At Tesla’s latest earnings call, only one thing was said about the Tesla Semi, that it was “in development,” and that there is no assigned factory for its production ( TBD ). We had already been told that production would start next year. We have a new update via Tesla’s unofficial press department, Elon Musk’s Twitter account.
“The Semi Truck with 500 miles of autonomy will begin to distribute this year, the Cybertruck next year,” he said in a tweet a few hours ago. This message followed a link to the Master Plan, Part Deux that Musk published six years ago now, on July 20, 2016. That was before the Semi presentation, which took place in November 2017.
Two versions were announced at the presentation, one with 300 miles of autonomy (482 km) and another with 500 miles (800 km). The latter is intended for long-distance transport, and technically speaking, it makes no sense to give more autonomy to an electric truck that has a human at the wheel. It would not be legal to cover distances greater than 550 miles in a working day in the United States, and in the mandatory rest, you can recharge to spare for those extra 50 miles.
The production of the Tesla Semi is going to be able to advance this year. In 2021 there was a confusing situation with the CEO of PepsiCo, who said that he would receive the first Tesla Semi before the end of the year for his Frito Lay division and that they had been waiting for them since 2019. It did not happen. The Tesla Semi has been a victim of component supply problems, especially batteries, which have delayed the start of series production.
In this way, if Elon Musk fulfills what he claims, the electric Truck will hit the market five years after its presentation to great fanfare. Currently, other manufacturers have managed with American Class 8 conventionally powered trucks redesigned to be electric, such as the Volvo VNR or the Freightliner eCascadia, but nothing as revolutionary as the Tesla Semi.
In addition, these rivals do not come close to the autonomy of the Semi or in its basic version. Using the maximum range setting, the Volvo VNR with 565 kWh (six packs) does 440 km, and the Freightliner eCascadia with 438 kWh (three packs) up to 370 km. In Europe, Scania presented another long-distance truck, which with 624 kWh of batteries (468 kWh usable) a 4×2 Truck can reach 350 km at an average speed of 80 km/h.