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Richard Drew / AP

Tesla has asked state government permission to test-drive a caravan of electric, autonomously driven semi-trucks in Nevada, per Reuters' Marc Vartabedian.

CEO Elon Musk had already said he would unveil an electric semi-truck in September, and the new details help to fill in his possible thinking about the economics for a vehicle that would require a colossal battery: Researchers consulted by Axios in April estimated that the battery for a semi-truck would weigh three tons and cost about $70,000.

That could be prohibitive when you add in the pricetag for the semi-truck itself (the estimated cost for first-generation self-driving cars is about $300,000, so a truck would be much more), but a truck fleet company would be able to more easily absorb the expense if drivers were not necessary.

What it means: Since autonomous technology is not yet ready, and may not be until the 2030s, Tesla's idea may be to have a human-driven truck as the lead vehicle, and a caravan of semis behind, each programmed simply to follow the one in front of it, with no humans inside.

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.