Tesla Cybertruck, courtesy of Tesla Inc.
Nicolas Caballero's picture

Tesla Opens Semi Reservations, But Closes Cybertruck Reservations To Europe And China

Tesla's full range of industrial vehicles has not yet hit the market, despite the fact that the models began to be known five years ago: it was in 2017 when the Tesla Semi was introduced, and in 2019 a truly revolutionary electric pick-up, the Cybertruck was also presented. But they are not being manufactured yet because it literally has not been possible.

In order to avoid speculating with the dates, let´s say it seems that we will start to actually see them on the road by 2023. Meanwhile, the Freightliner "eCascadia" and Volvo "VNR" trucks are already going for their "version 2.0" and have already hit the roads with real load.

It is now possible to make on line reservations for the Tesla Semi. At the moment of the reservation you have to drop 5,000 dollars, and in a matter of days another 15,000; and from that moment on it is actually committed. Those who order more than one Semi will have to advance another 20,000 dollars per truck; only the first $5,000 is refundable, and whoever backs out then loses the rest of the reservation money.

Tesla makes clear to customers that the reservation is like taking a seat in line at the bank, waiting for your turn: “By making your reservation, you ensure an approximate priority in your Tesla Semi order. Processing time may depend on development, manufacturing, and production planning, among other factors".

Tesla Semi

We know that companies like PepsiCo and Walmart have placed orders before: PepsiCo CEO Ramon Laguarta assured at the end of 2021 that Tesla would deliver 15 Semis before the end of the year, but so far we haven't actually seen a single one of those Semis circulating on the road.

And while the Semi can already be reserved, Europeans and Chinese are going to have to wait to make new reservations for the Tesla Cybertruck, since they have been closed for both markets. Reservations remain open in North America, as Giga Factory Austin basically prepares for mass production. The accumulated reservations at this time would be somewhere around 1.5 million, which would mean the production of several years - if all this is finally translated into formal orders - .

Issues related to homologation and/or regulations almost certainly explain this closure. In China, for instance, it would not be worth importing the Cybertruck from America due to tariffs – it would be a way better thing to manufacture it locally at Giga Factory Shanghai. As for Europe, it is too big a vehicle for European standards; it would be better to have something smaller, that of course would meet the conditions of the European market – that is, apart from the gas test, which will obviously pass without any kind of problem -.

Tesla Cybertruck, courtesy of Tesla Inc.

Surely there will be no big market speculation with the Tesla Semi, but with the Cybertruck we predict the situation will be very different. Just to give an example, it's already happening with the Rivian R1T: whoever doesn't want to wait several months for a brand new model, can always buy a used (practically new) model, but with a beastly premium, hugely overpriced. As for the Ford F-150 Lightning, some dealers are the ones who increase prices up to a 50% of its original tag price, in the form of dealer markup. We can bet this is not something Ford would be exactly comfortable with, as a manufacturer.

All images courtesy of Tesla Inc.

Nico Caballero is the VP of Finance of Cogency Power, specializing in solar energy. He also holds a Diploma in Electric Cars from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and enjoys doing research about Tesla and EV batteries. He can be reached at @NicoTorqueNews on Twitter. Nico covers Tesla and electric vehicle latest happenings at Torque News.

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