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Tesla Semi aims to manufacture 100,000 electric trucks per year, say Elon Musk

Tesla Semi, the automaker’s electric truck division launched in November, has been accumulating many reservations over the last few months, but the total count was never clear nor the overall size of the market for the electric truck.

Today, CEO Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla expects to manufacture as many as 100,000 electric trucks per year.

The Tesla Semi is planned to enter production as soon as next year, but when asked about the planned production capacity, Musk didn’t want to elaborate on the production ramp up and instead shared his overall target after 4 years of production.

Musk said during a call with analysts yesterday:

“It’s easier to predict, far easier to predict the endpoint or the steady state of the S-curve than anywhere on that exponential or log curve. So if you take four years, I think 100,000 units a year is a reasonable expectation. Maybe more, but that’s the right – roughly the right number, I think.”

100,000 trucks per year would position Tesla Semi as one of the leading truck manufacturers in the world – though some of them are already producing more trucks per year.

At a minimum of $150,000 per truck, that’s a business of at least $15 billion in revenue for Tesla by 2023, according to Musk’s expectations.

It’s not clear yet where those electric trucks will be manufactured, but rumors put the production line at Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 in Nevada.

As for demand, Tesla already received over 500 reservations according to a tally of the pre-orders announced by companies, but there are likely many more unannounced orders.

Some of the biggest orders include 100 electric trucks from Pepsico and 125 electric trucks from UPS.

Interestingly, Musk said yesterday that he thinks Tesla might even beat the impressive specs announced in November, which are already attracting many interested customers:

“I think we might be able to exceed the specs that we unveiled last year too, which is pretty exciting. It’s another speculation that we might not meet them, but I think we’re going to exceed them.”

He didn’t specify which specs he expects could improve, but the most important factors for fleet operators are range and cost. Tesla said that the production versions will have 300-mile and 500-mile range versions for $150,000 and $180,000 respectively.

The vehicle is currently undergoing testing and a Tesla Semi prototype was recently spotted driving in the wild in great new sighting.

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