Tesla Inc. will push back the reveal of its semi truck by three weeks as the electric-car maker focuses on boosting production of its cheaper sedan model and increasing battery production for storm-ravaged regions.
“Diverting resources to fix Model 3 bottlenecks & increase battery production for Puerto Rico & other affected areas,” Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk wrote in a tweet Friday. The company will unveil the semi truck on Nov. 16, instead of Oct. 26.
“We are deep in production hell,” he tweeted in explaining the Model 3 delays.
Tesla built only 260 Model 3 sedans during the third quarter, less than a fifth of its 1,500-unit forecast. Musk wrote on Twitter earlier Friday he’d be “happy to talk” with Puerto Rico’s governor about supplying batteries to the island territory rebuilding after Hurricane Maria.
“Do you want to show the world the power and scalability of your #TeslaTechnologies?” Ricardo Rossello, Puerto Rico’s governor, tweeted Thursday at Musk. “PR could be that flagship project.”
Musk replied on Friday that he “would be happy to talk.” Rossello told reporters he expects to have a conversation with the Tesla chief executive officer and said Puerto Rico needs to consider meeting its energy needs with more environmentally friendly technology.
Tesla is among the U.S. companies sending rooftop panels and batteries to Puerto Rico, where more than 90 percent of homes and businesses remain without electricity after Hurricane Maria destroyed the grid. The storms knocked out power to millions of utility customers who depend largely on fossil-fuel plants and long-distance transmission lines for service. Some in Puerto Rico may be in the dark for months as the grid is repaired.
Tesla said last week that it was sending Puerto Rico hundreds of its Powerwall battery systems, which can be paired with solar panels.