Tesla Semi 500-range variant starts shipping this year: Elon Musk

It appears that the Tesla Semi’s release is actually closer than expected. As per recent comments from CEO Elon Musk, the Tesla Semi 500-mile variant will start shipping this year, followed by the Cybertruck next year. 

Musk shared the update on Twitter as part of a series of posts about his Master Plan, Part Deux, and Tesla’s open patent policy. The Tesla Semi was, in a way, part of Master Plan, Part Deux, as Musk outlined then that the electric vehicle maker would release “heavy-duty trucks.” Such a truck could effectively disrupt the long-haul sector if properly ramped.  

“Tesla 500 mile range Semi Truck starts shipping this year, Cybertruck next year,” Musk wrote

Musk’s update bodes well for the Tesla Semi 500-mile variant as well as its reservation holders, some of whom have been waiting for the Class 8 all-electric truck since it was unveiled in late 2017. PepsiCo, for one, noted last year that it was expecting the first Tesla Semi deliveries in the fourth quarter of 2021. 

This target appears to have been missed, though Tesla Semi units have been spotted at PepsiCo’s Frito Lay facility in Modesto, California, this year. A number of Tesla Semi Megachargers have also been installed at the Modesto facility. 

An estimate for the Tesla Semi’s release date was also shared by Musk during the Q4 FY 2021 earnings call last January, though it was noticeably conservative. The CEO noted then that Tesla is looking to enter production of the Cybertruck, Semi, Roadster — and to some degree Optimus — sometime next year. 

A Grain of Salt

While Musk’s update is exciting, Tesla watchers and Semi reservation holders should probably temper their expectations considering the delays in the Class 8 all-electric truck’s release so far. The Semi is expected to be built with the company’s 4680 cells as well, and the production of those batteries is still in the process of being ramped. 

It does make sense for Tesla to release the Semi 500-mile variant first, however. That’s in line with the company’s typical strategy of releasing its vehicles’ top-tier variants first. The only remaining issue now is if Elon Musk’s estimate for the Tesla Semi’s release date turns out to be accurate this time around. 

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Tesla Semi 500-range variant starts shipping this year: Elon Musk
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