A recent YouTube video showed footage of a Tesla Semi driving in broad daylight on a highway near Sacramento, Calif.
This was the first time the vehicle has been seen in operation since the plug-in electric Class 8 truck was unveiled in Nov. 2017. The Tesla Semi is expected to go into production in 2019 but so far, its only public appearance has been at the launch event.
After the video came out, Tesla Founder and CEO Elon Musk posted a picture of two Tesla Semi’s with trailers in tow, out in the open. In the photo description he said that the two trucks were on their first production cargo trip, carrying battery packs from Tesla’s factory in Nevada to its car factory in Northern California.
This is in line with what the company said in a presentation in Europe after the launch. Jerome Guillen, Tesla’s vice president of truck and programs said that Tesla would be its own first customer and would use the Tesla Semi to haul cargo on a 260-mile route between facilities in Freemont, Calif., and Reno, Nev.
The Tesla Semi will be produced in two versions, a base model with a 300-mile range and an extended range version that can go up to 500 miles on a charge. The base model starts a $150,000 and the 500-mile range version will sell for $180,000.
The company is accepting reservations for the vehicle costing $20,000 and so far, high profile fleets like UPS, PepsiCo, Anheuser-Busch, J.B. Hunt, and Walmart have all placed orders for multiple vehicles.