the remaining vehicles may not need drivers. Reuters also asserted that the semi's range on a single charge would be 200 to 300 miles.

What we don't know

Of course, though Musk has hyped up Tesla Semi's imminent unveiling, most of what we know is just fluff, without any specifics. With all the hype and little of substance, the stakes are high for Tesla to show off something that impresses at Thursday's event.

Specifically, investors will be interested in how many miles of range the semi can travel on a single charge, how much weight it can haul, how important Autopilot will be to the truck's value proposition, what its price will be, and when deliveries will begin.

Initially, Tesla was planning to show off the vehicle in September. But after several delays, as the company prioritized addressing Model 3 production bottlenecks, the Tesla Semi unveiling was ultimately scheduled for Nov. 16.

Tesla will host a live webcast of its Tesla Semi unveiling on its website on Thursday at 8 p.m. PST.

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Daniel Sparks owns shares of Tesla. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Tesla and Twitter. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.