February 4th, 2021 by Zachary Shahan 


How fast can Tesla grow? That’s a question worth a few hundred billion dollars or so. It seems that the answer mostly comes down to battery supply. Tesla is currently building giant automotive factories in Germany and Texas, while also expanding its Chinese factory. Its battery supply is also ramping up, but it seems like it can never catch up to vehicle demand and production capacity.

On the last Tesla quarterly conference call, CEO Elon Musk indicated that they could be producing the Tesla Semi — a fully electric semi truck unveiled a few years ago — if they just had enough batteries for it. Electric vehicle fans, especially climate and air quality hawks, have been eagerly awaiting production of this truck since then, since it could cut emissions so dramatically and could seemingly outcompete fossil-fueled semi trucks on cost and performance right out of the box. But we’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting as Tesla has ramped up Model 3 and Model Y capacity in order to turn profitable and remain profitable (while also decarbonizing a huge number of light-duty vehicle miles).

On the conference call, Tesla indicated that Semi production would begin later this year. Now, word on the street is that means mid-2021, not late 2021.

Tesla Semi Production Expectations

Personally, the Semi is the Tesla model I’ve found most exciting since the Model 3. There’s so much potential to cut pollution, the vehicle is so slick and smooth, the autonomous vehicle opportunities for trucks are great, and dozens of major companies pre-ordered Semis, showing strong demand for (or at least interest in) the new vehicle.

An estimate of 50,000 Semi truck sales a year seems reasonable. For now. Once Tesla Semi trucks can fully drive themselves, the value of the trucks seems like it would be appealing enough to lead to many more annual sales.

Tesla Giga Berlin Coming Along

Another tweet about Tesla caught my eye as further indication that Tesla production ramps are moving along fairly nicely. Alex Voigt noticed on the German Tesla website that the site now states underneath the Model Y: “Production is expected to start mid of 2021.”

Production of the Model Y (and/or Model 3) in Germany would quickly make the company a three-continent manufacturer, with mass-market production of the Model Y (and probably Model 3) on each continent. Tesla already produces the Model 3 and Model Y in the USA and in China. Producing the Model 3 and Model Y in Germany also means the cost could come down, as certain fees (like import duties) would no longer plague the model.

Let us know if you pick up any more scoops on Tesla vehicle production — whether it be Semi production, Berlin production, or Mars production plans.

 
 

 


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Tags: electric semi-trucks, electric trucks, Jerome Guillen, Tesla, Tesla electric trucks, Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model 3 Germany, Tesla Semi


About the Author

Zachary Shahan is tryin’ to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao.

Zach has long-term investments in NIO [NIO], Tesla [TSLA], and Xpeng [XPEV]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.