June 16, 2023

Tesla Semi Class 8 electric truck faces more delays

Citing battery supply chain constraints, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company doesn’t expect to begin large-scale production of its Class 8 electric Semi truck until the end of 2024.

Musk’s comments about the Semi came during a keynote address at the Edison Electric Institute’s annual conference on Tuesday in Austin, Texas, according to reports in The Wall Street Journal and Austin American-Statesman.

Tesla needs more batteries to mass produce the Semi, Musk said. The truck is designed to use a massive 850-to-900-kWh pack. In comparison, the average electric vehicle has a battery capacity of around 40 kWh.

Musk previously announced that Tesla was aiming to produce 50,000 Semi electric trucks starting in 2024.

“It takes about a year to ramp up production. So, we’re tentatively aiming for 50,000 units in 2024 for Tesla Semi in North America,” Musk said during the company’s third-quarter conference call with analysts in July 2022.

The Semi trucks have a 300-to-500-mile range with a fully loaded trailer carrying 81,000 pounds, according to Musk.

The Semi was initially announced in 2017, pitched as an electric truck that would disrupt the commercial transportation industry. But mass production has suffered repeated delays.

While Tesla has delivered about 35 Semi trucks to Pepsi and Frito-Lay in California, customers waiting for their preorders from 2017 include companies like Walmart, FedEx and J.B. Hunt. 

In April, Tesla also ordered a voluntary recall of 35 of the Semi trucks due to a parking brake issue.

The trucks are currently produced at Tesla’s plant near Reno, Nevada, which the company is expanding to support increased manufacturing.

Watch: Unions come to labor agreement for West Coast ports.

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