Tesla's long-delayed semi-truck has started production, and the company will begin making deliveries as soon as December 1st, Elon Musk has announced on Twitter. When the automaker unveiled the Tesla Semi way back in 2017, it expected to start manufacturing the electric big rigs by 2019. While that obviously didn't happen, Musk told employees in an email back in early 2020 that the vehicle was already in limited production and that it was "time to go all out and bring the Tesla Semi to volume production." In April that year, however, the automaker announced in an earnings call that it's delaying deliveries yet again to 2021.
Alas, 2021 wasn't the Semi's year either. Tesla notified shareholders in another earnings call that deliveries would be delayed to 2022 due to the global supply chain shortages affecting the tech and auto industries, as well as its then-limited production capability for the vehicle's 4680 style battery cells. Musk didn't say outright that the company's component shortage issues for the semi-truck have already been addressed. But if it has started building the vehicles, and there's already an expected delivery date, Tesla must have at least enough parts to build Semis for its first customer.
The first batch of Semis will be delivered to Pepsi, which ordered 100 vehicles from the company back in December 2017. As TechCrunch notes, other big companies had also ordered trucks from the automaker, including Walmart and UPS. And in May this year, the automaker opened reservations to more customers for a deposit of $20,000. A Semi costs between $150,000 and $180,000, depending on the range, and it could go as far as 500 miles on a single charge.
500 mile range & super fun to drive
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 6, 2022