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What’s the Holdup with Tesla’s Semi Truck?

While we initially expected to see the Tesla Semi go into production in 2019, we discovered earlier this year that the project had been pushed back until 2020.  Now it looks like the Tesla Semi is facing another delay, or at least a throttling of full production: the electric car manufacturer is now planning to start production next year with “limited volumes”.

Tesla Semi Delay

The announcement came via Tesla’s Q3 financial update: “We are planning to produce limited volumes of Tesla Semi in 2020″.  There have been no hints at how production goals will eventually ramp up to the 100,000 Semis that Tesla hopes to manufacture each year, nor how much “limited volumes” entail. It seems most likely that Tesla will focus on filling its pre-existing orders rather than creating stock for new ones.  Back in July, Tesla stated that it had 2,000 pre-orders in hand since the Semi’s initial unveiling. 

A lot of those orders come from big companies such as FedEx, Anheuser-Busch, Walmart, and Frito Lay.  These companies are working to reduce their carbon footprint, so having electric freight vehicles on hand would certainly help with that goal.  At the same time, it puts a lot of pressure on Tesla to deliver a great product in a timely manner. 

Tesla’s Electric Semi

Tesla first unveiled the Tesla Semi back in 2017, promising to release it to the market by 2019.  But during the first quarter of 2019, Tesla revealed that it would be delaying the Semi’s production until late 2020. 

Tesla clearly intends for its model to make a big splash in the semi-truck market.  It has already begun taking reservations for the Semi during the past two years. Initially, Tesla predicted that the production versions would come out with 300-mile and 500-mile range versions for $150,000 and $180,000 respectively. Later comments made by Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed that the company found opportunities to push the range even further during testing, and the Semi may actually come closer to 600 miles of range when it is time for its release.

Big electric trucks will require a lot of electricity that can be delivered in a quick, efficient manner.  Apparently Tesla has been developing a liquid-cooled Megacharger for supplying the Semi with power.  These heavy-duty superchargers will be able to give the Semi about 400 miles of range in around 30 minutes.  With the Semi’s release date coming quickly, we hope to see Megachargers start cropping up along highways very soon.

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