Tesla’s electric semi will now make its debut next month, company founder and CEO Elon Musk tweeted Friday. The tractor was originally slated to roll out last month before being pushed back to the end of this month.
Tesla Semi unveil now Nov 16. Diverting resources to fix Model 3 bottlenecks & increase battery production for Puerto Rico & other affected areas.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 6, 2017
Musk’s new tentative date, November 16, marks the second time the Silicon Valley carmaker has rescheduled the truck’s premiere. The delay comes just a few days after a rumored photo, seen above, of the electric tractor was posted to Reddit and became widely circulated.
I asked Tesla about the photo and its authenticity. Their spokesperson told me that the company’s policy is “to always decline to comment on speculation.”
Let’s zoom in a bit on the photo from Reddit for a better view of the truck.
We don’t know for sure whether the truck pictured above is the real thing or not. What we do know is that the original post was deleted by forum moderators before being reposted by another user.
The pictured tractor – which, admittedly, could be anything from Elon Musk’s next plaything to something built by a hay farmer in Kansas – does bare some resemblance to the teaser rendering Tesla itself released several months ago, shown here:
Meanwhile, Musk says the delay on unveiling the semi has been caused by the diversion of resources previously allocated to the heavy truck project to remedying a Model 3 production logjam and increasing battery production for Puerto Rico and other areas affected by the rash of recent hurricanes.
Tesla reportedly produced only 260 Model 3 sedans during the third quarter – about five-times less than the number the company expected to manufacture in September alone. By clearing the “bottlenecks,” Musk says he’s hoping to ramp up Model 3 production.
“We are deep in production hell,” Musk replied to a follower on Twitter.
Musk has also reportedly spoken with Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello about using the company’s batteries and solar panels to bring electricity back to the island following Hurricane Maria.
Speculation around the tractor’s design and range have swirled most of this year but Musk tweeted Friday, “Semi specs are better than anything I’ve seen reported so far. Semi eng/design team work is aces, but other needs are greater right now.”