By Margaret Tseng
On Thursday, November 16, Tesla unveiled its brand-new Semi truck and next-generation Roadster. Both vehicles have attracted attention in the media and from devoted Tesla fans. But skeptics question Tesla’s potential, and the market has reacted with a falling stock price. How will Tesla fare in the next few years? Optimistic Tesla enthusiasts are hopeful the company can bounce back the same way as SpaceX. There’s no question that Tesla is a unique car company, with its own characteristic flair, and anything could happen.
Both new vehicles share the distinctive Tesla aesthetic pioneered by designer Franz von Holzhausen. The Tesla Semi shows this sleek look in its smooth exterior and classy interior. Although it shares many parts with the Model 3 passenger car – including the chrome door handles, the screens inside, and the motor – it has a different feel. The most prominent aspect of its exterior is the smooth, sloped front with a large glass windshield and angled windshield wipers. Just inside the door are a set of black steps into a landing. The cab is quite spacious and is tall enough for an adult to stand up. There is a central chair for the driver, with two screens on either side and the steering wheel directly in front of the seat, and a secondary seat is located at the back. The roominess in the cab is in part because of the lack of need for an engine and transmission that traditional diesel trucks have. All of these features fit together into the unique Tesla style that has attracted many followers.
Unlike the large, work-oriented Semi, the new Tesla Roadster is everything a Tesla enthusiast could want in a car. As a sporty supercar, it is already breaking records with impressive specs, like 0-60 acceleration in 1.9 seconds, a top speed of over 250 mph, and a range of 620 miles on a single charge. It also manages to fit 4 seats and features like a removable glass roof. This doesn’t come cheap, with a price tag of $50,000 for a reservation and a $200,000 base price. Still, the Roadster has been met with enthusiasm from Tesla fans, who have dreamed of a new Tesla Roadster for years. The new Roadster is elegant, with defined lines and smooth curves and a more distinctive aesthetic in contrast to the 2008 Roadster, which was very similar to Lotus cars. The next-gen Roadster conveys a stylish and sophisticated design that is Tesla’s trademark.
Tesla faces skepticism from those who believe it is only hiding financial troubles with new and exciting vehicles. The Model 3 has been facing production issues and missing deadlines recently, and consumers and journalists alike have been wary of Tesla. However, Elon Musk, founder and CEO, feels it is necessary to expand Tesla’s line. As it creates more electric vehicles (EVs) to compete with other car companies, consumers are beginning to be more open to going electric. Tesla has overcome major obstacles before – and with unique leaders like Elon Musk at the helm, anything could happen.