Tesla’s Semi truck won’t start hauling cargo this year either. The automaker has revealed during its most recent earnings call that it has pushed back the truck’s arrival — yet again — to 2022, three years after its original launch target in 2019. Last year, the company announced that it had to delay the vehicle’s release to 2021 but didn’t elaborate on what prompted the decision and if it was primarily due to the pandemic. Now, according to TechCrunch, Tesla told shareholders that the Semi truck will be delayed due to the limited availability of battery cells and global supply chain challenges.
“We believe we remain 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 product and manufacturing technologies, ongoing supply-chain-related challenges and regional permitting. To better focus on these factories, and due to the limited availability of battery cells and global supply chain challenges, we have shifted the launch of the Semi truck program to 2022. We are also making progress on the industrialization of Cybertruck, which is currently planned for Austin production subsequent to Model Y.”
As TechCrunch notes, Tesla executive Jerome Guillen also left the company in June, just a few months after he started leading the trucking division. While the automaker didn’t say whether his departure was in any way connected to the Semi’s delay, Guillen used to lead Tesla’s entire automotive business until he was made president of the Heavy Trucking unit in March.
Tesla first announced the Semi back in 2017, promising an electric big rig with a 500-mile range and technologies that include Enhanced Autopilot. It’s been traveling all around the US and has apparently been capable of doing cross-country trips on its own without escorts since 2018, relying entirely on Tesla’s existing Supercharger network. Elon Musk told staff in an internal email last year that the Semi is ready to enter mass production, but the company’s readiness doesn’t mean anything without the truck’s components.