Any company looking to start hauling things cross-country using a Tesla Semi will have to wait until 2022 at the earliest.
Tesla on Monday said it has shifted the electric big rig’s launch to 2022, blaming the delay on “limited availability of battery cells and global supply chain challenges.” The company also said it is tabling the project to focus resources on getting two new factories in Berlin and Austin.
The entire auto industry has been hobbled by a shortage of microchips, which are crucial to all manner of vehicle systems. Tesla has also said its production has been affected by congestion at ports.
But the development of Tesla’s truck was slow-going long before the pandemic upended global supply chains.
When Tesla first announced the Semi in 2017, it aimed to start delivering trucks to customers in 2019. Over the years, it pushed the tractor trailer’s launch to 2020, and later to 2021.
The idea of a battery-powered truck has garnered lots of attention from retailers and shippers eager to save on refueling and maintenance costs. Scores of massive companies, including Pepsi, Walmart, Anheuser-Busch, UPS, and FedEx, have placed reservations for the Semi.
Tesla expects a base truck to cost $150,000, while a longer-range model will start at $180,000. Reservations cost $20,000.
Tesla has a history of missing deadlines for its new-vehicle launches. The Roadster, a $200,000 supercar, was supposed to launch in 2020. Now production is slated to begin in 2022.