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Tesla to unveil big-rig e-truck in October

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has indicated that his company will unveil a prototype of its planned electric truck in late October. The carmaker is targeting regional hauling for its entry into the freight market.

Tesla chief Elon Musk said in a tweet he was looking forward to seeing the Tesla Semi e-truck in action soon.

The entrepreneur has tantalized the trucking industry with the prospect of a battery-powered heavy-duty vehicle that can compete with conventional diesels. But the latter can travel up to 1,000 miles (1609 kilometers) on a single tank of fuel.

By contrast, Tesla's electric truck is expected to have an initial working range of 200 to 300 miles only. The company has not said publicly exactly how far the truck could travel, what it would cost and how much cargo it could carry.

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Highly contested market

Nonetheless, Tesla has been making strides in self-driving technology, and implementing it in an electric truck could potentially move it forward in a highly competitive area of commercial transport also being pursued by Uber Technologies and Alphabet's Waymo.

Elon Musk had earlier expressed hopes for large-scale production of the Tesla Semi within a couple of years.

Analysts are divided over whether the e-truck could open a lucrative new market for the California-based firm, or whether it could just prove an expensive distraction.

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hg/jd (Reuters, AFP)

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