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The Tesla Semi: Why Truckers Want It And How Important It Could Be

The Tesla Semi: Why Truckers Want It And How Important It Could Be
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It didn’t take much to convince J B Hunt Transport Services Inc (NASDAQ: JBHT). Less than a day after Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) delivered its widely hyped Semi, J B Hunt placed $5,000 reservations for multiple units.

Why Truckers Want It: The 33,000-pound, Class 8 truck is more aerodynamic than a supercar and goes from zero to 60 in five seconds — 20 seconds with its 80,000-pound maximum load.

The semi-autonomous electric truck includes automatic braking, lane tracking, a windshield of “thermonuclear explosion-proof glass,” one-gear operations, and two touchscreens flanking the centrally-seated driver.

The solar-power charged vehicle gains 400 miles on a 30-minute charge, and CEO Elon Musk promised a cost of ownership 20 percent less than that of a diesel truck with a million-mile lifespan.

“It's not just economic suicide to use one diesel truck, it's economic suicide for rail,” Musk said. “This beats rail.”

Perhaps most importantly, ladened with its heaviest haul, it boasts a 500-mile highway range far exceeding Street expectations between 300 and 450 miles. Analysts had anticipated low range creating sales drag and slicing total addressable market to less than half of the semi market.

What Analysts Think: Some on the Street consider the semi critical for both the firm’s consumer reach and capital raises.

“Tesla’s addressable market likely increased by 15 to 20 percent with the addition of trucks,” Loup Ventures managing partner Gene Munster wrote in a Friday note. “[M]ore importantly, an untapped opportunity in trucking should continue to stoke investor’s optimism for the next three years.”

Munster expects the electric models to hit the market in 2020, after “inevitable delays” to the 2019 production timeline, for between $225,000 and $275,000 against competitors’ $150,000 diesels.

“This would add about 15 to 20 percent to Tesla’s top and presumably bottom line in the year 2025,” Munster wrote.

The Stock’s Reaction: The stock had been on the rise all week as Musk hyped the Street with teasers. At time of publication, Tesla shares were set to open up 4.4 percent at $326.50.

Related Links:

Merrill Lynch: Tesla Semi Announcement Could Be A Reason To Buy Allison Transmission

Why Tesla's China Situation May Be More Favorable Than Previously Imagined

Image credit: Tesla Twitter

Latest Ratings for TSLA

Jun 2018Vertical GroupMaintainsSellSell
Jun 2018NomuraReiteratesBuyBuy
Jun 2018NeedhamInitiates Coverage OnHold

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