Tesla, the electric car manufacturer known for its Roadster and S models, is looking at producing a zero-emission heavy truck.

Founder Elon Musk aims to “expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments”.

Musk claimed at a press briefing that the Tesla Semi is “in the early stages of development at Tesla and should be ready for unveiling next year”.

No images of the truck concept have so far been released.

Although the solar roof is a key part of future light vehicle plans, there is also no mention of how Tesla plans to address the energy storage capacity dilemma.

This means the amount of batteries required to provide a meaningful operating range from anything like a current long-haul artic would probably be more than the payload, subject to a major advance in battery technology.

Musk has also spoken of variants such as a Tesla pick-up truck, and urban applications for smaller truck variants appear a logical avenue too.

By Colin Barnett