What are the latest developments with the Tesla Semi?
Tesla has been moving slowly towards its class-8 electric Semi truck production goals since the company's official unveiling on November 16, 2017. The Tesla Semi program has now reportedly been moved into the “limited production” phase.
Above: A look at the Tesla Semi truck (Wikipedia: Steve Jurvetson)
This limited production is taking place at a new purpose-built building at Gigafactory Nevada which is also home to Tesla’s cell production.
Tesla enthusiast Sawyer Merritt (who is connected to some sources at Giga Nevada) recently reported that Tesla Semi production has finally begun at this location.
The latest aerial drone footage of Giga Nevada earlier this month shows a Tesla Semi truck making test runs on the dedicated test track built around its manufacturing building.
Let’s watch how good the Tesla Semi truck in bobtail looks when it performs a test run on the Giga Nevada test track.
Above: Drone shots of the Tesla Semi in limited production at Giga Nevada courtesy of @6463dc via Twitter (YouTube: Sawyer Merritt)
Tesla has set up a dedicated Megacharging station for the Semi at Giga Nevada as well. This is where the automaker is testing and calibrating the charging technology for the huge battery pack inside the Tesla Semi.
A plan for building a network of Tesla Semi Megachargers across the US and Europe trucking rest stops is also underway. This will give the Tesla Semi drivers ease of charging on the way to their logistics destinations and back.
This initial batch of early production Tesla Semis will likely be going to PepsiCo. Because recently the PepsiCo CEO Ramon Laguarta said that his company will be getting the first few Tesla Semis at the end of this year.
The absence of DOT stickers and manufacturer license plates on these newly spotted Tesla Semis also suggest that these trucks are actually production versions for Tesla customers.
Just like the Cybertruck, Tesla Semi also has a large backlog of orders from both large and small companies along with individual customers. Just recently, Karat Packaging bought 10 Tesla Semis for its fleet.