Recent rumors from the electric vehicle community have suggested that four new Tesla Semi units are being built at Gigafactory Nevada. The vehicles, which are reportedly equipped with 2170 “L” battery cells, would be utilized for road, durability, and cold-weather testing.
The update on Tesla’s apparent Semi initiatives was shared recently by electric vehicle advocate @Carsonight, who has proven familiar with Gigafactory Nevada’s activities. Citing an unnamed source, the EV advocate noted that the new Tesla Semi units will feature three 2170 L battery packs. Two units will reportedly be used for road testing, one for durability testing, and another will be sent to Alaska for cold-weather testing.
Quite unsurprisingly, the notion of the new Tesla Semi prototypes using higher density 2170 “L” battery cells incited some strong reactions from the EV community, especially considering that the electric car maker has already announced its shift to 4680 battery cells for its vehicles. The Semi is one of Tesla’s most ambitious projects, after all, and thus, it would make sense for the company to utilize its best battery tech available for the vehicle.
That being said, Tesla’s tabless 4680 cells are designed to work seamlessly with the company’s structural battery pack. Such a design, which uses the battery as a structural component, may be quite challenging to accomplish in a Class 8 truck like the Semi, at least for now. It should also be noted that Tesla is still producing 2170 cells from Gigafactory Nevada, with the company’s 4680 cells only being manufactured at the Roadrunner facility in Fremont.
Of course, Tesla is a company known for rolling out improvements to its vehicles as soon as they are available. Even if Tesla does end up releasing the Semi in the near future with 2170 L cells, there is little doubt that the vehicle will be updated with a structural battery pack and 4680 cells. For now, at least, it appears that the Tesla Semi program is moving forward, and the Class 8 truck is moving closer to its release.
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