"We are guaranteeing it won't break down for a million miles because it has four independent motors," Musk said. "You can lose 2 of those 4 motors and the truck will still keep going."
Musk said a convoy of Tesla Semi trucks would even be more economical than freight by rail.
Analysts have expressed some skepticism that any electric truck can currently compete with the diesel trucks that dominate commercial trucking. Unlike luxury car buyers, trucking companies are primarily concerned with which trucks make most sense for their own financial bottom line.
"The biggest challenge Tesla faces with its semi is customers," said Rebecca Lindland, executive analyst at Kelley Blue Book. "These are business people not fans, and they will need convinced that this truck is better for their balance sheet than existing technology. It probably is, based on the specs provided, but this isn't necessarily a slam dunk."
Tesla unveils its bid at a commercial truck as it faces other challenges, particularly around the production of its Model 3 sedan.
The company reported its biggest quarterly loss in history in the third quarter, weeks after saying it had fallen far short of its delivery targets for the Model 3.
As it attempts to address what Tesla has called "production bottlenecks" and boost production, Tesla has faced some criticism over its relationship with some members of its workforce.
Among other things, Tesla was accused of being a "hotbed of racism" in a proposed class action lawsuit filed Monday in Alameda County, California. Tesla said the suit is a "hotbed of misinformation" and disputes several of the claims it makes. The United Auto Workers union also filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board in October over Tesla's firing of hundreds of workers.
Still, the company's stock price has soared in recent months. Shares of Tesla are up just over 47 percent since the beginning of the year.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that the Tesla Semi can travel 65 miles per hour on a 5 percent grade.