Tesla Semi Spotted In Sunnyvale
If you were driving through Sunnyvale, California, recently, you might have been surprised to see a large matte black vehicle coming toward you. Turns out, it was a prototype of the Tesla Semi driving between Tesla headquarters nearby and the factory in Fremont. It just so happens the truck was driving past a local UPS facility when UPS employee Brandon Carmago spotted it and captured this brief video below. UPS is one of the trucking companies that has already placed a large pre-order for the Tesla Semi.
Sharp-eyed readers will notice that this truck is fitted with conventional side-view mirrors. The concept that Elon Musk showed off during the truck’s official reveal last November had no exterior mirrors, relying instead on video cameras. Eliminating the mirrors will reduce wind resistance significantly, an important consideration for electric vehicles where range is always a concern. But various federal and state regulators must first approve of dispensing with the conventional mirrors.
The truck also had a USDOT identification number on its flank, suggesting it may actually be part of Tesla’s own supply chain operations, according to Teslarati. Tesla has to transport battery components from its Gigafactory in Nevada to the assembly line. It only makes sense it would use its own electric trucks for that purpose whenever possible, partly to cut down on diesel emissions and partly to get some real-world feedback on the design before production begins.
Model 3 In East Coast Showrooms
In other news, Tesla is putting its Model 3 midsize cars on display in three East Coast locations. The cars arrived in showrooms in New York and Boston on Friday, January 19, and will be in Miami the following week, according to a CNBC report. At present, the company is only building one version of the Model 3 while it struggles to get production running smoothly at its Fremont factory. With an estimated 400,000–500,000 reservations pending for the car worldwide, it appears that orders placed today will not get filled for some time.
Putting the Model 3 on display in showrooms could be a signal that it is ready to add more options to the cars coming off the production line. At present, only cars with the larger of the two available batteries and a single electric motor driving the rear wheels are being manufactured. If that’s the car you want, you may be in luck, but if you want the standard battery and/or dual motors, you may be in for a bit of a wait.
When Tesla brought cars to two California locations recently, it caused a frenzy of excitement. The same thing is likely to happen in those east coast showrooms as well in coming days.