Tesla CEO Elon Musk kicks off first Semi truck deliveries


Tesla CEO Elon Musk kicks off deliveries of the corporate’s heavy-duty truck, the Semi, on the Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada.

Tesla Inc.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk kicked off deliveries of the corporate’s first few manufacturing Semi vans on Thursday, talking on stage on the firm’s manufacturing unit in Sparks, Nevada, with Dan Priestly, the corporate’s senior supervisor for Semi truck engineering.

As CNBC beforehand reported, Tesla arrange traces and began manufacturing of the Semi exterior of Reno this 12 months on the web site the place it primarily makes the battery cells, drive models, and battery packs that energy its automobiles. 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 obtained delayed by the Covid pandemic and battery cell provide points, amongst different issues.

Through 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 vans.

One main distinction between Tesla’s Class 8 providing and different heavy-duty vans is the situation of the steering wheel and the motive force’s seat. Moderately than utilizing the left facet (or proper facet 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 improvement, different absolutely electrical heavy-duty vans launched into the market.

Volvo-owned Renault Vehicles and Daimler haveproduced and delivered electrical heavy-duty vans to prospects earlier than Tesla Even beleaguered Nikola — whose founder was ousted and convicted of fraud in latest months — began manufacturing of a battery electrical truck in March.

However Tesla boasts some high-tech options not out there elsewhere, together with a brand new, fast-charging system, and a battery with better vary than opponents. The DC fast-charging system delivers as much as 1MW, and employs a water-based coolant to make sure it is protected 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 ultimately be put in at Tesla SuperCharging stations and used to energy up Cybertrucks, the patron pickup truck Tesla is planning, Musk revealed. The corporate plans quantity manufacturing of the sharp-edged heavy pickup at its new manufacturing unit in Austin, Texas.

A return to kind

The Tesla Semi occasion might present reduction to followers apprehensive about his dedication to and deal with the electrical automobile enterprise.

Musk has lately taken on new tasks as proprietor and CEO of Twitter, the social media big, which he acquired in a leveraged buyout for $44 billion in October. He offered a few of his appreciable Tesla shares to finance that deal. Since taking up 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 automobile tech.

Tesla's chief designer on Elon Musk, the Cybertruck and the future of auto design

Within the U.S., he mentioned, there are one thing like 15 million passenger automobiles and round 200,000 heavy obligation vans. “It looks like a small share,” he mentioned, however the semi vans characterize a big portion of dangerous automobile emissions due to their measurement, weight, and the actual fact they’re pushed across the clock.

These emissions can have dastardly well being results on individuals who stay close to warehouses, ports, and different roadways with a number of trucking exercise.

In line with transportation and air high quality analysis by the American Lung Affiliation, medium- and heavy-duty automobiles (equivalent to supply vans, short- and long-haul vans) represented about 6% of the on-road fleet within the U.S. as of 2020. These automobiles 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 mentioned that the Semi wouldn’t solely assist fight local weather change, however “It is also quiet, will enhance the standard of your air, and can enhance the well being of individuals dwelling close to freeways.”

The identical may be mentioned of different electrical, heavy-duty vans that displace diesel vans.

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 vans they plan to provide within the subsequent 12 months, nor how they’ll get hold of 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.

Watch the total deliveries occasion right here.

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