Chance Encounter Reveals Tesla’s Prototype Semi

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While many are criticizing electric car manufacturer Tesla for the repeated delays of its Model 3 vehicle, the company generated some positive press recently with the reveal of its prototype semi trucks. The electric trucks, which premiered at the Tesla Semi unveiling event held in November of this year, promise to be the next thing in eco-friendly commercial transport. While it piqued plenty of curiosity, web coverage of the event made it difficult for remote viewers to get a clear look at the vehicles, while some attendees had the opportunity to take short test drives and explore the truck’s cab. Thankfully, those who could not attend the event can now take a closer look at the vehicles thanks to a chance encounter with the prototype.

This week an instagram user managed to take photos and videos of the prototype Tesla semi truck in broad daylight, offering a much clearer picture than the dim and moody atmosphere of November’s unveiling event. The sleek black truck was spotted without any trailer attached, giving a more accurate view of its dimensions and construction. The truck was photographed and filmed near the Tesla Design Studio in Hawthorne, California. Because of this, the truck was only moving at a snail’s crawl of 5 mph, so viewers won’t be able to glean much about the truck’s performance.

Based on the largely empty space at the back of the cab, it is clear that the battery pack is situated somewhere beneath the truck, meaning it won’t significantly interfere with the vehicle’s load capacity. The photos also provide more detail of the truck’s hitch system. Other details include the cab’s doors which, based on the new images, open in reverse, along with side windows that pop outward rather than rolling down. According to Tesla, the truck’s unique cab was designed in emulation of the bullet trains that dominate Japanese public transport.

According to Tesla, the truck should be available within two years. The company has already taken its first wave of orders for the vehicles, with DHL and Walmart being two of the biggest names to sign on. Interest in the vehicle exceeded the company’s expectations so quickly that they were forced to raise the reserve price four-fold. The standard version of the vehicle, with a range of 300 miles, is set to retail at $150,000. The 500-mile model will run around $180,000, while the Founders Edition will cost $200,000 and be produced in limited quantities.

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