Back in November, PepsiCo CEO Ramon Laguarta remarked that his company was expecting its first Tesla Semi deliveries in the fourth quarter. This was a surprise to electric vehicle enthusiasts, as Tesla CEO Elon Musk noted during the 2021 Annual Shareholder Meeting that the Class 8 all-electric hauler would be hitting volume production in 2023. Yet if recent sightings at the Giga Nevada area are any indication, it appears that the Semi is now in limited production — and Tesla is doing some interesting tests with its freshly made trucks.
The Semi’s new video, which was shared on YouTube by Tesla advocate Sawyer Merritt, was shot last Friday near Gigafactory Nevada. The truck in the footage was reportedly manufactured in a production facility that has been constructed near Tesla’s massive battery plant. While the Semi in the footage looked quite similar to the white painted, updated prototypes that have been spotted several times this year, the new truck reportedly did not have any stickers from the Department of Transportation, nor did it have manufacturer plates.
Sightings of the Tesla Semi have been going on for some time, but what makes last Friday’s footage quite special was that it showcased a clear tire-shredding acceleration run from the Class 8 all-electric truck. The footage was brief, lasting only two and a half minutes, but it was enough to show just how quick the Semi really is when it accelerates at full speed. Granted, the Semi was not pulling a trailer when it was captured on video, but it’s still remarkable to see such a large all-electric vehicle run like a sports car on the road.
Also quite interesting was the Semi’s incredibly tight turning radius. After running the length of the production facility near Giga Nevada, the Semi simply took a U-turn to head back. The vehicle then proceeded to showcase its turning circle several more times, and just like its acceleration, the Semi’s turning radius is pretty remarkable. This bodes well for the Semi’s maneuverability, which would likely help it stand apart from its more conventional, more traditional competitors.
If recent reports are accurate and the Tesla Semi has indeed entered limited production, it would suggest that the company might be working with some of its first customers as part of its efforts to refine and finalize the Class 8 hauler. Considering CEO Laguarta’s statements last November, PepsiCo could very well be one of these first customers. PepsiCo has been dropping hints about its upcoming Tesla Semi fleet as of late, after all. Earlier this year, the company noted that it was expecting to receive 15 units of the Semi by the end of 2021. PepsiCo has also received a permit for a Tesla Megacharger at its Modesto, California facility.
Watch the Tesla Semi burn some rubber in the video below.
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