Tesla Semi: Elon Musk Clarifies Comment on Battery Cell Supply Affecting Volume Production


Tesla CEO Elon Musk clarified his previous comment on the battery cell supply affecting the volume production of the Tesla semi-electric truck.

With a vague comment last weekend, Musk cast doubt on Tesla’s ability to deliver the Tesla Semi this year.

The CEO responded to a request for an update on the Tesla Semi by simply saying that Tesla is too ‘cell constrained’ right now.

This has led to speculation on whether or not Tesla will deliver Tesla semi-electric trucks in 2021, as they previously reported.

But now, in a comment on our recent report that Tesla got a new order for 10 electric semi-trucks and two mega-chargers from a California-based logistics company, Musk has clarified that scale is the problem:

Demand is not an issue, but short term cell supply makes it difficult to scale Semi. This limitation will be less onerous next year.

That could leave room for at least low-volume production of Tesla Semi this year.

This is good news for some customers who made reservations for Tesla Semi four years ago. Some of them are even expecting deliveries this year.

Most notably, PepsiCo, one of Tesla’s largest reservation holders for the Tesla Semi, said it expects 15 electric trucks from Tesla by the end of the year.

Given the limitations of Tesla’s battery cells, it’s unclear whether that volume can be achieved this year.

Tesla would need at least 7.5 MWh of 4,680 battery cells to produce the vehicles, which isn’t an incredible amount, but we don’t know Tesla’s current production capacity at its pilot plant of 4,680 at Fremont.

As previously stated, the main mission of the pilot plant this year is to support the production of the Model Y at Gigafactory Berlin, which is expected to start in the coming months.

Each Tesla Semi would require at least six times more battery cells than a Model Y electric SUV.

How many Tesla semi-electric trucks put into service do you think Tesla will produce in 2021?

Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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