Elon Musk mentions battery cell supply affecting Tesla semi volume production

Elon Musk recently issued a brief update on the Tesla Semi’s rollout, providing some information about the vehicle’s challenges and demand. Musk was cautious in his update, but he remained upbeat about the Tesla Semi’s upcoming ramp, which is expected to happen next year.

Musk mentioned that demand for the Class 8 all-electric truck is not a concern, while discussing a recent order of ten Tesla Semis from California-based logistics operator MHX Leasing LLC. The CEO also stressed that scaling the Semi is currently difficult due to Tesla’s short-term battery cell supply, but he did say that such constraints would likely be less burdensome next year.

Tesla is scheduled to begin pilot development of the Semi sometime this year, according to reports from the electric vehicle community. According to reports citing people familiar with Tesla’s plans, the electric carmaker could begin building Semi release candidates in May 2021, with actual pilot production beginning in the second quarter.

Although Elon Musk’s recent update can seem to indicate that the Tesla Semi’s production has been pushed back once again, it is important to note that the CEO’s post clearly addresses the challenges of scaling the upcoming vehicle’s manufacturing. With this in mind, building Tesla’s first few Semis in 2020 appears to be a distinct possibility. If there is some, it means that Musk is bullish on the Semi’s full output ramp in 2022.

Earlier this year, several modified prototypes of the Class 8 truck were spotted across the United States, suggesting that Tesla is refocusing on the Semi’s production. The vehicles were built differently than the first two Semi prototypes, which have been testing on US roads since their unveiling event in late 2017. Redesigned windows, a brand new door handle system, and new taillights are just a few of the updates. Tesla has recently shown off the modified truck on its social media accounts, with the company showcasing the Semi’s acceleration around the Fremont Factory’s test track.

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