Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a memo it’s time to “go all out” and start volume production of the Tesla Semi, the all-electric Class 8 truck revealed nearly three years ago.
CNBC first reported on the memo that was sent to all employees. TechCrunch has also viewed the brief memo, which lacked details such as when this volume production might begin. Musk confirmed via Twitter that the memo was real.
The vague memo and one word “yes” confirmation was enough for Wall Street. Tesla shares rose more than 6% Wednesday morning to surpass $1,000. Shares were $1,009.84 at 10:50 a.m. ET. The company’s market capitalization has now surpassed $187 billion.
The Tesla Semi has been in limited production, which Musk said in the memo has allowed the company to improve many aspects of the design. The battery and powertrain would be produced at Tesla’s gigafactory in Sparks, Nev. Musk didn’t mention where the actual truck would be produced, except to write that other work would probably occur in other states.
The complete memo message:
It’s time to go all out and bring the Tesla Semi to volume production. It’s been in limited production so far, which has allowed us to improve many aspects of the design. Production of the battery and powertrain would take place at Giga Nevada, with most of the other work probably occurring in other states. Jerome and I are very excited to work with you to bring this amazing product to market!”
When asked on Twitter where final assembly will be, Musk replied “we shall see.”
The Tesla Semi made a splash when it first debuted in November 2017. During the initial debut, Musk promised the truck would drive like its other passenger vehicles, the Model X, Model S and Model 3. The truck also boasted some eye-popping specs that included the ability to travel 500 miles on a single battery charge when fully loaded and driving 65 miles per hour.
The Tesla Semi was quickly overshadowed by the Model 3, which was plagued by production bottlenecks for months. The Model Y debut and production followed. Eventually, the Semi faded from the company’s earnings reports altogether.
Earlier this year in its fourth-quarter earnings report, Tesla provided one of the first updates on the Tesla Semi in months, stating that it was “planning to produce limited volumes of Tesla Semi this year.”
Tesla then said in its latest quarterly earnings report that it was pushing back plans to produce and deliver the Class 8 truck until 2021. The move would put the Tesla Semi two years behind the automaker’s previous target.