Nov 13, 2017

Elon Musk vows Tesla semi truck will "blow your mind"

Elon Musk. Photo: Francois Mori / AP

More broadly, significant electrification of the heavy-duty trucking sector in the coming decades could play an important role in curbing global oil demand.

Long-haul trucks account for 13 percent of U.S. petroleum consumption, according to the group Securing America's Future Energy.

Trucking is a major source of petroleum demand worldwide. International Energy Agency head Fatih Birol has noted that trucks in Asia alone are responsible for a third of oil demand growth levels.

What to look for Thursday: Questions confronting Musk's plan to enter the heavy-duty trucking market include . . .

  • Tesla's timeline for commercial production and projected vehicle costs.
  • How much range the vehicle will have. Reuters reported in late August that it would be around 200-300 miles, which is much less than big diesel trucks can travel on a single tank.
  • The extent to which it have autonomous features and other advanced technologies that enable "platooning" of multiple vehicles and other attributes.

Go deeper

Public transit's death spiral

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Public transit systems across the country are experiencing a painful trifecta: Ridership has collapsed, funding streams are squeezed, and mass transit won't bounce back from the pandemic nearly as fast as other modes of transportation.

Why it matters: Transit agencies could see an annual shortfall of as much as $38 billion due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to TransitCenter. At the same time, they're more important than ever, with more than 36% of essential workers relying on public transportation to get to work.

World coronavirus updates: London mayor says U.K. nowhere near lockdown lifting

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern offered hope in the fight against the novel coronavirus, saying she believes New Zealand has "turned a corner" after two weeks of strict lockdown measures. But London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said the U.K. is "nowhere near" lifting restrictions.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed over 82,000 people and infected 1.4 million others globally as of early Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Global recoveries have surpassed 301,000. Spain has reported the most cases outside the U.S. (more than 141,000) and Italy the most deaths (over 17,000). Half the planet's population is on lockdown.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 33 mins ago - Health

Wisconsin may be the start of the 2020 election wars

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Wisconsin voters braving lines in face masks — after a last-minute Supreme Court ruling against extending the absentee deadline — could foreshadow a nationwide legal struggle over how to conduct elections during the coronavirus outbreak, election experts say.

Why it matters: "It's a harbinger of what's to come in the next skirmishes in the voting wars" from now through November, Richard Hasen, a professor and national election law expert at the University of California, Irvine, told Axios.