We certainly did not expect to hear anymore news regarding the Tesla Semi until 2023, especially when the company has said that supply chain shortages have made it harder to build trucks due to the massive input required. Things are turning around, however, as Tesla CEO Elon Musk has announced via Twitter that the automotive-tech company is slated to send out its earliest trucks before 2022 ends.
The first news of Tesla putting its muscle behind the production of a fully-electric Class 8 vehicle was back in 2016. Since then, it seemed as though every year, the release window was pushed back another eleven months. The most recent explanation? Global supply chain shortages.
“[The Semi] needs a lot of cells. A lot of chips. We’ve got to have enough otherwise, it is pointless” Elon Musk said in a shareholder conference call in October of last year.
On August 9th, Elon Musk tweeted this:
Tesla 500 mile range Semi Truck starts shipping this year, Cybertruck next year— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 10, 2022
This is not the first time he has used Twitter to disseminate information to the public personally.
Of course, this begs the question as to what has changed since October 2021. The only real change has been not from the global supply chain shortages, but from an increase of competition. With more and more vehicle manufacturers entering the clean energy fray, especially with recently high but slowly decreasing diesel prices, we speculate that the leaders at Tesla did not want to be left behind.
Nothing else beyond this tweet has been mentioned by Tesla, and they still have a little over three months to put the finishing touches on fulfilling its first Semi orders. We will have to wait and see what happens.
Should the Tesla Semi become a reality by the end of the year, it will be a game changer for the trucking industry. While there are some options for fully-electric vehicles in the trucking industry, none compare to the hypothetical 500-mile range that the Tesla Semi is purported to have. Once it reaches that threshold, it will be able to cover a single day’s work on a single charge, making long-haul electric trucking more viable, were it not for the charging times.
The way trucking is done may be turned completely on its head within the next five years.
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