In a recent email to his employees, Elon Musk announced that the Tesla Semi will be entering volume production soon. Together with recent updates from Tesla’s battery partner in China about the rollout of a million-mile battery, it appears that the battery that can change everything for the electric car maker, and its fight for sustainability as a whole, is finally ready.
It is no secret that the Tesla Semi has experienced delays. When the vehicle was unveiled, Elon Musk estimated that initial deliveries could begin around late 2019. This was eventually moved to sometime in 2020, and later, to around 2021. These delays attracted the usual blend of criticism from skeptics, but Musk explained that a key reason behind the Semi’s updated rollout dates is the vehicles’ batteries.
Simply put, Musk previously stated that Tesla could not produce the Semi in volume unless the company has the capability to manufacture enough cells for such a large vehicle. Based on Musk’s recent email, it appears that Tesla has overcome this challenge, and the company is now capable of ramping the production of its Class 8 truck.
This is particularly interesting considering that Tesla’s battery partner for its Made-in-China Model 3, Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), has recently announced that its million-mile battery is ready for production as well. As indicated by BBC, previous reports have indicated that this specific battery was co-developed with Tesla, and it will be used for vehicles produced in the automaker’s Gigafactory Shanghai facility.
This all bodes well for the company’s long-term strategy and endgame. Batteries are the backbone for Tesla’s products, both electric vehicle and energy storage devices. And so far, Tesla is one of the very few companies that is really pushing the envelope on battery tech. This was hinted at by President of Automotive Jerome Guillen, who previously noted in an interview that Tesla’s battery cells are never static.
What is rather interesting is that Tesla has placed the pieces for this battery endgame years ago. Even before it could prove that premium, well-designed electric vehicles are a viable business, Tesla pushed the idea of establishing a Gigafactory in Nevada that will be dedicated to the mass-production of battery cells. Four years ago, the company funded the work of a group of scientists led for the past 24 years by Jeff Dahn, a pioneer in lithium-ion battery development as well. These, as well as a number of other key pieces, seem to be coming together now, or at least in the near future.
Being the most valuable automaker by market cap or having TSLA stock go past $1,000 per share was never Tesla’s endgame. They’re amazing milestones, but the company and its executives have been pretty open about the fact that Tesla’s main focus is on accelerating the world’s transition to sustainability. With the company’s most ambitious, disruptive battery seemingly on the horizon, it appears that the winds are about to shift very soon for Tesla, and it will not be very favorable for fossil fuels at all.
H/T Whole Mars Blog