by Fred Lambert: Elon Musk announced that the Tesla Semi electric truck with 500 miles of range is going to start shipping this year…
After unveiling the Tesla Semi in 2017, the company first guided a start of production in 2019.
This was delayed many times, but in the summer of 2020, CEO Elon Musk said that “it’s time to bring Tesla Semi to volume production.”
Last summer, Electrek revealed that Tesla made progress toward Tesla Semi production at a low-volume facility near Gigafactory Nevada.
Shortly after, Tesla unveiled a new small fleet of “Tesla Semi” electric trucks, but Tesla said that it shifted the “launch” of the Tesla Semi program to 2022 due to battery supply constraints.
While Tesla appeared to be building new electric trucks in low volume, it wasn’t clear if the company would stick to its new timeline of delivering its first units to customers in 2022 as Musk later said not to expect new products to be delivered in 2022 as Tesla focused on ramping up production of Model 3 and Model Y.
Now in a surprise announcement on Twitter today, Musk said that Tesla would start delivering the Tesla Semi with a 500-mile range this year:
The CEO made the comment in reference to his “Master Plan, Part Deux” where he first mentioned the idea of Tesla building an electric semitruck.
By “shipping,” one would assume that Musk is talking about Tesla delivering the electric truck to customers. The company has been taking orders for the truck since 2017 and built a significant backlog.
It’s not clear who is going to get the Tesla Semi first, but PepsiCo is a likely contender.
After the launch of Tesla Semi in 2017, PepsiCo placed one of the biggest orders for Tesla Semi: 100 electric trucks to add to its fleet.
The company planned to use 15 of those trucks for a project to turn its Frito-Lay Modesto, California, site into a zero-emission facility.
Last year, PepsiCo said that it expected to take deliveries of those 15 Tesla Semi trucks by the end of the year before it was delayed again.
While the company didn’t get its Tesla Semi trucks last year, Tesla did install a Megacharger station for the trucks at its Modesto facility, which indicates that deliveries are getting closer.