Tesla Senior Manager Dan Priestley recently provided an update on the Tesla Semi’s production progress. Priestley appeared on a recent episode of Jay Leno’s Garage.
Priestley provided insights and details about the Tesla Semi while appearing on Jay Leno’s Garage. Among them were updates on Tesla Semi production. He also hinted that Tesla would update the all-electric Class 8 truck’s design before volume production.
“We’ve made a few dozens of it; we’re up in the maybe 60-70 range, but we’re cranking out just our pilot volume,” Priestley told Leno. “We’re collecting data, we’re getting a lot of really great driver feedback, and then we’re going to take that time to do a bunch of improvements and bring that into a high volume and really try to be a major player in the market.”
Tesla delivered its first Semi Class 8 truck in December 2022 to PepsiCo. At the time, one question lingered: would the Tesla Semi live up to the hype?
In the recent Run on Less EV trucking study, the Tesla Semi finished off strong by traveling 1,076 miles in a single day. On that day, the Tesla Semi made one delivery but spent about 82% of the time driving, mostly at 50 miles per hour.
In his interview with Jay Leno, Priestley noted that the Tesla Semi can recover 70% of its charge in 30 minutes. He also shared that Tesla has the Semi deliver battery packs from its Gigafactory in Nevada to California, adding that the all-electric Class 8 truck has matched the capabilities of diesel trucks.
“So we really wanted to set it up to drop and do as many existing operations as we can. And the flagship one for us is we’re using this to haul our battery packs from our Factory in Reno down to California,” Priestley told Leno.
“And we’re slotting in one for one with diesel trucks. It’s the exact same load, it’s the exact same route, they’re running the exact same operation, and that’s a huge sign of success for us that means that we’ve made a really capable truck,” he elaborated.