The first Tesla Semi customer will have the first units on time. We refer to FritoLay, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, because back in March it was announced that the first 15 Tesla Semi will be in their hands before the end of the year. PepsiCo ordered the first 100 Semis when the model was unveiled. The CEO of PepsiCo assured in November that throughout the quarter the first trucks would arrive.
As we can see in some drone images published by Sawyer Merritt on YouTube , the first units of the truck have been produced at the Nevada factory. We can see more than one specimen in white circling the enclosure, and without a license plate. Producing the Semi in Nevada is an interim solution, since where they will be made en masse will be in Giga Austin (Texas).
Restrictions on components – especially battery cells and microchips – are preventing Tesla from meeting the scheduled schedule, production should have started two years ago, and Elon Musk is aiming for 2023. Either by contract or by image, Tesla is starting with a low-scale production – about five a week – and not profitable for its 100% electric tractor unit.
Near the Nevada Gigafactory are the first Tesla Megachargers specifically designed for Semis, with a megawatt of power. According to various sources, there are at least two operational chargers. If Tesla’s strategy is the same as that used for its passenger cars, there will be more installations of this type in the future, obviously prioritizing places that suit its first customers.
Faced with the vision of other manufacturers, such as Toyota, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz or Volvo, Tesla is betting on batteries for long-distance transport instead of hydrogen fuel cells. In November 2020 Elon Musk said that 500 km of autonomy was easy to obtain for a tractor-trailer, that 800 km is more ambitious and, in time, can be reached 1,000 kilometers.
Given that truckers have to rest at some point, 1,000 km of autonomy are competitive with diesel trucks, at an ideal average speed of 90 km / h we speak of 11 hours of driving. Thus, the time that the tractor units have to be stopped is not a problem for recharging. And with megachargers you can regain sufficient autonomy in a short time.
The fine print is that to do so many kilometers you have to put more batteries, then the net load capacity of the truck is reduced by one ton. This aspect will be solved in the future.