A new vehicle was recently seen and recorded in a flyover video. It was performing some basic tests at the factory backyard without a trailer, including acceleration, braking, turning around/circles.
Tesla enthusiast Sawyer Merritt reports that the vehicle did not have any department of transportation stickers or manufacturer plates:
"A source has informed me that the Tesla Semi is now in limited production. Key word here is LIMITED. Volume production won't start until 2023. This has been independently corroborated by drone footage taken today (Dec 10, 2021) of the Giga Nevada Semi production building, and sent to me. I'm told that unlike previous Tesla Semi builds spotted, this one did not have any department of transportation stickers or manufacturer plates."
A small-scale production or pilot deployment would not surprise us, as it was previously hinted at by Tesla's CEO Elon Musk, who excluded volume production, but not the vehicle deliveries to PepsiCo, which expected the first units by the end of this year.
Previously we saw also that Tesla is building the first Megacharging station at the Giga Nevada site, at which a Tesla Semi was already seen in mid-November. Another report indicates that PepsiCo has received a permit for a Megacharger installation at its own site in California as well.
There are currently at least two Megacharging stalls installed:
Something is clearly happening with the Semi project, despite the fact that series/volume production is delayed and not expected until 2023.
At this point, it's not known where the Tesla Semi would be produced in volume and when exactly it could start - one of the constraints is probably Tesla's 4680-type cylindrical cells.
Sawyer Merritt reported earlier this month also about a high number of Tesla Megapacks battery energy storage systems, produced at the plant and ready for shipment:
A separate report is about the expansion of the parking lot around the buildings: