When Tesla presented the Semi electric tractor project in 2017, many analysts and other experts concluded that the car would need a battery with a capacity of 600 to 1000 kWh to maintain its declared range of 480 to 800 km. Given that Tesla’s 100 kWh battery packs weigh 590 kg, it turns out that a 600 kWh system will weigh almost 3.6 tons.
And this can become a problem, because the carrying capacity limit for class 8 tractors is 36.2 tons, which includes not only the payload, but also the weight of the machine itself. And if an electric car weighs more than a diesel one, then with the same dimensions it will be able to carry less cargo.
However, as follows from the Tesla Impact Report 2020, the car company Elon Musk has made notable advances in battery technology over the past three years, including the introduction of a new generation of 4680 cells. They are lighter and at the same time have a higher energy density. which will reduce the weight of the battery of the Semi tractor.
In addition, the United States and the European Union have approved higher weight standards for heavy electric trucks. For example, in the EU, class 8 electric trucks can be almost 2 tons heavier than diesel equivalents, while in the US they are allowed an increase of 0.9 tons.
Over the past three years, the start of the Tesla Semi serial production has been postponed several times. Recently, Elon Musk said that one of the snags is the production of battery cells. In addition, the situation is aggravated by the shortage of semiconductors, from which the entire world auto industry, including Tesla, is now suffering.
“Production pace will be influenced by the successful implementation of many new products and manufacturing technologies, current supply chain challenges and regional resolutions. To better focus on these factors, as well as due to limited availability of battery cells and global supply chain issues, we have postponed the launch of the Semi truck program to 2022, ”Tesla noted in its Q2 2021 update report. p>