Just as the diesel truck industry is in disbelief of what Tesla Semi can do and it is asking for proof, CEO Elon Musk taunts them by claiming a Tesla Semi prototype drove ‘across the country alone’.
We have been tracking the Tesla Semi test program for a while now.
Earlier this year, Elon Musk announced that Tesla Semi was setting out on its first cargo trip with battery packs from Gigafactory 1 to Fremont factory. Tesla already said that carrying cargo between its two factories would be the first use of the Tesla Semi trucks and Musk referred to the automaker’s logistic costs to carry cargo between the two locations as “gigantic”.
The two prototypes made it back to Fremont a few days later and one of them, the grey one, has since been spotted around the Midwest.
It was first spotted in St-Louis where it visited Anheuser-Busch, the brewer behind Budweiser who also ordered 40 Tesla Semi trucks last year. The stop at the company gave us our closest look at a Tesla Semi electric truck prototype and its electric motors yet.
Later, it was spotted in Oklahoma and it created a little controversy on its way there when it stopped on the side of the road.
It made it to Texas and then in April, it was back in California.
Over the past few months, it was spotted on a few occasions around Tesla’s home state, but it showed up to J.B. Hunt almost 2,000 miles away in Arkansas yesterday.
Now Musk has commented on our article about the electric truck prototype making it to Arkansas – adding that the vehicle was driven “across the country alone”:
What’s cool is that it was driven across the country alone (no escort or any accompanying vehicles), using the existing Tesla Supercharger network and an extension cord
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 25, 2018
Musk jokingly added that they used a 1,000-mile long extension cord, but he is actually referring a system made of extension cords that they have used to charge Tesla Semi prototypes at Tesla’s regular charging stations.
Tesla Semi is supposed to eventually used its own network of ‘Megachargers’, which can enable a higher charge rate than the Superchargers, but those new stations have yet to be deployed.
People who have witnessed Tesla Semi prototypes charging at Supercharger stations have told Electrek that the system made of extension cords plugs into several Supercharger stalls at the same time and into several charge ports on the truck.
They weren’t able to take any picture of the contraption aside from the one we see above.
It sounds like it’s enabling Tesla Semi to travel very long distances – purely on electric propulsion.