Elon Musk claims the production version of the Tesla Semi will have a range far exceeding the originally-advertised 500 miles.
With all the bad publicity surrounding the Model 3's production, the Semi probably isn't high on Tesla's priority list right now. To get us hyped about the automaker's first ever fully electric semi truck again, CEO Elon Musk has claimed it will have an even better range than we were originally led to believe when the Semi was first revealed. Critics have been skeptical about Tesla's claims the Semi will boast a range of 300-500 miles on a single charge. Daimler's head of trucks, Martin Daum, even said earlier this year that it's physically impossible.
"If Tesla really delivers on this promise, we'll obviously buy two trucks - one to take apart and one to test because if that happens, something has passed us by," he said. "But for now, the same laws of physics apply [in Germany and in California]." When asked about the comment during Tesla's Q1 2018 conference call, Electrek reports that Musk laughed it off saying Daum probably doesn't understand the laws of physics. He went on to claim the 500-mile range doesn't break the laws of physics and is already possible with Tesla's current battery technology. No breakthrough in battery technology is needed, meaning that Tesla "can make a truck with 500 miles of range right now."
Based on feedback gained from testing prototype models, the CEO also claims the range will be closer to 600 miles by the time the production model rolls out in 2020. This will apply to the range-topping version of the Tesla Semi, which is estimated to start at $180,000. A lesser model will also be offered with a 300-mile range, and is believed to be $30,000 cheaper than the top model's asking price. Musk also estimated that Tesla currently has 2,000 reservations with deposits for Tesla Semi, but pointed out the company hasn't been heavily promoting it yet. Musk also addressed Nikola's massive lawsuit over the Tesla Semi's design.
Nikola is suing Tesla. That's hilarious. Fate loves irony," said Musk. "But they're suing us because the way the trucks look, which is absurd. Nobody's buying a Semi truck because of the way it looks, or because [it has] a wraparound windshield or whatever. Please." All going well, production of the Tesla Semi will start next year before starting customer deliveries in 2020 - but we all know Tesla isn't great at sticking to production schedules.