A Tesla employee based at Tesla Gigafactory 1 in Nevada has indicated that the pilot production line for the Tesla Semi is under development, implying that things seem to be going well. This person tweeted last week, “New nugget: pilot line for Semi coming together….”
This person has provided insight on a number of factors in the past year — vehicle production line development in Fremont as the Model Y has rolled out and the use of Tesla’s Lathrop facility a bit northeast of Fremont as a parts supply facility and for vehicle casting, for example — but he has primarily provided insight on battery production. He first responded to a discussion about battery production at the gigafactory on September 20, 2019.
On June 10, two minutes after Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent an email to employees about the Tesla Semi moving toward volume production but before a screenshot of that email was leaked by others, he tweeted, “INCOMING!” followed by a few hints relating to the Semi.
The Tesla Semi project has been led by Tesla President of Automotive Jerome Guillen for several years, as we discussed with Guillen in an interview in Fremont last year (see Part Deux as well if you missed this interview). Semi battery and powertrain production is taking place in Giga Nevada (Gigafactory 1), according to that email above from Musk, which Musk confirmed was not a fake.
The Tesla Semi was first shown to the public in November 2017. We reported on the reveal from the live event, in which the next-generation Roadster also rolled out for the first time. Since then, Tesla has collected Semi reservations from numerous major semi truck buyers — UPS, Walmart, Albertsons, Pepsi, Anheuser-Busch, FedEx, Deutsche Post (DHL in the USA), and JB Hunt, for example. In our interview with President Jerome Guillen, he told us Tesla had been working very closely with customers to further develop the electric semi truck for their needs.
Prototypes of the Semi have been on the road since the reveal event, including delivering Tesla cars to Tesla delivery centers from time to time. At the moment, deliveries of the Semi are generally expected to begin in early 2021, since that is the guidance Tesla provided in its first-quarter shareholder letter. Nonetheless, with enthusiasm around this volume-production push, some Tesla enthusiasts and investors are holding out hope that Semi deliveries will start at the end of 2020, capping off a year in which Model Y production and deliveries began, Tesla Giga Shanghai vehicle and battery production ramped up, Tesla Giga Berlin construction got underway, significant Full Self Driving features rolled out to customers, Tesla became the most valuable automotive company in the world in terms of market cap (even passing Exxon and Disney), and — well, we’re barely more than halfway through the year, so we’ll see what comes next.
- Jerome — The Man, The Myth, The Tesla Super-Engineer — #CleanTechnica Interview
- Our Interview With Tesla President Jerome Guillen, Part Deux
- Tesla Semi Truck — 8 Questions
- Auto Expert Says Tesla Semi Is “Pointless,” Seems To Miss The Point
- Tesla Semis Are Cheaper Than Rail Enough Of The Time To Reshape Ground Freight
- Tesla’s V3 Superchargers Lay The Foundation For The Megacharging Network
- Full Tesla Semi Archives On CleanTechnica
- Tesla Fremont Factory Video Tour, Part 1 — #CleanTechnicaTV
- Tesla’s Seat Heaven — Home Of Tesla’s Cloud-Like Seats
- Tesla Fremont Factory Tour Part 3 — Body Shop & General Assembly #CleanTechnicaTV
- A Look Inside Tesla’s Fremont Automotive Factory — #CleanTechnica Field Trip
- Tesla’s Vertical Integration Unlocks Hidden Flexibility & Innovation — #CleanTechnica Field Trip
- The World Inside Tesla Is Completely Different From The Media’s Portrayal Of Tesla
All photos by Kyle Field for CleanTechnica
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