At this rate, it seems like the Tesla Semi, first shown off in 2017, will never be able to be released. A recent admittedly vague tweet from Elon Musk has put into question if the electric semi-truck will be released in 2021.
For those of you who have been following us for a while, you will have noticed that the Tesla Semi’s constant delays have become a meme to us. The large addition to the lineup was first shown off alongside the Tesla Roadster (another notable absentee) with a goal of launching in 2019. While we have seen prototypes here and there, an actual launch hasn’t happened. 2021 seemed like it would be the year. A new tweet reply from Musk however has us raising doubts about this in fact, being the year.
We are too cell-constrained right now, but probably ok next year
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 27, 2021
Frankly, while I do find the prospect of the Tesla Semi being delayed yet again funny, this truly did seem like the year. Towards the end of 2020, we saw a linked email from Musk stating that it was time for the Semi to be put into volume production. Additionally in Tesla’s 2020 earnings report, their 2021 outlook did not have many commitments. One of the few things that they seemed to be certain of was that the Semi was coming.
We are currently building Model Y capacity at Gigafactory Berlin and Gigafactory Texas and remain on track to start deliveries from each location in 2021. Gigafactory Shanghai will continue to expand further through the course of the year. Tesla Semi deliveries will also begin in 2021.
The biggest reason for the Semi’s absence throughout the years has always been stated to be the fact that Tesla cannot spare the batteries. With the number of cells one Semi uses, you could produce far more Model 3s. As such the Semi had been placed on the backburner until Tesla could produce/source more cells. With Battery Day coming and going, we learned that Tesla would be starting production of their new 4680 cell which would be located in the Semi.
The problem is that currently, Tesla is working on producing these cells in a pilot plant near Freemont. These cells will also be used in the European-made Model 3, Model S Plaid+, and possibly Cybertruck. So as the tweet states, there is still a large constraint.
Although if you choose to read it more optimistically, it could mean that Tesla might still be able to produce the Semi in low quantities this year, and then next year will be “probably ok” for full volume production.
What do you guys think? Let us know down in the comments below.