Tesla says that deliveries of its all-electric Semi will begin this year. The news that Tesla delivered in its Q1 2021 Update Letter seems to hint that the battery constraint issues that put the Semi’s initial delivery dates into question could be coming to an end once-and-for-all.
Earlier today, Tesla released its Q1 2021 Shareholder Deck, an Update Letter that brings shareholders and enthusiasts up to date on some of the lesser-known details surrounding the world’s most-discussed car company. In its Product Outlook section, the automaker revealed that the Tesla Semi is now set to begin deliveries later this year, positive news for the many pre-orderers of the all-electric commercial truck.
The news effectively can put an end to talks of battery constraints, an issue that has plagued automakers who manufacture electric vehicles for years. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said in the past that battery constraints have been the main bottleneck affecting Semi production. As recently as March 2021, Musk said, “Demand is no problem, but near-term cell supply makes it hard to scale Semi. This limitation will be less onerous next year.” Still, it is not a new issue. During the Q3 Earnings Call in 2020, Musk said, “We need to solve the cell constraint before ramping Semi to significant volume. That’s the only real constraint on Semi’s progress.”
The Semi, due to its large size, increased range, and need for excessive power output requires a significant number of battery cells. The Semi could have been produced earlier, but it could have affected the production processes of Tesla’s mass-market vehicles, like the Model 3 and Model Y. Ultimately, the widespread consumer vehicles take priority, and the Semi project simply had to wait.
Tesla is not dealing with any issues in terms of Semi demand, however. Earlier this year, it was announced that PepsiCo. would be receiving 15 Semis from Tesla, making it one of the first companies to accept delivery of the all-electric 18-wheeler. PepsiCo. said that it expected to take delivery by the end of 2021, and Tesla’s new estimates align with these predictions.
The hype surrounding the Semi has been especially loud this year. Tesla has been building out a Semi technician team in multiple locations. The vehicle was also spotted on the Fremont Test Track earlier this year in a video released by Tesla on Twitter.
Along with the Semi, Tesla plans to continue building out Model Y capacity at both Giga Berlin and Giga Texas, both remaining on schedule with production and deliveries set to begin “in each location in 2021.” Additionally, the automaker said that Tesla’s China-located production plant in Shanghai is also set to continue expanding.
Tesla reported its seventh-straight quarter of profitability along with a revenue of $10.389 billion for the first quarter, non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.93, and non-GAAP net income surpassed $1B for the first time in the company’s history.