Tesla (TSLA.O) will finally reveal its long-awaited Semi, an 18-wheeler heavy-duty vehicle that has been met with skepticism from industry insiders who question if battery electric trucks can withstand the pressure of transporting huge cargo over long distances.
Due to the hefty $40,000 tax credit that U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is planning to offer for clean commercial vehicles, this launch represents the electric automaker’s first entrance into the trucking industry. Analysts will be on the lookout for information at the debut of Tesla’s battery facility in Nevada, including pricing, the amount of cargo the Semi can transport, and its charging speed.
Elon Musk, the CEO, previously predicted that the trucks would be in production by 2019, but a battery shortage caused a delay. Tesla stated in 2017 that the 500-mile (805 km) range Semi would cost $180,000. The billionaire, who now controls five businesses after purchasing Twitter, has a history of making exaggerated claims about Tesla’s goods. For instance, Musk said that Tesla’s mass-market electric automobile Model 3 would cost $35,000, a claim that was a complete failure. The entry-level model is now $47,000. Additionally, he had predicted that the Semi will be the first Tesla vehicle to be capable of self-driving. Musk, though, claimed in October that Tesla cars were not yet ready to cut out people from the equation.
Tesla’s chair, Robyn Denholm, reportedly stated that the company may produce 100 Semis this year. Early in October, Musk revealed that the truck’s manufacturing had begun and that PepsiCo (PEP.O), a major producer of food and beverages, will receive the first deliveries on December 1. According to some observers, the manufacturer will have a harder time breaking into the commercial truck industry than the mainstream auto sector. According to Oliver Dixon, a senior analyst at Guidehouse, Tesla is by far the new kid on the block. It has everything to prove, which it will do against very, very powerful legacy rivals. The Semi’s 500-mile range has been hailed by Musk as being far greater than that of electric trucks provided by competitors Daimler (MBGn.DE), Volvo (VOLVb.ST), startup Nikola (NKLA.O), and Renault Trucks (RENA.PA).
Last week, Musk tweeted that the Tesla team recently finished a 500-mile journey with an 81,000-pound Tesla Semi. Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, has expressed doubt about all-electric trucks, to which Musk responded, “(Gates) may drive it himself if he wants! Last month, Nikola announced that it was suspending the delivery of its Tre BEV electric trucks to reduce battery costs, which have increased by $110,000 per truck. The director of Nikola, Michael Loscheller, told Reuters on Wednesday, He is not worried about other competitors. He declared that he wants to get diesel trucks off the road, adding that federal incentives for hydrogen-powered trucks might be greater than those for battery-operated vehicles.
Musk claims that since the Semi requires five times as many cells as a typical car, Tesla must manufacture its more affordable 4680 batteries in large quantities on-site. However, he recently declared that the Semi will make use of the customary 2170 batteries that Tesla purchases from vendors. A lot of them are sort of suspicious, said Mike Roeth, executive director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency, who attended the 2017 unveiling of Tesla’s prototype Semi. No one else has been able to prove that they can do it. Without going into specifics, Musk stated at the 2017 presentation that the truck could go 400 miles on a 30-minute charge at solar-powered “mega chargers.” Finding enough power to charge electric cars continues to be quite difficult. According to Roeth, a former executive of American truck manufacturer Navistar, the entire purpose of a truck is to move roughly 40,000 to 45,000 pounds of freight. And that doesn’t work if your batteries cost too much or weigh too much, the speaker continued.