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

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 19,282,972 — Total deaths: 718,851 — Total recoveries — 11,671,491Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 4,937,441 — Total deaths: 161,248 — Total recoveries: 1,623,870 — Total tests: 60,415,558Map.
  3. Politics: Trump says he's prepared to sign executive orders on coronavirus aid.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus — Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases.
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases — Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production.

Warren and Clinton to speak on same night of Democratic convention

(Photos: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images, Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton both are slated to speak on the Wednesday of the Democratic convention — Aug. 19 — four sources familiar with the planning told Axios.

Why it matters: That's the same night Joe Biden's running mate (to be revealed next week) will address the nation. Clinton and Warren represent two of the most influential wise-women of Democratic politics with the potential to turn out millions of establishment and progressive voters in November.

Trump considering order on pre-existing condition protections, which already exist

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced on Friday he will pursue an executive order requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, something that is already law.

Why it matters: The Affordable Care Act already requires insurers to cover pre-existing conditions. The Trump administration is currently arguing in a case before the Supreme Court to strike down that very law — including its pre-existing condition protections.