In Brief
Elon Musk appeared at the latest TED conference last week to discuss his multitudinous ventures. Not only did he unveil the first look at Tesla's all-electric semi-trucks, he also announced plans to build four more Gigafactories.

Trucking Along

Elon Musk had a lot to discuss at the recent TED convention held in Vancouver on Friday. In addition to offering updates on his numerous ventures — including his plan to bore underground tunnels to create a new system for subterranean travel — Musk also gave the world its first peak at Tesla’s all-electric take on the commercial semi-truck.

He debuted a mysterious image backlit by a sky saturated in an unnaturally blue twilight with the headlights of the new truck in the foreground. The effect gives an ominous Kubrickian monolith feeling as the sleek contours focus the eye on the face of the truck, which is hidden in the darkness.

Image credit: Tesla
Image credit: Tesla

Musk made some impressive claims regarding the power of his new truck. Not only does he expect it to hold its own against conventional big rigs, he thinks it’ll be able to surpass them, describing it as a “spry” vehicle that can drive like a sports car.

According to The New York Times, heavy duty trucks “account for about 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, despite making up only 5 percent of the vehicles on the road.” The government is currently pushing to reduce emissions from big rigs, and Tesla’s semi could go a long way on that front.

Gigafactories Growing

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Elon Musk has positioned himself and his companies to be instrumental in weaning humanity off of fossil fuels. With Tesla and SolarCity alone, Musk is going head to head with some of the heaviest contributors to global warming in the transportation and energy sectors.

Tesla has already started deploying their Powerpack battery technology for use in a Southern Californian utility grid. The Powerpack station will allow for the collection and storage of energy during non-peak times, which can then be released during peak times to lessen the demand on power plants relying on fossil fuels.

This technology is built at Tesla’s Gigafactories, and during the TED convention, Musk also announced that we can expect four new sites for the manufacturing mega-campuses. This will ramp up the availability of this revolutionary technology and speed up the process of completely ending our dependence on fossil fuels.