Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, shows the Tesla Semi as he introduces the company’s new electric tractor-trailer during a presentation on November 16, 2017 in Hawthorne, California, United States.
Alexandria saga | Reuters
Current vacancies show that Tesla is pushing ahead with its lengthy plans for its electric semi-truck, an initiative first unveiled in 2017.
Three current vacancies require employees to work on “semi-truck production lines” in Sparks, Nevada. Tesla is already producing batteries for its electric vehicles there in cooperation with Panasonic.
Tesla announced the Semi in November 2017, at the time it said it would deliver the trucks to customers in about two years. At that point, the company announced that it would sell a 300-mile version of the Semi for $ 150,000 and a 500-mile version for $ 180,000, and that the trucks with no cargo would go from 0 to 60 in 5 seconds Would go miles per hour, or 0-60 in 20 seconds with a load of 80,000 pounds.
After Tesla took reservations for the trucks from companies like Anheuser-Busch, DHL Group, PepsiCo, Pride Group and Walmart, Tesla announced delays in semi-production during a earnings call for the third quarter of 2019 and again in April 2020.
In June 2020, Musk sent an email to all Tesla employees requesting “mass production” of the Semi.
“It is time to do everything we can to get the Tesla Semi into mass production. So far it has only been produced in limited numbers, which has allowed us to improve many aspects of the design.” Musk also said in that memo, “Production of the battery and powertrain would take place in Giga Nevada, with most of the other work likely to take place in other states.”
However, in the company’s third quarter 2020 financial filing, Tesla mentioned its semi-initiative only twice, saying it was “in development,” and US locations for semi-production have not yet been determined.
In an interview at the European Battery Conference on November 24, 2020, Musk recently bragged that Tesla was aiming for a semi that could go further than originally promised on a single charge, saying, “You could use the range for a long time.” Range trucking, easy up to half a mile, and over time we’re seeing a way to get a heavy-duty truck up to 1000 miles. “
The company has some prototype semi-trucks that have been in operation for over a year. However, Musk has not disclosed when full production of the semi or longer range batteries could begin.
Today Tesla is taking refundable reservations of $ 20,000 to order a semi. (The initial reservation required was $ 5,000.) Base price for a 300 mile range version is $ 150,000 and for a 500 mile range it is $ 180,000. Potential customers can also order a Founders Series Semi for $ 200,000.
Meanwhile, Daimler is in small-scale production in the US with its heavy eCascadia electric vehicles, and Quebec-based Lion Electric is planning a SPAC, a new US plant, and has signed a contract to deliver up to 2,500 battery-powered electric trucks to Amazon in the next five years.
Investors are likely to push Tesla for details on the status of its semi-program in its fourth quarter 2020 earnings call on Jan. 27.
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.