When most people think of Tesla, they think of a sleek electric car with all of the technology a driver could ask for. Few people think about an electric semi-truck with the potential to change the cargo logistics sector. Unless you’re Elon Musk.
The visionary CEO has been touting the Tesla Semi for several years. Now, after countless delays and setbacks, it appears that his company is finally ready to start producing the big-rigs. In an email that was sent out to Tesla staff members, Musk said that the company is ready to begin “volume production” of the electric semi.
Like many things with Tesla, the news about its readiness to produce semi-trucks first originated as a leaked document. However, Musk later confirmed its legitimacy after being questioned by one user on Twitter. In classic Elon fashion, he simply answered “Yes.”
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 10, 2020
The CEO was a bit more eloquent in the company memo, writing, “It’s time to go all out and bring the Tesla Semi to volume production. It’s been in limited production so far, which has allowed us to improve many aspects of the design.”
Musk’s email also revealed some details about where the Tesla Semi will be produced. Both its battery and powertrain will reportedly come from the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada. Additional work for the commercial vehicle will take place in other states. However, it hasn’t yet been revealed which ones will be home to Semi’s production.
Notably, the big-rig was originally slated to arrive in 2019. Tesla later backtracked on that timeline and reset the arrival date for 2021. As of now, Musk hasn’t indicated exactly when volume production will begin—only that things should start ramping up soon.
Time of Change
There never seems to be a shortage of news where Tesla is concerned. The Semi project has been overlooked in recent months thanks to excitement about the Model Y and the Model 3 arriving in China. Meanwhile, Musk recently threatened to move Tesla’s headquarters out of Fremont, California following a feud with the local government regarding the reopening of its plant in the area. It was shuttered for several weeks due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aside from that threatened move, Tesla has plans for additional production facilities in several states across the U.S.
The electric carmaker is eyeing locations to set up a factory for both the Model Y and the sci-fi-inspired Cybertruck. It is also considering building a third U.S. plant in Austin, Texas, or Tulsa, Oklahoma. At this point, it seems likely that an additional factory will be necessary if Tesla expects to keep up with the demand for both its consumer vehicles and a new line of electric semi-trucks.
Ironically, Tesla’s announcement came shortly after its rival, Nikola, unveiled plans to sell both electric and hydrogen-powered big-rigs. The young company saw its stock prices double on the news. Tesla, meanwhile, watched its own stock close nearly nine percent higher at a record $1,025.05 on Wednesday.
In the coming days, it will be very interesting to see how Tesla handles the start of production for its electric Semi and whether or not it will catch on.