The Tesla Semi Order Books Are Finally Open

Electric Vehicles / 36 Comments

$20,000 gets you a spot on the reservation list.

Tesla has finally opened the order books for the upcoming Semi, giving us our first glance at performance figures, claimed range, and pricing.

Not much had happened regarding the Semi since July last year when it was claimed that the first units would be delivered before the end of the year. Uhm, awkward.

The most recent report was in March this year after Tesla filed a patent for an automatic tire inflation system that would allow drivers to adjust the pressure on the go.

Now the floodgates have opened, and we have more details than ever before. Could this finally be the year of the Semi, which has been delayed since 2019?

Probably not.


You see, while the order books are open for the Semi, Tesla has yet to provide details on when production will start. You can pay a $20,000 deposit to secure an early spot once production begins. You'll have to fall in line behind Pepsi, which placed an order for 15 units last year.

Tesla will offer two Semi models. The base model has an expected price of $150,000, while the more expensive model has an expected base price of $180,000.

The difference between the two models is range. The cheaper Semi has a claimed range of 300 miles, while the more expensive model can complete 500 miles between charges.


The Semi is driven by four independent motors mounted in the rear. According to Tesla, it can get from 0-60 mph in 20 seconds, fully loaded with 80,000 pounds of whatever.

The most impressive figures are the 0.36 drag coefficient and the claimed energy consumption of fewer than 2 kWh per mile.

The size of the battery pack has yet to be unveiled, but given the impressive energy consumption figure, don't expect a massive battery as you'll find in the recently-launched Nikola semi-truck.

Jerome Mends-Cole/Sactesla
Jerome Mends-Cole / Sactesla

The photos promise a central seating position, like the McLaren Speedtail. You get a regular round steering wheel, and mercifully not the yoke as found in the Model S. The driver is flanked by two sizeable touchscreen information screens that serve as rearview mirrors. These digital mirrors also display a live feed directly from the Semi's blind spot.

The central driving position could also mean that the Semi could be sold in left and right-hand drive countries.

According to Tesla, the electric energy costs are half that of diesel and could save an owner $200,000 over two years. Since an EV has fewer components to maintain, the Tesla Semi will be cheaper to maintain.

Still, you need to account for additional downtime considering the Semi needs a recharge every 300 or 500 miles.


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