Tesla is going to expand production of the Semi, according to an internal memo that Elon Musk sent to his employees. In the email, he wrote that it’s time to bring the Semi to volume production.
The news was first disclosed by Reuters and was later confirmed by a tweet posted by Musk.
— James Stephenson (@ICannot_Enough) June 10, 2020
First revealed in 2017, the Semi is Tesla’s energy-efficient truck that comes in a sleek, next-generation design. According to the vehicles’ official website, it has the lowest cost of ownership, factoring in maintenance expenses and fuel costs.
However, it still hasn’t been launched in the market. The initial date was set towards the end of 2019, but it was later pushed up to 2020, then 2021.
The company was occupied with other projects (like the Cybertruck) but their focus seems to be back on the Semi. One of the main reasons is the increasing level of competition, with more battery electric vehicle (BEV) and full cell vehicle (FCV) companies saturating the market. Just one example is Nikola Motors, who recently announced the release of their BEV and FCV models.
The production of the batteries and powertrain will take place in the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada. As Musk said in the tweet, “most of the other work” will likely be occurring in other states. Clearly, there’s much uncertainty around the details of the Semi’s production.
Trevor Milton, the CEO of Nikola Motors responded to Musk’s tweet saying that he ‘loves’ the competition but nevertheless taking a dig at the company.
I love the competition! Tesla’s call to mass produce a semi is a good thing to Nikola’s business model no matter what. I hear the their semi truck weighs 27,000 – 30,000 lbs for long range mile version. Our fuel cell should be 10,000 lbs less.
— Trevor Milton (@nikolatrevor) June 10, 2020
The following are the specifications of the model, taken straight from Tesla’s website:
- Acceleration 0-60 mph with 80k lb: 20 seconds
- Speed up a 5% Grade: 60 mph
- Mile Range: 300 or 500 miles
- Powertrain: 4 Independent Motors on Rear Axles
- Energy Consumption: Less than 2 kWh per mile
- Fuel Savings: $200,000+
- Expected Base Price:
- 300 mile range: $150,000
- 500 mile range: $180,000
- Base Reservation: $20,000
- Expected Founders Series Price: $200,000
- Founders Series Reservation: $200,000