After staying under the radar for the past few months, Tesla’s matte black Semi prototype has been spotted on US roads once more. This time around, the all-electric long hauler was sighted pulling a trailer at the 40-stall Kettleman City Supercharger, located between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The matte black Tesla Semi prototype was photographed by Tesla enthusiast James Douma, who noted that he spotted the vehicle on Wednesday afternoon. In a conversation with Teslarati, James stated that the vehicle seemed to be traveling alone, as the truck only had one person inside. Such an observation is quite interesting, considering that the silver Semi test mule traveling across the United States is usually accompanied by a team of engineers.

The Tesla enthusiast also remarked that he was informed by the staff of the Kettleman City Supercharger that it was the first time the matte black Semi prototype visited the location. The silver Semi test mule, on the other hand, has reportedly visited the site on four different occasions. The matte black Semi did not stay very long in the Kettleman site on Wednesday, though, as the vehicle promptly left the location soon after the photos were taken.

Tesla’s matte black Semi prototype makes a rare appearance at the Kettleman City Supercharger. (Photo: James Douma)

Sightings of the Tesla Semi during recent months have featured the silver test mule, which has been spotted in multiple states across the US. The matte black Semi, which also made an appearance at the vehicle’s unveiling back in November 2017, was last seen in April as it was being transported on a trailer heading east into I-80 in the Des Moines, IA area, near the headquarters of Ruan Transportation Management Systems, a reservation holder for the all-electric truck.

Prior to that, the matte black Semi was sighted a couple of times with its silver sibling, as the vehicles transported cargo between Tesla’s Fremont factory and Gigafactory 1 in Nevada. The last sighting of the matte black truck traveling alone was back in January, when it was filmed driving down a street in Sunnyvale, CA. While the electric car maker has not provided a reason behind the vehicle’s absence during the past few months, it is nonetheless refreshing to the see sleek prototype back on the roads once more.

Tesla’s matte black Semi prototype makes a rare appearance at the Kettleman City Supercharger. (Photo: James Douma)

The Tesla Semi has the potential to be the company’s most disruptive vehicle to date. Being designed to compete in the highly-competitive trucking industry, the Semi is equipped with several features that make it a viable and preferable alternative to diesel-powered vehicles. The Semi is propelled by four Model 3-derived electric motors that provide instant torque, allowing the Semi to go from 0-60 mph in 5 seconds flat without a trailer. The vehicle was also announced with a range of either 300 miles or 500 miles per charge, though Elon Musk later noted that truck’s long-range variant would have closer to 600 miles of range per charge.

The Tesla Semi is set to be supported by a network of Megachargers, which would be capable of replenishing 400 miles of range in as little as 30 minutes of charging. Unlike the Supercharger Network, which has a power output of roughly 120 kW, speculations are high that Tesla’s Megacharger will see around ten times the power levels. As Tesla conducts road tests of the Semi, though, the company has been adopting a temporary charging solution for the vehicle, using a series of Supercharger stalls connected to a hub, which is, in turn, connected to the all-electric truck.

Source: TeslaRati

December 13, 2018