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Elon Musk says Tesla Semi is ready for production, but limited by battery cell output

Elon Musk says Tesla Semi is ready for production, but limited by battery cell output – TechCrunch

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on the company’s 2020 Q4 earnings call that all engineering work is now complete on the Tesla Semi, the freight-hauling semi truck that the company is building with an all-electric powertrain. The company expects to begin deliveries of Tesla Semi this year, it said in its Q4 earnings release, and Musk said the only thing limiting their ability to produce them now is the availability of battery cells.

“The main reason we have not accelerated new products – like for example Tesla Semi – is that we simply don’t have enough cells for it,” Musk said. “If we were to make the Semi right now, and we could easily go into production with the Semi right now, but we would not have enough cells for it.”

Musk added that the company does expect to have sufficient cell volume to meet its needs once it goes into production on its 4680 battery pack, which is a new custom cell design it created with a so-called ‘tables’ design that allows for greater energy density and, therefore, range.

“A Semi would use typically five times the number of cells that a car would use, but it would not sell for five times what a car would sell for, so it kind of would not make sense for us to do the Semi right now,” Musk said. “But it will absolutely make sense for us to do it as soon as we can address the cell production constraint.”

That constraint points to the same conclusion for the possibility of Tesla developing a van, Musk added, and the lifting of the constraint will likewise make it possible for Tesla to pursue the development of that category of vehicle, he said.

Tesla has big plans for “exponentially” ramping cell production, with a goal of having production capacity infrastructure in place for a Toal of 200 gigawatt hours per year by 2022, and a target of being able to actually produce around 40% of that by that year (with future process improvements generating additional gigawatt hours of cell capacity in gradual improvements thereafter).

Tesla To Start Deliveries Of The Semi This Year - CleanTechnia

In Tesla’s Q4 2020 Earnings Report, Tesla announced that it is excited to ramp up the updated Model S and Model X as well as deliver its first Tesla Semi by the end of the year. Yes, you read that right. The Tesla Semis are coming!

Tesla noted that it expects to achieve a 50% average annual growth in vehicle deliveries and could grow even faster in some years. Tesla expects this to be the case for 2021.

If all goes to plan, Tesla will remain on track to start deliveries from Giga Berlin and Giga Texas this year.

The Planet Is Ready For The Tesla Semi
Last November, Pride Group Enterprises announced that it placed a reservation for 150 Tesla Semi trucks along with the option to buy 350 more depending on how the first batch works out, as well as financing availability. That order followed Walmart Canada’s 130-truck reservation in September. Walmart plans to include Tesla Semi trucks as a part of its “zero emissions by 2040” goal, and this isn’t the company’s first Tesla Semi order. In 2017, it placed an order for 15 Tesla Semi trucks after Tesla unveiled the model.

In 2008, the Union of Concerned Scientists pointed out that transportation is a major source of air pollution in the US. With EVs, we have come a long way since 2008 but still have a longer way to go to fully clean our air from all the smog caused by tailpipe emissions.

GeoTab noted that a study published in Environmental Science & Technology found that large trucks were the biggest source of black carbon emissions. Governments around the world are making positive changes through a mix of climate policy and the use of efficient technology. With the Tesla Semi trucks being on track for delivery this year, it is pretty much safe to say that these are long-awaited and will make a difference once the trucking industry starts to make the switch to EVs.

Some already have, but Tesla is the leader of this industry and the Semi will have an effect on the trucking industry similar to Tesla’s passenger EVs have had on the automotive industry. It’s truly something to look forward to.
Battery constraints a drag on the Tesla Semi - FreightWaves

Electric big rig will be first in Tesla lineup to achieve full autonomy; Elon Musk wants to build an electric delivery van

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk said constraints on battery production limit the company’s ability to move forward on the long-delayed all electric Tesla Semi truck.

“The main reason we have not accelerated new products — for example, the Tesla Semi — is we simply don’t have enough cells for it,” said Musk during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call on Wednesday.

Production of the Semi will get underway once Tesla addresses those limitations, he implied.

During an interview at the European Battery Conference in November, Musk said the electric big rig would hit a new range target of 621 miles by using Tesla’s new 4680 cells and new battery pack design

Scaling the Semi apparently means scaling the 4680 cells.

Anticipation over the Semi has been running high since last week, when new job listings from Tesla called for employees to work on “Semi-Truck production lines” in Sparks, Nevada, where the company manufactures their electric vehicle batteries.

The postings were for a process technician, process engineer and quality engineering manager.

But if the job notices indicate production of the Class 8 truck is finally getting underway, Musk on the earnings call was more circumspect.

“It’s hard to scale production,” he said. “It’s the hardest thing in the world.”

Tesla introduced the Semi with much fanfare in 2017, saying production would get underway in 2019 — only to retract that timeline in subsequent guidance announcements.

During Tesla’s first-quarter earnings call last February, Musk said the plan was to put “limited volumes” of its heavy-duty truck on the road in 2020. That didn’t happen either.

In the company’s third-quarter 2020 financial filing, Tesla said only the Semi was “in development,” and that U.S. locations for its production were yet to be determined.

Separately, Musk said during the earnings call that the Semi would likely be the first vehicle in the Tesla line to achieve full autonomy as highway driving is so routinized.

“It’s quite likely,” he said, responding to a question by an investor.

Asked if Tesla was going to compete in the red-hot last-mile delivery van market, Musk answered in the affirmative. “Definitely,” he said — once battery challenges are resolved.