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Tesla aims to produce 50K Tesla Semi in 2024, could become one of US’ largest truck makers

Dave EV

Active Member
Jun 23, 2009
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Energy is low margin compared to cars and thus got lower priority. Semi is lower yet. Since we are hearing that Tesla is not cell constrained, I instead looked at $/kg. Take a look at the red cells in this table. How does this fit in with a high margin strategy? Or has Tesla now reached the point where the present day mission fulfillment takes priority over growth?
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This pretty well highlights how Tesla needs to spend more engineering effort on reducing the cost of the Powerwall. Of course, as a relatively low cost product compared to the rest of their products, there is less room for optimization.

Given that cells should be well under $100 / kWh at this point, if Tesla's margins are only 10% on the Powerwall (so < $1500 for cells), they have a lot of room for packaging and manufacturing optimization there. I would guess that the other big cost is in the AC/DC power electronics.

With 1 MWh of cells in the 500 mi Semi, that's around $100,000 for the cells - at ~$200k for the truck I bet they're able to put that pack into the rest of the truck for $50k and still get around 25% margins.

Anyway - I have no issue with Tesla working on all these things as they're all needed - but I still would like to see a Powerwall V3 that further brings the cost down - probably using LFP cells vs the NCA? cells it uses now.
 
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To build a good quality Powerwall alternative batteries would be about $1600 per 5kwh. That with first quality LFP cells, good quality case and BMS.

I read an analyst recently who claimed the cell raw material cost per kWh has risen to $100-$110. But I doubt anyone has a good estimate of Tesla's costs

I certainly would not build a solar off grid system with Powerwall.
 
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I am confused by the opportunity cost of the Semi. How do they motivate this vs making more high value stuff such as cars?

The Semi $/kWh is so much lower than their other products, at least with the announced prices of 150 and 180k. Even if battery manufacturing hypothetically was free, they would still have to pay for raw materials. Semi $/ton is a fraction of other Tesla products.

Now with the inflation reduction act it may finally make sense.
They may be operating the MegaChargers and earning some profit there. They're not only taking truckmaker revenue, but also a bit of petroleum miner & refiner revenue.
 
Regarding the question of how Tesla will maintain margin with the semi, perhaps we will see more revenue from services. Telematics, driver safety scores, idle time management, etc. Some subset of what fleet management companies like McLeod Trucking Dispatch Operations Management System for Private Fleets | McLeod Software provide today. Not sure what could be charged as a monthly service, but once a fleet gets large enough it could be a significant revenue generator.
 
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