Elon Musk shares realistic update on Tesla Semi rollout and its challenges

Credit: The Kilowatts/Twitter

Elon Musk recently posted a brief update about the Tesla Semi’s rollout, with the CEO sharing some insights about the upcoming vehicle’s challenges and demand. Musk seemed pretty cautious in his update, though he remained optimistic about the Tesla Semi’s upcoming ramp, which would likely take place next year. 

While sharing some thoughts about a recent order of ten Tesla Semis from California-based logistics operator MHX Leasing LLC, Musk highlighted that demand is not an issue at all for the Class 8 all-electric truck. The CEO also made it a point to emphasize that it is currently challenging to scale the Semi due to Tesla’s near-term battery cell supply, though he did note that such limitations will likely be less burdensome next year. 

“Demand is no problem, but near-term cell supply makes it hard to scale Semi. This limitation will be less onerous next year,” Musk wrote on Twitter. 

Earlier this year, reports from the electric vehicle community have suggested that Tesla will be starting the Semi’s pilot production sometime his year. Citing individuals reportedly familiar with Tesla’s plans, the reports noted that the electric car maker could start building Semi release candidates around May 2021, with actual pilot production starting sometime in the second quarter. 

While Elon Musk’s recent update may seem like the Tesla Semi’s production has been moved back once more, it is pertinent to note that the CEO’s recent post specifically discusses the difficulties of scaling the upcoming vehicle’s manufacturing. With this in mind, the idea of Tesla producing its first few Semis in 2021 still seems quite feasible. If any, it does suggest that Musk is quite optimistic about the Semi’s full production ramp in 2022. 

Signs that Tesla is focusing once more on the Semi’s development emerged earlier this year when several updated prototypes of the Class 8 truck were spotted across the United States. The vehicles featured a number of design changes from the first two Semi prototypes that have been testing on US roads since their unveiling event back in late 2017. These changes include revamped windows, a completely different door handle mechanism, and new taillights, to name a few. The updated vehicle has been showcased by Tesla in its social media accounts recently as well, with the company showing off the Semi’s acceleration around the Fremont Factory’s test track. 

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Simon Alvarez: Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.
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