Apr 13, 2017

Musk: Tesla will unveil semi truck in September

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.

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Senate Democrats block Republicans' $250 billion PPP injection

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Before the Paycheck Protection Program formally launched last Friday, we knew two things: The rollout would be rocky, and the initial $250 billion wouldn't be enough for America's small businesses.

The state of play: Banks and government officials have been working to smooth out the process. On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's attempt to pump another $250 billion into the program via unanimous consent was blocked by Democrats, who are proposing an alternative.

Fauci: Social distancing could reduce coronavirus death toll to 60,000

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told NBC's "Today" on Thursday that he's hopeful that social-distancing measures in place across the U.S. will reduce the total number of coronavirus deaths.

Why it matters: Fauci said that while early models projected between 100,000 and 200,000 U.S. deaths from the pandemic, he now believes that number could come down to 60,000 — but he emphasized the importance of keeping social distancing in place to ensure that trend holds.

Go deeperArrow31 mins ago - Health

OPEC+ and G20 energy meetings mark zero hour for oil diplomacy

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The next two days will be pivotal for determining whether large oil-producing countries can partially stabilize an industry reeling from very low prices and the historic, coronavirus-fueled collapse in demand.

Driving the news: The OPEC+ group led by Saudi Arabia and Russia begin meeting remotely later Thursday morning to discuss production cuts, to be followed by a virtual Friday meeting among G20 energy ministers that includes the U.S.