The Tesla Semi is about two years delayed by now, but recent reports and rumors suggest that the all-electric Class 8 truck is indeed closing in on production. If these prove accurate, Tesla’s lineup this year would be boosted by what could very well be its most disruptive vehicle yet.
When the Tesla Semi was unveiled, Elon Musk estimated that the all-electric Class 8 truck would enter the market around 2019. This target was eventually moved to 2020, though that goal was not achieved either. News about the Tesla Semi started heating up earlier this year, however, especially as updated prototypes of the vehicle were spotted across the country, possibly for testing.
Around March, Tesla community members who reportedly had access to inside information noted that the Semi’s production was drawing closer. Not long after, multiple job postings specifically related to the Semi were offered by Tesla. Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry also stated in a note that Tesla Semi production was “firming up.”
Further rumors emerged at this time suggesting that Tesla was already tapping into its suppliers to prepare components for the all-electric Class 8 truck. By the time the company held its Q4 and FY 2020 earnings call, Tesla had released an Update Letter stating that it was excited to deliver the first Semi to customers by the end of the year.
Eventually, reports at the end of March claimed that Tesla was building a new production line for the Semi near its Gigafactory Nevada plant. This report was supported by Tesla community members who were reportedly familiar with the matter, though rumors also suggested then that the Nevada line was only for pilot production, and the Semi’s mass production would be done later on in Gigafactory Texas instead.
While news about the Tesla Semi was dampened by the departure of former President of Trucking Jerome Guillen, speculations suggested that the Semi program was moving along nicely regardless of the executive’s absence. This seemed to be supported by a recent report from EV blog Electrek, which stated that the vehicle’s drive axle production line is now ready. Citing sources reportedly familiar with the matter, the publication noted that the Semi’s general assembly line was already through its final debugging stage.
If these recent reports and rumors prove accurate, then the Tesla Semi could indeed enter production sometime this year. The vehicle should greatly help Tesla’s reach into the automotive market, as the Semi could enter a segment that is both lucrative and ripe for disruption. Electric trucks exist today, after all, but very few, if any, could be considered comparable to the Semi when it comes to its average cost per mile, performance, and range.
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