The Semi should have been delivered at the end of last year
PepsiCo has been seen testing some preproduction units
Many believe this announcement is a form of stock manipulation
The Tesla Semi was supposed to be the first electric heavy hauler on the market when it was announced back in late 2017, but since then, multiple delays have let competitors develop their own electric trucks that are already on sale, especially in Europe.
According to Musk, the first version that will be delivered is the top-of-the-line model, which should have 500 miles (805 kilometres) of range. This is surprising since Tesla often begins deliveries with shorter-range models in order to produce more vehicles with its stockpile of battery cells until it is able to ramp up production of this component.
Speaking of batteries, the Semi is supposed to be powered by the company’s new 4680 battery cells that have been tested in Model Y prototypes.
Large-scale production of these new batteries has yet to happen but the company says it is confident the ramp-up at its Texas Gigafactory will be quick enough to support series production of the semi by the end of the year.
Many expressed their doubts about this announcement on Twitter, even accusing Musk of manipulating the stock market. Indeed, the CEO recently sold $6.9 Billion worth of Tesla shares, which made their price drop. Announcing the Semi for this year made the stocks bounce back up immediately.
Considering Musk and Tesla’s track record on promised delivery dates, it is possible that the Semi and the Cybertruck will have to wait longer than advertised.
Unlike the Cybertruck however, the Semi has been spotted testing in what appears to be its final form a number of times already and a number of units have been sent to PepsiCo, the model’s first customer for evaluation.
This lends a bit more credibility to the announcement, as does the installation of Megachargers at PepsiCo’s Fritolay facility in the last few months.
If the Tesla Semi does end up being introduced in 2022, it could still play a key role in the electrification of the transport industry, even if it isn’t the first electric truck on the market.