Tesla's two-vehicle launch came as the company faces legal, financial and production issues. Its most recent quarterly earnings report beat analysts' expectations with $2.98 billion in revenue, but revealed a $619 million loss and a three-month production delay for the entry-level Model 3 sedan. The company this week was hit with a third lawsuit alleging racial discrimination at the company.
Autotrader analyst Michelle Krebs said the transport-truck market was "ripe for change, by electrification, self-driving and connected," but she noted that Daimler beat Tesla to the punch with the announcement of its electric semi, the E-Fuso Vision One, in October.
The advantages held by standard semis could limit the scale of electric trucks' operations, said Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book managing editor Michael Harley, who said Tesla had "incorrectly aimed its sights."
"Diesel fuel is readily available and relatively efficient for heavy long-haul trucks that cruise open highways at a fixed speed," Harley said.
"A more appropriate target for the electric vehicle maker would be the short-haul."
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