The last four months of the year promise to be busy for Tesla (TSLA) and its CEO Elon Musk.
At the end of September, the manufacturer of premium electric vehicles will hold the second edition of its Artificial Intelligence Day. Indeed, Musk has promised to unveil a functional humanoid robot ready to be marketed in 2023.
A few days later, on October 17, the billionaire will try to convince a Delaware court that he has good reasons for withdrawing his $44 billion acquisition bid for microblogging website Twitter (TWTR) .
Tesla, which assured in January that the year 2022 will not be a year of launching new models, finally surprised everyone recently when Musk announced earlier this month that the automaker would start production and carry out the first Tesla Semi truck deliveries.
“Tesla 500 mile range Semi Truck starts shipping this year,” the billionaire said on Twitter on Aug 10. “Cybertruck next year,” the Chief Executive Officer said on August 10.
No Longer Possible to Order the Tesla Semi Truck
With only four months left before the end of the year, Tesla has just made another important change: it is no longer possible to reserve the Semi truck. Indeed on the website specific to the Semi truck, the order option is no longer available, noted TheStreet. This option has been replaced by “Get Updates.”
Basically, this suggests that the order book for this vehicle, which has already been ordered by PepsiCo, is full and that Tesla wants to satisfy these customers first. This is therefore bad news for potential customers because it is difficult to say when Tesla will be able to start taking orders again.
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As Musk recently explained, the problem is not demand but production. Automakers’ supply chains are disrupted by the zero covid-19 policy in China, a country home to many suppliers’ factories. Beijing has imposed lockdowns in many areas. To this is added the invasion of the Ukraine by Russia, which caused a surge in the prices of raw materials such as nickel, important in the development of the battery.
When the company launched the Semi in 2017, Tesla asked interested customers to put down a $5,000 deposit, which the manufacturer then increased to $20,000 for the base version. This sum is two parts: a $5,000 credit card payment at the time of reservation on the Tesla website dedicated to the Semi, and then a wire transfer of $15,000 within 10 days of the reservation.
Those who have reserved more than one unit must make a $20,000 wire transfer for each additional vehicle. For customers interested in the limited Founders Series version, they must make a deposit of $200,000 — the total cost of the truck.
The base price is $150,000 (300-mile range) and $180,000 (500-mile range).
Tesla has also updated the Semi truck’s specs (height, weight, wheelbase, cargo capacity etc). Tesla keeps saying that the electric truck has a battery capacity of 500 kWh. Its announced consumption is less than 2 kWh/mile, all while fully loaded to its 82,000 lb. capacity., creating a range of 300 to 500 miles depending on the version. It will be capable of 0-60 in 20 seconds.
But the truck will only have three independent motors and the battery will be able to recharge up to 70% in 30 minutes when attached to a “Tesla Semi Charger”. With this level of charge, the vehicle will be able to travel 350 miles before the battery is completely discharged. Previously, Tesla said the truck would have four independent motors and that 30 minutes of battery recharging would allow the vehicle to travel 400 miles before recharging.
“With less than 2 kWh per mile of energy consumption, Semi can travel up to 500 miles on a single charge. Recover up to 70 percent of range in 30 minutes using Tesla’s Semi Chargers,” the carmaker said.
The name “Semi chargers” is also new because Tesla was talking about “Megachargers” before.