Palo Alto-based Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) has announced its plans to add more models to its vehicle lineup. Shares of the company jumped nearly 3 percent after the announcement. Tesla’s stock was $304.77 a share in Thursday afternoon trading on Wall Street, valuing the company at $49.2 billion.
Tesla plans to unveil an electric semi-truck later this year. Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Twitter, “Tesla Semi truck unveil set for September. Team has done an amazing job. Seriously next level.” Musk indicated that the semi-truck would likely have some autonomous-driving features, like those now included in Tesla’s passenger cars.
Last July, Musk said electric heavy-duty trucks were needed in the marketplace. At the time, he said, “We believe the Tesla Semi will deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate.”
Tesla will also unveil a pickup in the next 18 to 24 months. The addition of a pickup to Tesla’s lineup makes sense given the success of the category in the company’s home country. The truck was previously described as a “new kind of pickup” by Musk. Musk also teased a convertible version of the Roadster coming soon. A Tesla representative would not offer further details on the plans.
Tesla already builds the Model S sedan and Model X sport utility vehicle. The company is known for sleek, pricey electric sedans. The addition of a semitrailer and pickup would boost its lineup. However, Tesla may run into issues with the new models because it does not currently have facilities to manufacture trucks or semis.
The company is gearing up to build its widely anticipated Model 3 mid-market sedan. The final reveal of the production version of the Model 3 is scheduled for July. The new Model 3 is expected to sell for around $40,000. Its anticipated shipping timeline shows the first units should go out to customers by the end of this year.
Tesla has said that it will build 500,000 new Model 3 compacts by the end of next year. Skeptics say Tesla’s growth targets are unrealistic. Analysts have questioned the ambitious production schedule, noting that the company has a history of delays and coming in under promised production.
Shares of Tesla have surged 41 percent to record highs this year. Earlier this week, Tesla briefly became the largest U.S. automaker by stock market value, surpassing General Motors Corp.