Company head Elon Musk posted a photo to his Instagram of two Tesla Semis about to set off on their first ever run as actual, working trucks, not just prototypes.
“First production cargo trip of the Tesla Semi heavy duty truck, carrying battery packs from the Gigafactory in the Nevada mountains to the car factory in California,” Musk writes in the photo caption.
It’s not surprising that the trucks’ first route is between Tesla’s car factory in the Bay Area and its Gigafactory for battery production just east of Reno, Nevada. Eagle-eyed Tesla spotters had captured video of a Tesla Semi silently rolling on the highway outside Sacramento — about midway between those two points — just last week.
Significantly, this is the first time since the Semi’s unveiling last November that we have seen the truck with a trailer attached. All sightings of road tests had been of just the Semi by itself. The roughly 258-mile journey between the two factories should be well within the truck’s range, even with the weight of a trailer loaded with batteries, as its range is 300 or 500 miles on a single charge depending on the specific model.
Tesla executive Jerome Guillen had indicated last year that the company would look to its own trucks to relieve delivery strains between its two factories. Wednesday’s cargo trip was unannounced — and not necessarily expected quite so soon after the unveiling, considering production on the Semi isn’t expected to begin until 2019 — so it’s not yet clear whether this represents the start of regularly scheduled deliveries or what is essentially a more elaborate real-world test.
So far, Tesla has taken preorders from Pepsi, Walmart, Anheuser-Busch, Noway’s Posten Norge mail serfvice, DHL, UPS, Sysco, Meijer, Ryder, JB Hunt, Asko, and others, for the Tesla Semi. The Tesla Semi price will be between $150,000-$180,000 depending on the model, with a range of 300 or 500 miles.
Either way, it’s the latest indication that Musk and his companies — both SpaceX with Falcon Heavy and now Tesla with its Semi — are moving as fast as they can toward the future. Neither company is perfect: Tesla is still struggling to get Model 3 production ramped up, and Falcon Heavy itself saw years of delays before last month’s launch. But it’s moments like this that make a very different future feel closer than ever.