Although at the moment Tesla has not stated anything on an official basis yet, it was Martin Viecha, Tesla's head of investor relations, who confirmed on his Twitter account that Tesla will hold an event where it will make the very first deliveries of the Tesla Semi. It is expected that during the event, as Tesla usually does, only a few units will be delivered in a symbolic way to the most important customers; but it will mark a key moment that will be the green light for a long-awaited product, which has been largely delayed for a long time for many different reasons.
The Tesla Semi was officially presented for the first time way, way back in 2017: a model called to revolutionize the heavy duty transport sector, an area within Tesla that up to now has seen how the prioritization of other projects has left it eternally waiting, with constant delays for many different reasons. A six-year time frame in which Tesla also had plenty of time to update its original proposal. As an example, this past summer Tesla offered a small update on the production version, although it has not yet been fully confirmed as to what features it will finally include in the actual production model.
Everything indicates that at least from a mechanical point of view, everything was actually ready to begin production months ago. But, just like its Cybertruck pick-up younger sister, the Tesla Semi uses the new cells in 4680 format that is apparently giving the manufacturer so much trouble to scale production. What remains to be seen in that regard is whether Tesla has finally managed to accelerate production of these kind of cells, or if it is simply going to go the fast way and have the battery pack adapted to temporarily house the 2,170 cells used by the Model 3 and Model Y, in order to save the day.
So far we already know that the Tesla Semi will basically equip three electric motors, as compared to the four motors originally planned. Thanks to these engines the truck will be able complete the 0-60 mph in just 20 seconds; an impressive figure if we take into account that the acceleration has been calculated with the truck fully loaded (more than 81,500 lbs.).
The Tesla Semi will be available with two battery packs: one will provide a 300-mile range while the other will be able to reach 500; and let us also take into account that these figures are advertised for the fully loaded truck. In this case, the projections made in 2017 are maintained: energy consumption will be below 124 kWh/60 miles. As for charging times it is announced that the longer range model will be able to recover approximately 70% of its autonomy (about 350 miles) in 30 minutes as long as it is connected to a Semi Charger (formerly known as Megachargers).
If you want to attend the Semi delivery event as a retail shareholder, please make sure you have a verified shareholder status on our IR website (unverified manual submissions are eligible if the paperwork is correct). We'll be doing a random draw where 1 share = 1 entry. https://t.co/odL8a0t43L— Martin Viecha (@MartinViecha) November 11, 2022
Tesla also estimates that over three years, a Semi could save up to 200,000 dollars on fuel as compared to a diesel model; and this is a figure calculated three years ago, when diesel, gasoline and electricity were not at current sky-rocketing levels. So very possibly, the difference right now could be even greater in favor of the electric Semi; something that we will not actually know until we get all the final details of this model, which as we mentioned before is two weeks away from starting deliveries.
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.