We recently reported that Tesla has built a new semi electric truck prototype, maybe the first in three years, ahead of the start of production later this year.
Now we get a closer look at the Tesla Semi, as it was spotted at a truck stop.
New Tesla Semi prototype
As we reported earlier this week, a new Tesla Semi prototype was spotted being transported in Sacramento.
It’s the first time we have seen a new Tesla Semi prototype since the electric truck was unveiled in 2017.
At the time, Tesla unveiled two prototypes, and the automaker took them around the US to do some real-world road testing and show them to customers who reserved the electric truck with deposit.
During that time, Tesla officials talked about using what they learn from road tests to improve on the prototypes and deliver a better production product.
Three years later, we now see the first new version of the Tesla Semi.
After the first sighting on the highway earlier this week, trucker Cory Draper spotted the same prototype at a truck stop and provided a video that gives us a closer look at the new Tesla Semi prototype:
As we previously reported, the new prototype looks very similar to Tesla’s original design but with some refinements.
Heres a side-by-side with the previous prototype on the right:
It shows that Tesla removed one of the lines at the top of the front fenders and it also elongated the back panels.
The front slope also appears to have changed a bit, but that’s hard to tell from pictures.
Draper was also able to take a look at the back of the Tesla Semi prototype and at its chassis:
When unveiling Tesla Semi in 2017, the automaker said that the electric truck would be available in 2019.
After a few delays, Tesla talked about “low-volume production in late 2020,” but the timeline was later pushed to 2021.
Last summer, CEO Elon Musk told employees in an email obtained by Electrek that “it’s time to bring Tesla Semi to volume production” without updating the timeline.
The CEO later said that the Tesla Semi would be produced at Gigafactory Texas in Austin.
Recently, we have also seen indications that Tesla is gearing up to have some production of the Tesla Semi at Gigafactory Nevada.
During Tesla’s earnings report last week, Musk said that Tesla Semi is ready for production, but the automaker can’t achieve volume production until Tesla ramps up 4680 battery cell production.
The automaker originally said that the production versions of Tesla Semi, which are class 8 trucks with 80,000-lb. capacities, would have 300-mile and 500-mile range options for $150,000 and $180,000, respectively.
However, Musk said that they found opportunities to extend that range during testing.
More recently, the CEO said that the Tesla Semi production version will have closer to 600 miles of range.
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