During the Q3 2022 earnings call, Tesla's CEO Elon Musk revealed several interesting things about the upcoming launch of the Tesla Semi Class 8 electric truck.

The vehicle already entered "early production" in Reno, Nevada, most likely at one of the facilities near the Tesla Gigafactory battery plant. The first units will be delivered on December 1 to Pepsi.

Elon Musk said that, as in the case of previous vehicles, about a year will be needed to ramp up production. However, it does not mean that production will be slow.

According to Musk, some 50,000 units will be produced annually in 2024, at least that's the target for 2024 in North America.

The company would like to offer a Tesla Semi also in other markets. We guess that it would be a modified/different version to comply with local requirements. Most likely, it would be locally produced so we are talking about a potential new EV truck factory in Europe or Asia.

The initially produced Tesla Semi will have a range of 500 miles (800 km) with cargo. That's would be a lot of range for a vehicle that has a Gross Combination Weight of 82,000 lbs (37,195 kg) when fully loaded. Later, there will be also a version with a smaller battery pack and a range of 300 miles (483 km).

Gallery: Tesla Semi

Tesla does not reveal the battery capacity of the truck, but considering the energy consumption target of less than 2 kWh/mile (1.24 kWh/km), the battery pack might be below 1,000 kWh (1 MWh).

It means that at 50,000 units per year, the company requires 50 GWh of batteries only for the Tesla Semi. Well, maybe less if the energy consumption is lower, but how low can it be?

One way or another, the Tesla Semi at full scale basically would consume the entire production volume of batteries at the Gigafactory in Nevada, which is at 39 GWh (according to previous reports) and might get a 10% boost (to about 43 GWh) by 2024.

At least the initial builds do not involve the 4680-type cylindrical battery cells, according to Elon Musk (noted by Teslarati), so those must be 2170-type (probably from Gigafactory Nevada).

One more thing is worth pointing out. At 50,000 units per year, Tesla would become the second largest manufacturer of Class 8 trucks in the US, after Freightliner (Daimler Trucks NA), which produced about 100,000 in 2019 and over 71,000 in 2020 (lockdowns, supply constraints), according to Statista's data. Kenworth is smaller with roughly 42,000 units in 2019 and 30,000 in 2020.

Tesla Semi specs (August 2022):

  • Fully loaded at 82,000 lbs (37,195 kg) Gross Combination Weight
  • Range: about 300 miles (483 km) or 500 miles (804 km)
    (two battery options)
  • Energy Consumption: less than 2 kWh/mile (1.24 kWh/km)
  • Estimated battery capacity (based on range and energy consumption): 600 kWh or 1,000 kWh (1 MWh)
  • Acceleration 0-60 mph (96.5 /km/h): 20 seconds (when fully loaded)
  • Speed up a 5% Grade: Highway speed limit
  • Powertrain: 3 independent motors on rear axles
    (vs. four motors in the initial specs in 2017)
  • Fast Charging: up to 70% of range in 30 minutes
  • Estimated average charging power in 70% SOC window (based on specs):
    600 kWh battery: 840 kW
    1,000 kWh battery: 1,400 kW (1.4 MW)
  • Fuel Savings (est.): up to $200,000 over 3 years
Tesla MY2023 VIN Decoder

Initial prices (at unveiling in 2017):

  • Expected Base Price (300 mile range) – $150,000
  • Expected Base Price (500 mile range) – $180,000
  • Base Reservation – $20,000
  • Expected Founders Series Price – $200,000
  • Founders Series Reservation – $200,000
    * Prices displayed in USD. International pricing will vary.
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