Tesla Semi to enter first production in second half of 2020

(Credit: Tesla)

A leaked email from Tesla reportedly sent to reservation holders of the Semi has revealed that the electric car maker will begin limited production phase of the highly-anticipated all-electric truck in the second half of 2020.

While this is later than the Tesla Semi’s originally anticipated release date of late 2019, it may be worth it. The company has been developing the sustainable tractor-trailer since November 2017 after its unveiling event. Judging by Tesla’s ability to continuously improve its products over time, it is safe to assume the Silicon Valley-based electric car maker will make the Semi better than anyone anticipated once handovers of the vehicle begin.

Tesla Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen was a guest on Ryan McCaffrey’s Ride the Lightning podcast in October and stated the next-generation Tesla Roadster would be “better in every way” than its initially-announced specs. He went on to add that the vehicle simply needed more time and Tesla was working on evolving the vehicle beyond anybody’s expectations. It seems the Semi may be undergoing the same treatment.

Upon its unveiling, Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated the Semi would be powered by four motors that were based on the ones that power the Model 3. Two variants of the truck provide drivers 300 or 500 miles of range per charge, though Musk mentioned during the Q1 2018 earnings call that the Semi’s range would be closer to 600 miles of range instead. “Even if we didn’t improve our battery technology at all, we could achieve a 500-mile range truck. We’re gonna do better than 500 miles,” Musk said.

The Semi has the potential to become one of Tesla’s best vehicles hands down. The Semi was led personally by Jerome Guillen before he was promoted as Tesla’s Auto President. Guillen was at one time Daimler’s head of Business Innovation and was in charge of a sector of the company’s semi program. With this in mind, the Semi may very well be one of Tesla’s most refined vehicles upon its release.

Tesla has an opportunity to disrupt the entire trucking industry with the Semi. The trucking segment in the United States is huge and it is just another sector of the automotive market Tesla will get involved in. A number of large companies have already placed pre-orders on the Semi, including Frito Lay who intends to use the tractor-trailer to reduce its carbon footprint.

In true Tesla fashion, he Semi is loaded to the teeth with tech. Thanks to its four all-electric motors, the vehicle can perform 0-60 mph runs in 5 seconds flat without a trailer. Even with a full trailer, the Semi can hit highway speeds at about 20 seconds, far quicker than a diesel-powered truck. These all-electric qualities also prevent the Semi from jackknifing, preventing thousands of potential accidents every year.

Joey Klender: Writer covering Tesla, Elon Musk and other EVs. Penn State Alum, Environmentalist, Mixed Martial Arts fanatic, Washington Capitals' biggest fan, and poker player. Inspired by Elon Musk.
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