How a Tesla Semi Prototype Looks and Sounds on the Road

Saturday, 20 January 2018 - 4:53PM
Technology
Saturday, 20 January 2018 - 4:53PM
How a Tesla Semi Prototype Looks and Sounds on the Road
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YouTube/Brandon Camargo

Tesla's official electric semi truck is technically not finished yet, and won't be for sale for at least another year (likely longer). But prototypes do exist.

Tesla founder Elon Musk has previously waxed poetic about how much he enjoyed driving a prototype, and some footage of a Tesla Semi cruising through Sunnyvale, California recently surfaces - a short drive from Tesla's Silicon Valley headquarters in the city of Palo Alto. Taken by Brandon Camargo, the video shows the Semi sans any cargo quietly whirring along the street.

And it is extremely quiet for a truck, a byproduct of running on electricity rather than gallons of gas, and an unusual thing to see/hear since electric trucks are an even newer concept than small electric cars. See the short video below:



While it's unclear how far this prototype model can currently go, the official Tesla Semi is planned to come in two different models, capable of traveling 300 or 500 miles on a single charge. According to Tesla, the trucks will be able to go from zero to 60 miles per hour in under 20 seconds, with up to an 80,000 pound load hitched on the back.

They're expensive, to be sure - the two models are expected to go for $150,000 and $180,000 per truck, and if you're getting one, chances are you're a company that's planning to get several. But you'll certainly save money on gas, and the trucks will have access to a super powerful "megacharger" that should be able to restore 400 miles of traveling in under half an hour.

Again, that's all according to Tesla, and we don't know if the one just seen on the street can do any of that just yet.

This may be one of the first times anyone who's not Musk himself or a Tesla employee has seen one in action, but the Semi is already drawing in some big potential buyers who want a fleet of electric trucks to call their own. Wal-Mart and several other companies have been pre-ordering Tesla Semis to ship their supplies around once the trucks finally go up for sale, whenever that may be.

It could be awhile though. The release window is already vague, and Tesla isn't always known for working quickly. But when the electric trucks finally start passing you by on the street, you might not even hear it coming.

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