Replacing gas-powered semi-trucks with electric versions would be a huge win for the planet, and it is part of EV manufacturer Tesla’s overall stated mission.
Unfortunately, the reality has yet to catch up with that mission, as a recent recall notice for Tesla’s electric truck has revealed that the company may have produced as few as 36 trucks over a three-month period.
According to reporting from Electrek, Tesla issued a voluntary recall for the Tesla Semi to fix an issue involving the side door warning system. While that, in and of itself, is not cause for major concern, it did reveal just how few of these trucks Tesla has actually made.
A previous recall in March covered 35 trucks that Tesla produced between November 30, 2022, and February 28, 2023. This more recent recall covers trucks produced between November 30, 2022, and March 15, 2023 — a total of 36 trucks.
That means that over the first two weeks of March, Tesla managed to produce one single truck.
That number — 36 total electric semi trucks — aligns exactly with an order placed by PepsiCo, which was highly publicized as a win for Tesla and the environment and a signal of PepsiCo’s improving priorities. However, it is somewhat concerning that those are apparently the only semi trucks that the EV manufacturer has made.
The environmental benefits of switching from gas-guzzling semi-trucks to electric trucks are clear. Despite making up just 4% of the total vehicles on the road in the United States, heavy-duty trucks are responsible for 28% of the total air pollution from transportation, including 45% of the nitrogen oxide pollution and 57% of the fine particulate pollution.
Hopefully, Tesla’s semi trucks become more than just a PR event, and the company is able to produce and sell enough of them to actually start taking gas-powered semi-trucks off the roads.
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