Tesla gives rare update on Tesla Semi electric truck program


Tesla gives rare update on Tesla Semi electric truck program

A Tesla engineer has given a rare update on the Tesla Semi electric truck program amid new EPA rules that should give it a boost.

Tesla Semi is currently only in low-volume production at a facility outside Gigafactory Nevada.

In January 2023,  Tesla announced a massive expansion of Gigafactory Nevada to add production of Tesla Semi trucks and 4680 battery cells and to finally expand the factory to its originally planned size.

However, nothing happened with the factory expansion for a year. In January 2024, Tesla finally broke ground on the project, but it’s not clear when the automaker can start production of the electric semi truck.

We haven’t heard much about the vehicle program since Tesla launched the “production version” in December 2022. The electric truck is only being used by Pepsi as part of a fleet in operation in California and in Tesla’s own fleet, primarily between its factories outside of Reno, Nevada, and Fremont, California.

This weekend, Tesla Semi chief engineer, Dan Priestley, gave a small update about the program:

The engineer said that Tesla Semi transported more than 20,000 battery packs from Gigafactory Nevada to Fremont factory and that it is doing it at a lower operating cost than diesel trucks:

Every day, the Tesla Semi demonstrates that battery electric trucks can directly replace diesel trucks. With our own fleet of Semis, Tesla has shipped >20,000 battery packs out of Gigafactory Nevada to support Fremont vehicle builds. These trucks run the same route, carrying the same load (no load reduction for weight) as the diesel trucks running this route but at substantially lower operating cost. Now, it’s about scale.

Priestley posted the update as the EPA released its new heavy duty truck rules. The new rules imposes stricter emission rules, which should push manufacturers faster into electric trucks.

The engineer applauded the new rules:

The EPA Phase 3 rules will help hasten the overall fleet transition to zero emissions and address the harmful particulate emissions and other pollutants from diesel trucks. In combination with the superior economics and experience that battery electric trucks provide, I expect full market adoption will occur faster than many think.

While these new rules should help the program, Tesla is not expected to ramp up its electric truck production until the Gigafactory Nevada is built.

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