Supply-chain problems have caused Tesla to once again push out its estimated date for production of its battery-electric Class 8 Semi truck.
According to published reports, during the 2021 Tesla shareholder meeting, co-founder and CEO Elon Musk explained that supply chain issues for batteries, automotive chips, and other components have been limiting production of all Tesla products.
Musk said that no matter how many more vehicle models the company sold, it wouldn’t be able to deliver more units this year. Considering how many more batteries and chips the Semi needs compared to a Tesla passenger car, it is being delayed until these supply chains ramp up, noted CleanTechnica.
The Tesla Cybertruck is delayed until the end of 2022 for the same reasons.
“It really wouldn’t matter if we had the Semi or Cybertruck or anything, we just wouldn’t be able to make it,” Musk said.
“I think most likely what we’ll see is Cybertruck start production in the next year, and then reach volume production in 2023. And, hopefully, we can also be producing the Semi and the new Roadster in ‘23 as well. So, we should be through our severe supply chain shortages in ‘23. I’m optimistic that that will be the case.”
It’s the latest delay in a string of them since the Semi was unveiled in 2017 with a projected date of 2019 for availability. As recently as late July, a second-quarter earnings report pushed expected Semi production out to 2022. Back in January, Musk said the Tesla Semi was ready for production, held back only by a limited ability to get battery cells, but he was optimistic that the setback was only temporary.
Tesla, of course, is not the only vehicle manufacturer suffering from an inability to get critical components. Transportation intelligence firm FTR recently estimated that there are already 13,000 to 20,000 Class 8 trucks that are not yet completely built because they need semiconductors as well as other parts.
Another possible factor in this latest delay, noted CleanTechnica, is that Jerome Guillen, the longtime Tesla exec who was put over the Semi project in March, left the company in June.
Also during that shareholder’s meeting, Musk announced Tesla will move its headquarters from Silcon Valley in Fremont, California, to Austin, Texas. He cited affordability, space and convenience as some of the reasons behind the move.
Musk has been hinting at the move since May of 2020, when California COVID-19 restrictions temporarily shut down Tesla's operations in Fremont. He called the restrictions "fascist.”