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Why Did Tesla (TSLA) Stock Pop Today?

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Shares of Tesla (TSLA - Free Report) climbed on Monday morning after CEO Elon Musk announced that the company would unveil its first ever electric semi-truck later this week.

Musk made it known via Twitter (TWTR - Free Report) —where he has amassed nearly 15 million followers—that Tesla will officially show off its new all-electric semi-truck to an audience in Hawthorne, California on Thursday, Nov. 16.

The joke-filled tweet is only the latest in a series of posts related to Tesla’s first foray into commercial vehicles. Musk first announced on Twitter in September that the “Tesla Semi truck unveil & test ride tentatively scheduled for Oct 26th in Hawthorne.” He then continued, “worth seeing this beast in person. It's unreal.”

The initial announcement helped lift Tesla’s stock price as investors were energized by the idea of another revenue stream and possible long-term shake-up of the massive trucking industry.

However, Tesla’s CEO took to Twitter to let everyone know that the company changed the official semi-truck reveal date to mid-November, citing humanitarian reasons.

The electric vehicle giant’s semi will reportedly have an initial range of 200 to 300 miles before needing to be recharged. Current diesel trucks can travel 1,000 miles or more on a single tank of gas. This likely means Tesla’s electric trucks will be confined to more localized routes upon their launch.

Demand for the Tesla semi-trucks will be high, according to Morgan Stanley (MS - Free Report) analyst Ravi Shanker. For now, however, details surrounding how much Tesla will charge for the new electric semis is unclear. It is also uncertain when the trucks will go into production or when they will be available for purchase.

Initial estimates for the semi truck seem to vary. Cowen analyst Jeffery Osborne doesn’t expect production of the electric semis to start until at least 2021, while analysts at Morgan Stanley note that they project semi-truck sales will start in 2020.

Nonetheless, shares of Tesla popped on Monday morning after Musk’s Sunday tweet began to make the rounds. The positive news might help investors look past the fact that production of the company’s mass-market Model 3 sedan has failed to meet expectations, which helped Tesla remain highly unprofitable in its third-quarter.

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