Tesla Semi makes its way east in a cross-country customer tour

Updated Sep 2, 2018

There’s been no shortage of sightings of the Tesla Semi in the wild since the truck’s unveiling last November, but nearly all of them have been isolated to California. Last week, however, that changed, with a Tesla Semi making its way 1,800 miles from the Tesla’s Semi home in Sparks, Nevada, to fleet giant J.B. Hunt’s headquarters in Lowell, Arkansas.

It was then spotted Sunday in the Chicago area at a UPS terminal — another 600 miles from Lowell.

Ruan Tesla 1 2018 08 31 08 47Ruan also hosted the electrified tractor this week in Des Moines, Iowa.

“We are excited to have an opportunity to experience the new electric semis. The reservation of these vehicles is part of Ruan’s sustainability efforts and commitment to providing our customers and professional drivers with the best technology available,” says James Cade, vice president of fleet services. “We will continue to be involved with the team at Tesla Motors as they introduce the trucks to the market. We will work with them directly to ensure the vehicles will serve us and our customers to the level we both expect.”

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the tractor was “driven across the country alone (no escort or any accompanying vehicles), using the existing Tesla Supercharger network and an extension cord.”

That extension cord, according to some who were at J.B. Hunt headquarters when the truck was being showcased, can be connected to multiple standard Tesla superchargers individually at the same time.

Lowell, Ark., is nearly 1,800 miles from Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory, which serves as the Semi’s home base. The truck is expected to enter production next year, and Ruan, UPS and JB Hunt are early adopters, both having placed orders for dozens of Tesla Semis once they come to market.

Tesla will offer two Semi models: one with a 300-mile range and another with a 600-mile range.