from the semileaks dept.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced in April that the company is working on pushing a long-haul electric semi truck to market, which is set to be formally revealed in September. Now, Reuters has viewed e-mail correspondence between Tesla and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles that indicate that the company has discussed testing semi trucks on the state's roads.
The Reuters report also mentioned that the semis would be outfitted with autonomous functions, so they could traverse the nation's highways without a driver in the front seat. The e-mails seemed to indicate that Tesla's semis would "platoon," that is, drive in a formation such that a number of trucks could follow a lead vehicle. It's unclear whether the lead vehicle would have a driver, or operate autonomously with a person in the front seat to monitor safety.
[...] Reuters also reported that California DMV officials will meet with Tesla this week "to talk about Tesla's efforts with autonomous trucks."
Tesla has been sued by an employee for alleged racist harassment and termination for complaining:
Tesla Inc.'s production floor is a "hotbed for racist behavior," an African-American employee claimed in a lawsuit in which he alleged black workers at the electric carmaker suffer severe and pervasive harassment. The employee says he's one of more than 100 African-American Tesla workers affected and is seeking permission from a judge to sue on behalf of the group. He's seeking unspecified general and punitive monetary damages as well as an order for Tesla to implement policies to prevent and correct harassment.
[...] The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Marcus Vaughn, who worked in the Fremont factory from April 23 to Oct. 31. Vaughn alleged that employees and supervisors regularly used the "N word" around him and other black colleagues. Vaughn said he complained in writing to human resources and Musk and was terminated in late October for "not having a positive attitude."
Although customers who have reserved a Tesla Model 3 (at a cost of $1000) have seen their delivery dates pushed back, they apparently remain loyal to the company:
Even as the company led by Elon Musk struggles with manufacturing bottlenecks and pushes back production targets by at least a quarter, many reservation holders aren't budging. Bloomberg News contacted 20 consumers who paid deposits for the Model 3 and none had canceled their orders. Regardless of the concerns raised by slower output and an uncertain future for U.S. electric-car tax credits, Nomura analyst Romit Shah predicts the affinity for Tesla Inc. products will prevail. "We believe there is a real passion for the brand," Shah wrote in a report to clients that reiterated a $500 price target for Tesla shares, the highest on Wall Street. "It is bigger than loyalty because much of the enthusiasm comes from people who have never owned a Tesla. The only comparable we see is the iPhone."
Finally, Elon Musk says that the Tesla Semi Truck will be unveiled during a live webcast at 8 PM on Thursday, and that it will "blow your mind clear out of your skull and into an alternate dimension".
Previously: Elon Musk Says Tesla Pickup and Semi-Trucks Are Coming
Time to Bash Tesla Model 3
Tesla Discussing Autonomous Semi Truck Testing in Nevada
Tesla Fires Hundreds of Employees
Tesla Burns More Cash, Fails to Meet Production Targets