Tesla has already produced around 70 Semi trucks, which was revealed during an exclusive interview. To produce the super-efficient Class 8 truck, the company uses its latest technology, which is also used in Cybertruck and Model S/X Plaid.
Tesla has not been particularly generous with details about Semi and its production ramp progress. However, some additional details were revealed during an exclusive interview on Jay Leno’s Garage. Jay spoke with Tesla Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen and Tesla’s Senior Manager of Semi-Truck Engineering Dan Priestley, as well as drove the truck that carried the cargo.
In December 2022, Tesla held a ceremony to deliver the first Semis to a customer, PepsiCo. Since then, we have received updates on the truck’s specs, performance capabilities, and even real-world testing results from an independent organization. However, we still did not have details on how its production was ramping up.
It was known that PepsiCo has 36 Tesla Semis. 15 of them are used in Modesto and 21 in Sacramento facilities. Since then, no more specific data on the number of trucks produced has been available. During the interview, Jay asked Priestley about the number, to which he received an answer. According to the information, Tesla has produced “in the range of 60-70 trucks.” This gives us some insight into the production ramp-up. The company currently produces Semis on a small line in Nevada. However, Tesla plans to expand its Giga Nevada factory, which will also produce Semis. It seems that until then, the company will produce a very limited number of trucks.
Von Holzhausen said that in order to design the Semi, the team talked to a lot of truck drivers to understand what they needed to drive comfortably. The company paid special attention to driver safety, which is often not a priority for other manufacturers. To achieve superior aerodynamics that are twice as good as other Class 8 trucks, the team took inspiration from Japanese bullet trains. This can be seen in the appearance of the cabin, which has a very sleek, streamlined shape.
To achieve maximum efficiency with Semi, Tesla used the best and latest achievements of the company in development. For example, the truck is powered by a tri-motor system and carbon-sleeved rotors just like Model S Plaid. 1 unit for efficiency, 2 acceleration units for torque. In addition, it uses the driver inverter from Cybertruck.
At the moment, Semi’s price remains unknown and, apparently, the company does not plan to disclose it in the near future. Priestley said it is “comparable” with the price of other EV trucks. He also mentioned that in just the first three years of owning Semi, owners will see savings of about $200,000 at fueling alone. This amount does not take into account other expenses, such as oil or other maintenance, which are required much more frequently for diesel trucks than would be required for an electric vehicle.