The EV maker currently markets four models but will add a fifth before the end of the year.
It’s been a hectic week for Elon Musk.
He started the week by causing a big controversy by proposing a peace plan to end the Russian war in Ukraine.
This plan, perceived as pro-Russia, was widely criticized by the Ukrainian authorities and social networks. U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) called the plan “dumb.” For pro-Ukrainians the Musk plan is a capitulation since it asks Ukraine to accept Moscow’s forcible annexations of substantial regions.
The tycoon then put back on the table his $44 billion acquisition offer from Twitter three months after withdrawing it because, he said, Twitter had lied to him about the number of spam bots, or fake accounts, on the platform.
Given market conditions, Musk is buying Twitter at an exorbitant price. According to the media, the billionaire sought to negotiate a discount but the social network refused.
Musk, who seems to want to avoid a trial of Twitter’s lawsuit against him, preferred to capitulate.
December 1: A Key Date for Tesla
The two parties, who to say the least do not trust each other, have until Oct. 28 to find an agreement or a trial would be held.
The revival of the Twitter takeover bid, which could prompt Musk to sell additional Tesla shares to fund the deal, has cast uncertainty on the automaker.
The serial entrepreneur wants to use the social network to build a kind of super app that can compete with all social networks as well as with Apple (AAPL) – Get Apple Inc. Report, Amazon (AMZN) – Get Amazon.com Inc. Report and Uber (UBER) – Get Uber Technologies Inc. Report.
But Musk has just made an announcement that will reassure Tesla investors and fans.
“Excited to announce start of production of Tesla Semi Truck with deliveries to @Pepsi on Dec 1st!” the billionaire announced on Twitter.
He did not give further details, like the number of units that will be delivered to the beverage and snack-food giant. Musk also did not specify the price of the vehicles it is delivering to PepsiCo. Tesla is for now not taking reservations for the Semi.
Tesla and Musk are thus keeping a promise they made during the summer. On Aug. 10, the billionaire took the automotive sector by surprise by saying that: “Tesla 500 mile range Semi Truck starts shipping this year.”
First New Vehicle Since 2020
Tesla Semi will enable the firm to enter a lucrative new market at a time when the logistics industry is struggling with rising energy costs and continued supply-chain disruptions. Tesla potentially could capture a good market share.
The Semi is Tesla’s first new vehicle in more than two years. Indeed, the company has not delivered a new vehicle since the Model Y SUV/crossover, the first units of which were delivered to customers in March 2020.
The Tesla Semi is a 100% electric truck that was unveiled in fall 2017. The automaker promised to start production in 2019, postponed this deadline to 2021, then 2022 and 2023.
Thanks to its battery capacity of 500 kWh, made up of Tesla’s new 4680 cells. Its announced consumption is less than 2 kWh/mile, creating a range of 300 to 500 miles depending on the version.
The base price is $150,000 (300-mile range) and $180,000 (500-mile range).
A Lucrative Product
The vehicle is already shaping up to be a potential source of strong revenue for Tesla.
When the company launched the Semi in 2017, it asked interested customers to put down a $5,000 deposit, which the manufacturer then increased to $20,000 for the base version.
This deposit is two parts: a $5,000 credit-card payment at the time of reservation on the Tesla website dedicated to the Semi, and then a wire transfer of $15,000 within 10 days of the reservation.
Those who have reserved more than one unit must make a $20,000 wire transfer for each additional vehicle.
For customers interested in the limited Founders Series version, they must make a deposit of $200,000 — the total cost of the truck.