Tesla doesn't expect to start higher-volume production of the Semi Class 8 electric semi-truck before late 2024, CEO Elon Musk said yesterday citing battery supply constraints.
Speaking at an energy conference in Austin, Texas, Musk did not provide details on what higher-volume production means for the Semi, the Wall Street Journal reported.
However, Musk previously said the Tesla Semi would reach an annual production of 50,000 units starting in 2024. Speaking on the Q3 2022 earnings call in October 2022, the billionaire said it would take about a year to ramp up Semi production. About a year from October 2022 would indicate late 2023-early 2024 as the start of the production ramp.
"So, we're tentatively aiming for 50,000 units in 2024 for Tesla Semi in North America. And obviously, we'll expand beyond North America," Musk said.
Mind you, the latest announcement appears to suggest a delay, though to be fair, Musk did say the Semi production ramp would begin in 2024, which could also mean late 2024. That being said, it's hard to believe Tesla would be able to meet the goal of building 50,000 Semis in 2024 if it starts to ramp production in late 2024.
The Tesla Semi was first revealed five years ago and started deliveries in December 2022. Originally due out in 2019, the Tesla Semi is the first new model Tesla has handed over to customers since early 2020 when it began deliveries of the Model Y.
Gallery: Tesla Semi new photos
While a niche product for the EV maker, the Semi is deemed crucial by Elon Musk to accelerating Tesla's transition to more sustainable energy, seeing as heavy trucks account for an outsize share of vehicle emissions.
Tesla currently builds the Semi on a pilot production line at Gigafactory Nevada. In mid-November 2022, the EV maker said it was targeting a production of 100 Semis for 2022, which would work out at around 16 trucks per week.
In January, the EV maker announced plans to build the Semi at a new dedicated factory located on the premises of Gigafactory Nevada. The company said it would invest $3.6 billion to expand the site with a high-volume Tesla Semi plant and a 4680 cell factory with annual capacity of 100 GWh. He estimated the latter would cover an annual production of 1.5 million light-duty electric vehicles.
In the long term, Musk said Gigafactory Nevada's 4680 battery cell line could achieve production as high as 500 GWh a year. He did not explain what he meant by long term.
On a related note, Musk also told the room filled with utility executives at yesterday's energy conference that the nation's largest energy providers should invest in more power generation, forecasting electricity demand would triple by around 2045 as more drivers turn to EVs.
"The future is not like the past. The future is a massive increase in electricity demand, and it's going to take everything that we've got to just keep up with it," Musk said.