Tesla has been moving slowly towards its class-8 electric Semi truck production goals since its official unveiling on November 16, 2017. The Tesla Semi program has now reportedly been moved into the “limited production” phase.
This limited production is taking place at a new purpose-built building at Gigafactory Nevada which is home to Tesla’s cell production.
Tesla owner & enthusiast Sawyer Merritt who is connected to some sources at Giga Nevada has reported that Tesla Semi production has finally begun at this location.
The latest aerial drone footage of Giga Nevada from Dec 11 shows a Tesla Semi truck making test runs on the dedicated test track built around its manufacturing building (video below).
Tesla has set up a dedicated Megacharging station for the Semi at Giga Nevada as well. This is where the automaker is testing and calibrating the charging for the huge battery pack of the Tesla Semi.
This initial batch of early production Tesla Semis will most probably be going to PepsiCo. Because recently the PepsiCo CEO Ramon Laguarta said that his company will be getting the first few Tesla Semis at the end of this year.
The absence of DOT stickers and the manufacturer license plates on these newly spotted Tesla Semis also suggest that these trucks are actually production versions for Tesla customers.
Just like the Cybertruck, Tesla Semi also has a large backlog of orders from both corporate, large & small companies, and individual customers. If Tesla starts scaling production next year, it is safe to say that volume production will not start before 2023.
To deliver the best performance and range, the battery packs of Tesla Semi trucks will need the power of the 4680 cells. If Tesla is starting production of the Semi at Giga Nevada, it must have made some progress in 4680 cell production at Giga Nevada too. However, a limited supply of 4680s can be provided from the pilot battery plant at the Tesla Fremont factory.
A plan for building a network of Tesla Semi Megachargers across the US and Europe trucking rest stops is also under execution. This will give the Tesla Semi drivers ease of charging on the way to their logistics destinations and back.
Let’s watch how good the Tesla Semi truck in bobtail looks when it performs a test run on the Giga Nevada test track.