Tesla CEO Elon Musk kicked off deliveries of the corporate’s first few manufacturing Semi vehicles on Thursday, talking on stage on the firm’s manufacturing facility in Sparks, Nevada, with Dan Priestly, the corporate’s senior supervisor for Semi truck engineering.
As CNBC previously reported, Tesla arrange traces and began manufacturing of the Semi outdoors of Reno this yr on the web site the place it primarily makes the battery cells, drive models, and battery packs that energy its vehicles. Musk and Tesla didn’t say on Thursday what number of Semis it’s delivering.
Tesla initially confirmed off the Semi design in Dec. 2017. Manufacturing acquired delayed by the Covid pandemic and battery cell provide points, amongst different issues.
In the course of the deliveries kick-off occasion, Musk briefly alluded to the tumult of the previous 5 years and quipped, “Sorry for the delay.”
He later thanked and the handed the mic to representatives from PepsiCo Frito Lay, which is Tesla’s first buyer to obtain and use manufacturing Semi vehicles.
One main distinction between Tesla’s Class 8 providing and different heavy-duty vehicles is the placement of the steering wheel and the motive force’s seat. Somewhat than utilizing the left aspect (or proper aspect in Europe), Tesla designed the Semi with the steering wheel within the heart of the cab with touchscreens positioned on each side of the motive force.
Whereas the Tesla Semi was in growth, different absolutely electrical heavy-duty vehicles launched into the market.
Volvo-owned Renault Vans and Daimler have produced and delivered electrical heavy-duty vehicles to prospects earlier than Tesla. Even beleaguered Nikola — whose founder was ousted and convicted of fraud in current months — began manufacturing of a battery electrical truck in March.
However Tesla boasts some high-tech options not accessible elsewhere, together with a brand new, fast-charging system, and a battery with larger vary than rivals. The DC fast-charging system delivers as much as 1MW, and employs a water-based coolant to make sure it’s secure in delivering that energy. Tesla says that the Semi can journey 500 miles on a single cost whereas absolutely loaded.
The brand new fast-charging tech will finally be put in at Tesla SuperCharging stations and used to energy up Cybertrucks, the buyer pickup truck Tesla is planning, Musk revealed. The corporate plans quantity manufacturing of the sharp-edged heavy pickup at its new manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas.
A return to kind
The Tesla Semi occasion might present reduction to followers anxious about his dedication to and deal with the electrical car enterprise.
Musk has lately taken on new duties as proprietor and CEO of Twitter, the social media big, which he acquired in a leveraged buyout for $44 billion in October. He bought a few of his appreciable Tesla shares to finance that deal. Since taking on Twitter, he has been embroiled in a number of conflicts and controversies round that platorm.
Musk returned to kind on Thursday, chatting with Tesla’s environmental mission and the corporate’s car tech.
Within the U.S., he stated, there are one thing like 15 million passenger autos and round 200,000 heavy responsibility vehicles. “It looks as if a small proportion,” he stated, however the semi vehicles signify a big portion of dangerous car emissions due to their dimension, weight, and the very fact they’re pushed across the clock.
These emissions can have dastardly well being results on individuals who reside close to warehouses, ports, and different roadways with plenty of trucking exercise.
In response to transportation and air high quality analysis by the American Lung Affiliation, medium- and heavy-duty autos (comparable to supply vans, short- and long-haul vehicles) represented about 6% of the on-road fleet within the U.S. as of 2020. These autos generate an outsized quantity of air pollution, together with 59% of ozone and particle-forming nitrogen oxide emissions, and 26% of the greenhouse gasoline emissions from transportation.
Musk stated that the Semi wouldn’t solely assist fight local weather change, however “It’s additionally quiet, will enhance the standard of your air, and can enhance the well being of individuals dwelling close to freeways.”
The identical might be stated of different electrical, heavy-duty vehicles that displace diesel vehicles.
Musk and different execs didn’t focus on Tesla’s driver help methods, that are marketed as Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Functionality, on the Semi deliveries occasion. In 2017, when Musk debuted the Semi, he touted a driverless trucking future.
Nor did they focus on what number of vehicles they plan to provide within the subsequent yr, nor how they are going to acquire the extra battery cells and uncooked supplies to provide these.
Shares in Elon Musk’s auto enterprise closed flat forward of the occasion, at $194.70, and didn’t transfer appreciably in after-hours buying and selling.