Amidst the flurry of news about Tesla Model 3 deliveries at the end of 2018, some other information about things happening at Tesla these days got pushed to the side. Now that the end-of-year madness is over, here are a few things you may have missed.
Tesla Semi In Red
Until now, it seems there were only two Tesla Semi prototypes spotted out in the real world. One was the black truck parked behind Elon Musk at the reveal ceremony; the other was a silver version. Imagine how surprised Reddit member u/CardSpecialist was a few days after Christmas when he spotted a red Tesla Semi taking up 15 spaces at the Kettleman City Supercharger station located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
He managed to take some photos and get a quick word with the driver, who said the red truck was definitely getting a lot more attention from other motorists than the black truck ever did. Analyzing the license plate information later revealed this actually was the black truck decked out in a bright red wrapper. The Semi was hooked up to only one Supercharger at the time. Although, in previous sightings, it has been seen connected to as many as 4 chargers at once.
Tesla Semi production is expected to begin before the end of 2019, but the head of investor relations at Tesla, Martin Viecha, said last September the company will be “earnestly” producing the all-electric trucks in 2020, according to reporting by Teslarati.
Tesla Supercharger Expansion In 2018
In a series of tweets at the end of the year, Tesla said it had installed over 3,100 Superchargers globally in 2018. “Our network now covers 99% of the US population and 97% of Europe and will continue to grow in 2019. While home or workplace charging covers about 90% of daily driving, the Supercharger network enables charging while away from home or on road trips,” the company said.
The best of the 4 end-of-year tweets show how every Tesla now automatically shows the location of each Supercharger along the route once the driver programs in a destination. That was followed by another tweet showing all the Supercharger locations between Sweden and Spain as a demo.
— Tesla (@Tesla) December 30, 2018
New Leasing Unit Chartered In China
On the other side of the planet from the red Semi, Tesla has registered a new business in China, according Autoblog. Citing a filing with the National Enterprise Information Publicity System, the new entity will focus on leasing and consultancy. Its initial capitalization is $30 million and its registered agent is Zhu Xiaotong, head of operations for Tesla in China. The company declined a request for comment on the story.
The move is a further signal that Tesla plans to move ahead with its plans to bring its electric cars to China as soon as possible. Deliveries of US-made Model 3s are expected to begin in the spring, with locally produced cars arriving in about a year from the new factory under construction in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.
2019 will be a hugely important year for Tesla as it pushes forward with plans to continue ramping up production of the Model 3 while building a new factory in China, expanding its Supercharger network, shepherding the upcoming Model Y through its gestation period, and getting the Tesla Semi into production. Oh yeah, and then there’s also the Tesla pickup truck, yet to be seen but apparently Elon Musk’s favorite project at the moment. Keep up to date with all things Tesla here at CleanTechnica throughout the coming year.
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