Tesla will finally hand over the keys to the first customer-ordered Semi models at a special event tonight at its Gigafactory in Nevada.
It has been almost exactly five years since the Tesla Semi was first unveiled to the world and after numerous delays, it is finally ready to hit the road. Conveniently, its launch coincides with President Joe Biden’s policy to offer a $40,000 tax credit for clean commercial vehicles like the Semi.
The first Tesla Semi models will be handed over to PepsiCo during the delivery event and analysts expect that Tesla will produce 100 units before the end of the year having started production in early October.
One of the odd things about the Semi’s prolonged journey to the market is the fact that Tesla has never updated its range and performance claims about the vehicle, despite the rapid development in battery cells and electric motors over the past five years.
Read: Tesla Semi Completed A 500-Mile Trip With A Loaded Weight Of 81,000 pounds
According to Tesla, the Semi can accelerate to 60 mph (96 km/h) in as little as 5 seconds when unloaded and reach the same mark in 20 seconds with a full load of 82,000 lbs (~37,200 kg). Those are extremely impressive times for a vehicle like this. Elon Musk also recently claimed that the Tesla team completed a 500-mile (805 km) drive in the Tesla Semi with it loaded to 81,000 lbs (36,700 kg). That variant was presumably the high-spec model as the entry-level model’s range is expected to be capped at 300 miles (482 km).
It is possible that Tesla will announce updated specifications for the Semi during the delivery event.
The electric automaker has asserted that prices for the entry-level Semi will start at $150,000 while the longer-range variant will start at $180,000. It ultimately plans to produce as many as 100,000 units annually.