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Tesla Semi leasing partner test drives electric truck prototype

TCI Transportation, a truck leasing company that ordered 50 Tesla Semi electric trucks, got a visit from Tesla today to test drive what they said is a “new electric truck prototype.”

In November 2017, Tesla unveiled two different electric truck prototypes: a silver semi truck with aero top and wheel covers and a more rugged matte black prototype.

The former has been publicly seen over the last year as part of the Tesla Semi development program, but we haven’t seen the black prototype for months after Tesla Semi was setting out on its first cargo trip with battery packs from Gigafactory 1 to the Fremont factory.

The Tesla Semi black prototype finally made a comeback last month and Tesla updated the prototype a few weeks ago.

Now it looks like TCI is testing a “new” version of the silver Tesla Semi prototype. They posted pictures of an event with Tesla today on Twitter:

Last year, TCI already got a test drive in a Tesla Semi prototype when they placed their order, but they are getting a new test drive and they wrote that it’s a “new tractor prototype”:

“The new Tesla Semi Tractor Prototype is here at TCI today!! We had an awesome turn out and people were even given a test drive in it. What a great day for TCI and it’s customers!”

After Tesla revealed the pricing of its electric semi trucks last year, we learned that the regular production versions for the 300-mile and 500-mile range versions will be $150,000 and $180,000 respectively, while the company is also listing a ‘Founders Series’ version for $200,000.

But after a year in development, Musk said that he expects that the production version could be even more efficient with a range closer to 600 miles.

Tesla originally said that it aims to bring the electric truck to production in 2019, but it was over a year ago and the company hasn’t updated the timeline since.

Electrek Take

After the black prototype becoming red and now this comment from TCI, I think Tesla did some updates to its electric truck prototypes ahead of the start of production.

I don’t think we are talking about a brand “new” prototype here. It’s clearly the same silver one that we have seen before, but it likely has some updated components – making it a “new” version of the prototype.

It makes sense considering Musk has been claiming that they have figured out improvements through the development program.

I am really curious to get some updated specs for the Tesla Semi, but I am more interested to see if Tesla can stick to its original price and the cost of operation announced over a year ago.

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