Musk Optimistic Tesla Can Stay On Price & Beat Semi Specs

Tesla Semi


Tesla CEO Elon Musk is confident that the automaker will meet or beat the specs announced for the upcoming Semi, while at the same time coming in on price.

There’s been significant discussion regarding the price of the upcoming Semi. Is this price point even possible, some have wondered? We have our doubts (see our detailed four-part Semi series here), but it seems CEO Musk does not.

Watch This – Tesla Semi Smokes Its Tires Under Acceleration

Musk took to Twitter last night to state that he’s confident the Semi will come in on price and hit these specs on the nose (or possibly even beat them):

Tesla semi spec sheet

Tesla Semi Specs

The biggest price concern is related to the battery. At an undisclosed capacity, it’s hard to determine what it’s cost may be. We assume the cost is somewhere between $75 and $100 per kWh and that the battery in the 500-mile range version of the Semi is likely in the ballpark of 1,000 kWh, but again this is all an unknown right now.

Here’s the Tweet posted by Musk last night:

Musk Tweet

So, he says “beating,” not just matching, which means the spec sheet above will need to be upgraded a bit if Tesla delivers on the words of Musk.

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22 Comments on "Musk Optimistic Tesla Can Stay On Price & Beat Semi Specs"

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Fuel savings of $200,000+? I believe this figure does not include federal and state fuel taxes. There is no way in hell that EV semi trucks won’t pay these taxes with all the damage that they do to roads.

It’s estimated that the diesel fuel savings are roughly $22k per year- why does $200k sound so hard to believe?

Average semi drives about 50k miles per year. Divided by 6 mpg average equals 8,333 gallons of diesel fuel. Times $2.63 avg. per gallon of fuel is $21,915. $200k divided by $21,915 is 9.1 years. That doesn’t even take into account the savings on maintenance, which is $10k-15k per year. Once you crank that into the equation you have Elon’s ROI of about 3 years.

The devil’s in the details..

50k miles per year??? Perhaps for city cartage trucks. For over the road trucks, we set internal goals of averaging 2000 miles a week minimum. For team trucks, 4000 to 5000 miles a week. So that works out to 100k to 250k miles a year. That makes those fuel savings add up MUCH quicker!

Yeah, I was trying to be conservative and used a short-medium haul estimate. But you’re right, a simple Google search shows about $70k per year in average fuel per truck. The cost and maintenance savings are a complete no-brainer. The theorem holds true on a microcosm (personal EV’s), I don’t know why folks can’t connect the dots on a large scale, which amplifies the savings even MORE.

Personally, I think $200k for an electric semi, in a world where $100k Ford F-350 turbo-diesel pickups exist, seems like a steal!

It all comes down to operating costs and downtime. The annual duty cycles of 100K – 250K require extremely robust electric motors. Especially when you consider the loads placed on them in colder and winter conditions.

All these pre-orders are generally “memorandums of understand’ until Tesla provides detailed real-world performance specifications that will be tied to contracts.

Too many unknowns to determine if this will be a boom or bust.

Has there been any detailed clarity for how these Charging Megastations will operate when 3-4 semis are charging simultaneously?

Time is money in the trucking industry.

Electric motors *are* robust. They don’t need special design to be so. They are far less affected by temperature compared to diesel motors.

The Semi will have 4 of them, and Elon has said that it would still be fully operational if one or even two motors failed. Performance would lag obviously, but wouldn’t leave you stranded. It’s inherently redundant.

Combined with less frequent maintenance, faster (less extensive) maintenance, the Tesla Semi should be able to keep rolling a far greater percentage of time than current trucks.

There are no unknowns. Electric traction motors have been used in locomotives since the 1920. Submarines, dump trucks and tanks use electric drive. There are no unknowns at all, electric motors for their vastly superior characteristics have been used in mission critical applications going way way back. Head of Daimler truck engineering is either a moron (unlikely) or just being paid to lie to the public on Tesla- which is worse. Tesla 2 years ago was below $124 a KWH- the projected parity price and so it being be under $100 a KWH 3 years later is no surprise, its on a chip type curve. Electric motors are 7x more efficient than petrol stuff by pure physics- they don’t dump most of the fuel as heat waste, solid state battery power only magnifies that advantage. Even electric line or onsite power up verses liquid transport is incredibly obvious- can transport power at 1% line loss 1000 miles at the speed of light or do all that road killing stupid liquid petrol transport. We often hear complete idiocy like the cost of diesel or petrol matters. It doesn’t and could matter less- petrol is helpless and has always been a helpless… Read more »

If I recall correctly what I’ve read, the average diesel semi runs only 45,000 miles per year; just 3x what a normal car does.

