We are excited about the release of the Tesla Semi. With lower energy costs, a cool center-of-the-aisle seating placement, Enhanced Autopilot, and rampant acceleration, it is hard not to be excited for the new semi-truck that was slated to begin production later this year. Production has been shelved for another year, this time pushing it back to 2021.
Factors Causing the Delay
It does not take a detective to know the COVID-19 pandemic has had lasting effects on the economy. Events nationwide have been canceled or delayed. Businesses not deemed essential have been shut down. This lapse in the economy and the resulting decreased demand for electric vehicles is almost certainly a contributing factor to the delay.
COVID-19 has also caused Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, to get into some hot water with Alameda County officials. Elon Musk disagrees with Alameda in regards to whether or not Tesla production is an essential business. The billionaire has gone on to say that he worries for his employees being out of work, and is tired of overzealous regulations.
“Frankly, this is the final straw,” Elon Musk wrote on Twitter. “Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependen(t) on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.”
This transition to a new state in the nation will no doubt cause delays in design and production for many of Tesla’s vehicle models.
Finally, and perhaps the largest reason for the delay, is that Tesla loves to overpromise. As mentioned in our first article covering the Tesla Semi, the vehicle was first announced in 2017, stated to be available in 2019, and then pushed back to 2020. This is not the first nor second time Tesla has failed to meet its own deadlines. It is possible that the Semi could have hit the market in 2020 without any external drama, but even back then we were not holding our breath.
Once the Semi is in production Tesla will also have to roll out its charging station network composed of Megachargers, but this is not a new obstacle and Tesla most likely has already planned for it.
The race to be the first company to have an electric 18-wheeler hit the market is now more interesting. Tesla was slated to be the one to do it, but because of delays, it likely will be another company. Nobody can know for sure about the future of the electric semi-truck.