American automaker, Tesla unveils first electric truck and roadster.

Tesla, Inc. an American automaker has unveiled its first electric articulated lorry, designed to challenge diesel trucks as king of the road.

Tesla says the vehicle – known in the US as a semi-trailer truck  will go into production in 2019.The long-anticipated Tesla Semi has a range of 500 miles on a single charge.Speaking on stage at Tesla’s facility in Los Angeles, chief executive Elon Musk said: “It’s not like any truck that you’ve ever driven.”

Musk also unexpectedly revealed a new Roadster, which he said would be “the fastest production car ever” made,”a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars”.The red sports car was driven out of the trailer of the electric lorry during Tesla’s presentation.The new Roadster becomes available in 2020.

With Tesla Semi, Mr Musk enters a competitive, demanding market. There are an estimated 3.5 million truck drivers in the US, the vast majority of whom drive diesel-powered engines. Tesla will not be able to compete on diesel’s range, and battery specialists doubt Tesla can produce a powerful enough battery at a reasonable price.

As for cost, the company said that per mile the Tesla Semi would work out cheaper than a diesel equivalent when fuel and other maintenance is taken into consideration – but did not share the cost of an individual truck.

The truck comes with Enhanced Autopilot, the second generation of Tesla’s semiautonomous technology, equipped with automatic braking, lane keeping, and lane departure warnings.