Tesla Semi Prototype Now Spotted in Chicago, Ahead of Mass Production

by Eva Fox February 06, 2021

Tesla Semi Prototype Now Spotted in Chicago, Ahead of Mass Production

Photo: u / bigschlong24lg / Reddit

Recently there was positive news about the start of production of the Tesla Semi. They appeared in parallel with a sighting in California of the first prototype of the truck with an updated and previously unseen design. There are now reports of yet another Semi prototype with an updated design that has been spotted in Illinois.

Earlier this week, a new Tesla Semi prototype was spotted by The Kilowatts/Twitter in Sacramento, California. According to guesses based on the direction of the truck, it could be delivered to Giga Nevada.

Semi had a number of design upgrades:

  • The most notable change is the redesign of the truck's cab. It became lengthened and received additional side shields with windows. It seemed that this is the sleeper version. But in other photos, we could see that these are only shields, and the cab itself is not as long as it seems at first glance.
  • The headlights now have a stunning smoked look.
  • The front bumper of the electric truck has also undergone changes. Previously, it was ribbed, but now it only has a few graceful curves.
  • The cab step has also changed to better complement the other exterior changes.
  • The handles have a completely different shape, which seems more practical for a truck.


On February 5, Reddit user u/bigschlong24lg shared photos of another Semi, which was spotted in Chicago, Illinois. At first glance, it was the same as previously seen in Sacramento. The timeframe hinted that this is the same truck being transported somewhere. However, after a detailed review and comparison of the photos, it became apparent that this is a different truck.



The first thing the community drew attention to was that the trucks were shod with tires from different manufacturers. Semi from Sacramento was fitted with Bridgestone tires, while the truck from Chicago was fitted with a set of Goodyear tires.

The second difference was that Semi in Chicago did not have the mysterious box mounted behind the cab that was seen in the prototype in Sacramento. This box may have contained equipment for logging and telemetry. Since there were several cables connected to it and the truck was being tested, this explanation seems quite reasonable.


Source: Cory Draper/YouTube

Another additional clue was that the platform on which the truck was transported was different from that previously seen. They were completely different platforms with different numbers of wheels and different colors.

At the end of December, we received information that 4 prototypes of the Semi will be produced at Giga Nevada, which will undergo a series of tests. Two of them will undergo road tests. Another will be tested in cold weather conditions in Alaska. The fourth will undergo durability tests. The recently seen prototypes seem to be two of the four produced.

User Reddit u/fart_reactor is an OEM employee who goes to test cars in winter conditions every year. He said that there is a private test track in Minnesota, near the border with Canada and therefore suggested that the Tesla Semi could be heading there. It could be a reasonable guess.



According to information from a parts supplier to Tesla, the company intends to begin pilot production of the Semi in July 2021, in Nevada. Full production will begin in August 2021, also at Giga Nevada. Thus, it is planned to accumulate at least 350 cumulative builds by August 2021. In light of this information, it appears that the trucks seen are test vehicles undergoing final testing, after which pilot production will begin.

© 2021, Eva Fox. All rights reserved.

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Article edited by @SmokeyShorts, you can follow him on Twitter









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