If there were one upcoming product that Tesla truly discussed during the Q3 2022 earnings call, it would be the Tesla Semi. Elon Musk and Tesla executives shared a lot of interesting tidbits of information about the Class 8 all-electric truck, such as its battery range when it’s fully loaded and the expected date of its first deliveries.
While answering questions from retail and institutional investors during the Q&A session, Musk mentioned that the Semi is already in early production. And since Tesla typically takes about a year to ramp up production of a new product, the company is currently looking to produce 50,000 Tesla Semi units per year in 2024.
“We’ll be ramping up Semi production through next year. As I think everyone knows at this point, it takes about a year to ramp up production. So, we expect to see significant — we’re tentatively aiming for 50,000 units in 2024 for Tesla Semi in North America. And obviously, we’ll expand beyond North America. And these would sell — I don’t want to say the exact prices, but they’re much more than a passenger vehicle,” Musk said.
While a production target of 50,000 per year sounds conservative for a company like Tesla — which produces 20,500 vehicles per week in Gigafactory Shanghai this Q4 2022 — such an output would already be incredibly impressive. As could be seen in data from Statista, the US Class 8 trucking market is currently dominated by Freightliner, which sold over 71,000 units in 2020 and about 100,000 units in 2019.
Find more statistics at Statista
Following Freightliner in the No. 2 spot is Kenworth, which typically sells less than 50,000 Class 8 trucks per year. In 2019, for example, Kenworth sold about 42,000 units, and in 2020, the truck maker sold over 30,000 units. Assuming that Kenworth maintains its pace and Tesla succeeds in producing and potentially selling 50,000 Tesla Semi per year in 2024, it would make the EV maker the US’ second largest Class 8 truck maker.
That’s quite a feat, especially if one were to consider the fact that the Tesla Semi would likely be limited by the company’s battery supply in the near future. Elon Musk even noted during the Q3 2022 earnings call that the vehicle’s initial production would not involve the company’s 4680 battery cells. Once Tesla’s 4680 project hits its pace and production of the Semi gets optimized, it would not be surprising if the all-electric truck becomes the best-selling Class 8 hauler in the United States in the coming years.
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