Musk said when Tesla first unveiled the Semi in November 2017 that it would go into production two years later. While would-be customers including Walmart Inc. and Anheuser-Busch InBev SA put down deposits, the automaker ended up prioritizing output of Model 3 sedans and Model Y sport utility vehicles for consumers while contending with battery cell and semiconductor supply issues.
In January, Musk told analysts Tesla wouldn’t roll out any new models this year because of parts constraints. He changed his tune three days after the US Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which made heavy-duty electric trucks eligible for as much as $40,000 federal tax credits. The chief executive officer tweeted on Aug. 10 that the company would start shipping Semis with 500 miles of range this year.
Tesla will compete with other makers of battery-powered big rigs including relative newcomer Nikola Corp. and more established firms like Sweden’s Volvo AB. The latter announced this week that it will deliver 20 fully electric trucks to Amazon.com Inc. by year-end.