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Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company will unveil an electric semi truck in September as part of his "Master Plan Part 2," although it's unclear when the truck will be available. This is the first time the company is moving into that segment of the industry. Musk called his team's work "seriously next level."

"We believe the Tesla Semi will deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate."

Context: Semi trucks haul an enormous amount of consumer goods across the U.S., and on average get between 4 and 8 miles per gallon from diesel fuel. The max weight for a U.S. semi truck is 80,000 pounds over 18 wheels, according to Popular Mechanics. Some of this weight will likely have to be allotted for the weight of batteries in Tesla's rollout. The top-selling semi is Freightliner, which is made by Daimler Trucks North America.

Tesla also will roll out a pickup truck in 18 to 24 months and a new roadster convertible is in the works. Musk tweeted the rollout of the new Model 3 compact sedan will be in July.

Update: As Quartz smartly points out, "Existing lithium-ion batteries capable of powering a semi-truck for 500 miles (804 kilometers) would weigh 23-tons, half the weight of the truck itself," and would require potentially new battery chemistry to work.

Go deeper

House passes sweeping election and anti-corruption bill

Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

The House voted 220-210Wednesday to pass Democrats' expansive election and anti-corruption bill.

Why it matters: Expanding voting access has been a top priority for Democrats for years, but the House passage of the For the People Act (H.R. 1) comes as states across the country consider legislation to rollback voting access in the aftermath of former President Trump's loss.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

The House voted 220 to 212 on Wednesday evening to pass a policing bill named for George Floyd, the Black man whose death in Minneapolis last year led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Why it matters: The legislation overhauls qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and outlaws racial profiling.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans plan to exact pain before COVID relief vote

Sen. Ron Johnson. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republicans are demanding a full, 600-page bill reading — and painful, multi-hour "vote-a-rama" — as Democrats forge ahead with their plan to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Why it matters: The procedural war is aimed at forcing Democrats to defend several parts the GOP considers unnecessary and partisan. While the process won't substantially impact the final version of the mammoth bill, it'll provide plenty of ammunition for future campaign messaging.