Although many people think that putting a car up for sale is as simple as manufacturing it, truth is that nothing is actually as easy as it seems, very specially in the EV industry. Manufacturers not only have to comply with a series of regulations when designing a car, but these same regulations also have to be analyzed again and certified by competent authorities in order to be finally authorized. The Tesla Semi has been very well prepared for months now, with everything ready to start its production and commercial ramp up; only the final authorization from the EPA was missing to start. Tesla now has it, and the first deliveries will start happening soon.
Tesla's most disruptive and radical electric vehicle will be on the roads in North America at last, doing what it was created to do. Much has happened with the Semi: rivers of ink have run with information, revelations and doubts about the viability and reality of the project, but finally - although with a very long delay on the promised agenda - the Tesla Semi has everything ready. Different companies have been fighting for months to be the first to receive the Tesla's long-awaited electric truck, and in just a few weeks they will start receiving it.
The first one will apparently be PepsiCo, which has always been very active and interested in the Semi. It was way back in 2017 when the company placed the first orders for the tractor unit, a very significant number of 100 units ordered. The signing of the contract contemplated deliveries within a maximum period of two years, but obviously this has not been achieved, a 5-year long wait that will soon end. Elon Musk has assured that on December 1st 2022 the first units will be officially delivered.
It will be a crucial and somehow liberating moment for the entire Tesla engineering and design team that has been working so hard on the development, for so long; basically one more step on a very long and complicated road. At the beginning of the month, Musk himself announced that production was already underway at the Nevada plant, as we reported in a previous article. The initial start process will be slow for sure, with just five Semi units produced a week, but over time the pace will accelerate with the transfer to the Giga-Texas Austin plant, where the Tesla Semi will have its final headquarters. Another important thing to take into account is that at the moment there are some doubts about the actual performance data from the truck, although it is expected that full information will be shared soon.
On the other hand, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has already issued a report stating that the Semi complies with all necessary U.S. rules and regulations. The so-called Certificate of Conformity has not only been received by Tesla for the Semi model, but also by the 2023 versions of the Model S, Model X and Model 3 altogether. The official stamp is from last September 29th and is valid until December 31st of next year, 2023. Now it only remains to be seen how well it performs in real working environments, where the range of 500 miles that Elon Musk has always promised will be put to the test.
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.