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Elon Musk Shares This Picture and a Cryptic Message About the Tesla Semi – “Tesla has a Semi, Wink”

There has been a flurry of activity recently surrounding the Tesla Semi. Drone flights over the future Tesla Semi volume production factory show steel structures arriving, and now Elon Musk has added to the Tesla Semi hype with a cryptic message.

Tesla first unveiled its all-electric 18-wheeler, the Tesla Semi, in 2017. At the time, Tesla said volume production would start in 2020, but fast-forward four years, and we’ve yet to see the Tesla Semi on the road in any meaningful way.

Since late 2022, when production started, Tesla has thus far produced around 140 Tesla Semis. One hundred of those are currently in Tesla’s fleet, and the EV maker mostly utilizes them to move battery and powertrain components from Tesla’s Sparks, Nevada factory to the Fremont, California factory where the final assembly of the Tesla Model S, Model X, Model 3, and Model Y is done.

According to the latest publically available information, Tesla has also delivered 36 Tesla Semi to Pespsico, and the food and beverage company has enrolled the Tesla Semi for regular use.

A couple of reports also stated that Tesla was testing the Semi with Martin Brower and Sysco, the largest food distribution company in the US.

Around 140 Tesla Semis in operation is better than none *cough* second-generation Roadster *cough*; however, this number is also nowhere near the 50,000 Tesla Semis a year number floated by Tesla a few times.

It has been disappointing to see the slow pace of progress regarding the Tesla Semi; however, after years of delay, it appears that Tesla is finally ready to start volume Semi production.

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The biggest confirmation regarding volume Tesla Semi production came during Tesla’s shareholders’ meeting on June 13. After shareholders re-approved Elon Musk’s $56 billion pay package, the Tesla CEO revealed that he had given the go-ahead to begin construction on the Tesla Semi factory.

Musk said…

“We got the Tesla Semi. You know we're currently producing a low volume of the Tesla Semi. However, just last week, I approved the plans for the Tesla Semi volume production. We are going to make a lot of Semi trucks. 

We're going to start off with, yeah, I think it'll actually move the needle financially. It's not a small thing, and the thing about commercial vehicles is that companies that use them are super objective.

Obviously, we're going to make the Tesla Semi have a cool style and be an awesome car, but for commercial vehicles, the companies that make the buying decisions just look at it and say, what are the numbers like? Is the cost less or more to transport than, say, a diesel truck? And the thing is that the economics are much better than a diesel truck. It's kind of basically a no-brainer. 

If you're a Transport company and don't use an Electric Semi, you're losing money. Why would you do that? Do you not like money? Okay, but if you like money, I recommend using the Tesla Semi.

So I think this is really going to sell at a scale that people will be surprised at. It will move the needle financially and do a lot of good for CO2 and sustainability because Semis are always driven. Even at much smaller numbers, they have a very big effect on total carbon emissions.”

After Musk made this statement, discussions regarding the Tesla Semi truck largely went quiet—that is, until this week when a flurry of Semi updates started to enter the news cycle.

Yesterday, we received footage of Tesla’s Nevada factory from two drone operators, showing that construction of the Tesla semi-factory is about to enter a new phase.

For the past few weeks, Tesla has been quietly doing leveling and ground preparation work on the site that will host the Tesla Semi factory. However, yesterday, we saw the first shipments of steel structures arrive at the build site.

As I mentioned, currently, there aren’t any vertical structures at the future Tesla Semi factory; however, this week, Tesla appears to have finished the ground preparation work, and the EV maker is moving on to actually building the factory.

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This is certainly exciting, and Elon Musk, cognizant of this fact, appears to be drumming up hype for the Tesla Semi. Musk’s statements were, unfortunately, more cryptic than we like; nonetheless, this is what Musk said…

Tesla’s official X account shared a picture of a white Tesla Semi carrying all the current in-production Tesla vehicles. The family shot of Tesla vehicles included the Tesla Semi, Cybertruck, Model S, Model 3, Model X, & Model Y.

This is a nice picture, but Musk decided to up the ante and added a cryptic message using his own X account. On top of the Tesla vehicle family picture, Musk wrote, “Tesla has a Semi,” and just for fun, Musk added a wink emoji at the end.

It’s sometimes difficult to parse Musk’s statements; he’s certainly a fan of obscure messages. However, Musk’s statement is likely targeted at informing the Tesla community about the start of the Tesla Semi factory construction.

When will Tesla Semi volume production start?

According to Dan Priestley, who leads engineering and program development of the Tesla Semi at the EV maker, Tesla is planning to start Tesla Semi volume production by the end of 2025, with initial customer deliveries falling at the start of 2026.

Dan Priestley made these comments during Tesla’s last earnings call. If Tesla sticks to this timeline, the all-electric 18-wheeler truck will finally reach volume production eight and a half years after it was first shown off.

Overall, we’re happy to see a flurry of activity emerge around the Tesla Semi. Recent hints suggest Tesla is about to move with the characteristic “Tesla speed” into Tesla Semi volume production.

Currently, this is all the information we have; however, we’ll be sure to keep you posted as Tesla progresses toward Tesla Semi volume production.

Until then, make sure to visit our site,, regularly for the latest updates.

So, what do you think? Are you happy to see Tesla has moved in earnest to start the Tesla Semi volume production? Also, how do you decipher Musk’s statement, and what do you make of the eight and a half-year wait? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below by clicking the red “Add new comment” button.

Image: Courtesy of Tesla, inc.

For more information, check out: Here is Our First Look at a Clad Refreshed Tesla Model Y Testing in California – New Front Fascia & Taillights – Project Juniper is a Reality

Tinsae Aregay has been following Tesla and the evolution of the EV space daily for several years. He covers everything about Tesla, from the cars to Elon Musk, the energy business, and autonomy. Follow Tinsae on Twitter at @TinsaeAregay for daily Tesla news.