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Tesla Semi: Elon Musk clarifies comment about battery cell supply affecting volume production

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has clarified his previous comment about battery cell supply affecting volume production of the Tesla Semi electric truck.

With a vague comment last weekend, Musk raised doubts about 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 led to speculation about whether or not Tesla would deliver any Tesla Semi electric trucks in 2021 as they previously indicated.

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

Demand is no problem, but near-term cell supply makes it hard to scale Semi. This limitation will be less onerous next year.

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

It’s good news for some customers who placed reservations for Tesla Semi for four years ago. Some of them are even expecting deliveries this year.

Most notably, PepsiCo, one of Tesla’s biggest reservation holders for the Tesla Semi, said that they expect 15 electric trucks from Tesla by the end of the year.

With Tesla’s battery cell limitations, it’s unclear if that volume can be achieved this year.

Tesla would need at least 7.5 MWh of 4680 battery cells to produce the vehicles, which is not an incredible amount, but we don’t know Tesla’s current production capacity at its 4680 pilot plant in Fremont.

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

Every Tesla Semi would require at least six times as many battery cells as a Model Y electric SUV.

How many commissioned Tesla Semi electric trucks do you think Tesla will produce in 2021?

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

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