Tesla Delays Semi Truck Until 2022; Cybertruck backed down for Model Y – TechCrunch


Tesla is pushing the rollout of its semi-electric truck program through 2022 due to supply chain challenges and limited availability of battery cells, the company said in its second-quarter earnings report on Monday.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has warned before about battery supply limitations and the effect it could have on the Tesla Semi, which was first unveiled as a prototype in November 2017. In January, Musk said the work engineering on the Tesla Semi had been completed and Deliveries were expected to begin this year.. He added the caveat, at the time, that the availability of battery cells could limit the company’s ability to produce the Semi.

Apparently, that warning was justified. From the letter to shareholders published today after the market closed:

We believe we are still on track to build our first Model Y vehicles in Berlin and Austin in 2021. The pace of the respective production ramps will be influenced by the successful introduction of many new products and manufacturing technologies, the ongoing challenges related to the chain supply and regional permits.

To better focus on these factories, and due to limited availability of battery cells and global supply chain challenges, we have moved the launch of the Semi truck program to 2022. We are also advancing the industrialization of Cybertruck, which is currently planned. for the Austin production after the Model Y.

While not mentioned in the call or in its earnings report, the delay follows the departure of Jerome Guillén, a critical Tesla executive who was working on the development and eventual production of the Tesla Semi. Guillén’s resignation in June came just three months after he was transferred from the position of president of automotive, which included overseeing the Tesla Semi, to a less responsible position as head of heavy trucks. Guillén had run Tesla’s entire automotive business from September 2018 to March 2021.

Meanwhile, Tesla’s Cybertruck, which is supposed to go into production in late 2021, looks like it could launch next year as well. Musk did not answer questions, but comments from Musk and Tesla VP of Engineering Lars Moravy during the earnings call suggest it could turn to 2022.

Cybertruck is currently in its alpha prototyping stages, with basic engineering and vehicle architecture completed. While the Model Y takes precedence, the company will go into beta for the Cybertruck later this year, Moravy said.

“We will look to increase that in production in Texas after the Model Y is ready,” he added.

Musk referred to how difficult the Cybertruck would be, perhaps as a way to dampen expectations of its arrival in 2021.

“The Cybertruck ramp will be difficult because it is such a new architecture,” Musk said. “It is going to be a great product; It may be our best product, but it has a lot of fundamentally new design ideas. “

He went on to point out that he has used other vehicles that have gone from prototype to volume production – manufacturing is difficult.

“At the risk of being repetitive, it’s actually easy to do prototypes or a handful of small-volume production, but anything that’s produced at high volume, which is really what’s relevant here, will move as fast as the slowest of the approximate order of magnitude of 10,000 pieces and unique processes “.


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