Semi tractors specializing in long-range hauling average 100,000 per year.

As has been said, the trucking industry is dominated by short-to-medium range hauling. That gives Tesla a much better chance of making a BEV Semi Truck that is economically practical. Even if it can’t compete for long-haul trucking, there is still a large market segment it might be able to exploit.

And electric trucks should not pay the equivalent of fuel taxes until they reach 25% of the fleet at which time they will be even cheaper. Fuel taxes on ICE trucks should be increased to make up the difference as part compensation for the pollution they cause and as an incentive to go electric

Pollution from the whole down stream sources, like frackers destroying our water. But, also, this is the First Real Time we can achieve Energy Independence.

Put the transportation on electric, and watch the SAFE JOBS Explosion in Wind, Solar and Battery Installation. And no more funds to Arab Terrorists.

Road taxes is a whole separate issue. Nothing to do with this. This is strictly fuel savings over 10 years.

Yeah, I don’t get why comments above are calling road use taxes and fees “fuel taxes”. It’s a separate thing, and BEV semi trucks will have to pay road use fees just like diesel semi trucks.

Am optimisic that Musk is over-optimistic as always.

I will always remember that tweet about 10K Model 3 production by end of 2017 as a paragon of dishonesty.

You need to change that moniker more than that if you want to pretend to be someone else Alex. A tweet?! Really?!

By the by, what has that to do with the semi?

Tesla has yet to disappoint on performance specifications, which is what the article is about. Having said that, Musk has consistently disappointed the stock shorts?

You have to set lofty goals to get anywhere..Tesla’s are everywhere..proof

So, trying and failing makes one “dishonest”?

If you want to see a real paragon of dishonesty, Mr. FUDster, then just look in a mirror.

Elon Musk is optimistic about something? I am *shocked*. News at 6. Seriously I love the guy but I think a dose of under promise and over deliver would be useful at times.

I am not a Elon fan, but to support his claim, I would mention Workhorse EV Trucks. They have already delivered 50 delivery vans to UPS and apparently at prices comparable to those of equivalent ICE makes. UPS, owning one of the largest fleets in the world, I am sure know what they are doing. Having stated that, supports Elons’s confidence. If one comparable vehicle can compete price-wise, then why not another?

Why not? Well, to list just a few of the reasons:

1. PHEV pickups are not BEV semi tractors

2. The Workhorse W-15 doesn’t have even remotely the EV range of even the shorter ranged Tesla Semi Tractor; the battery pack is much smaller in relation to the size of the vehicle

3. We don’t know if Workhorse is actually making a unit profit on sales

-and most importantly-

4. The pickups which Workhorse is selling are not going to be used as commercial freight haulers, and are not going to have to compete on cost-per-mile with diesel semi tractors.

This idea that Tesla or Musk under delivers is such utter nonsense. Telsa is the most influential automaker in the world today and in many ways probably the most influential corporation. It is changing the world. Not many corporations can say that but it is surely one of them. When it does something merely 10 faster than a competitor that is supposed to be a disappointment. Or when it misses one some deadline that it voluntarily chose to radically accelerate that is supposed to be a problem. The competition does stuff like put out articles that say that BMW is going to need more workers to fix the robots at its new plant. That is just so wrong. Its more robots to fix the robots and robots to fix those robots. Tesla’s critics and competition are no longer credible. Sad in the case of the competition because Tesla’s plan requires them to act intelligently and stop pathologically lying about every thing including their own prospects. It is really really hard to find an intelligent or even honest Tesla critic at this point. Its like betting against someone that is trying to save your own life. The critics tend to come… Read more »

Very well said mate