Tesla Semi Trucks Finally Hit the Road: Was the Wait Worth it?


Tesla Semi Trucks Finally Hit the Road: Was the Wait Worth it?

A Tesla Semi has been nothing more than a daydream for the past five years. The company announced the revolutionary new truck all the way back in 2017. And we have been waiting patiently to see if Tesla will back up the lofty claims it made back then.

Claims of “the industry’s first class 8 truck with 500 miles of range” seemed outrageous at the time. But Tesla has finally delivered on its promise. Commercial clients like Pepsi Co. are staking their claim to the new Semi, and the trucking industry is starting to take Tesla seriously.

Now that the Tesla Semi is finally here, let’s find out how we got to this point and if this revolutionary truck is really ready for the mainstream.

Pepsi Takes Delivery of the First Tesla Semi

Tesla initially planned to begin production of the Tesla Semi in 2019. However, the lack of sufficient battery production and external factors like the pandemic threw a wrench in the works. It wasn’t until October 2022 that Elon Musk finally confirmed that the production was underway.

Pepsi was the first customer to take delivery of the Tesla Semi. The company received 15 models for its bottling and snack food transportation enterprises. According to the Wallstreet Journal, the California Air Resources Board looks to be providing half of the funding necessary for Pepsi to replace its current fleet of trucks with 15 Tesla Semis.

tesla semi trucks
PepsiCo plans to roll out 100 heavy-duty Tesla Semis in 2023.

As the first company to take a chance on Tesla’s industry-disrupting truck, Pepsi’s experience is crucial. Feedback at this stage will determine how quickly future companies adopt the new truck.

Delays have plagued Tesla since the beginning. And if the past is anything to go by, it is understandable why some companies are hesitant to do business with Tesla and Elon Musk. Even so, the new Tesla Semi is pretty exciting for the trucking industry’s future. Let’s get into what makes this new launch so unique.

How Powerful Is the Tesla Semi?

Even when fully loaded at 82k lbs Gross Weight, the Tesla Semi can haul even the heaviest loads at high speeds. And with Elon Musk claiming a range of 500 miles, you won’t have to stop and recharge as frequently as you might think. Since most trips are relatively short, typically 250 miles or less, this is more than enough range.

Additionally, letting your truck recharge while loading and unloading is significantly more efficient than spending time at the gas station. If you do need to recharge, the Tesla Semi has you covered.

Its fast charging capability allows you to add up to 70% of range in just 30 minutes, so you can get back on the road in no time. And with an energy consumption of fewer than 2 kWh per mile, you’ll also save money on electricity costs compared to conventional diesel trucks.

Tesla’s Semi is also competitively fast, with a 0-60 mph acceleration time of just 20 seconds. And thanks to its three independent motors on the rear axles, it can maintain highway speeds even while climbing a 5% grade. The aerodynamic design is a major contributing factor, with a drag coefficient lower than a Bugatti Chiron. 

The lower center of gravity, thanks to the massive battery pack under the cabin, makes all of this possible. In addition to making the vehicle faster and more efficient, it is also safer. Since the center of gravity is lower, the truck is less likely to roll over. While complaints about slow trucks have never been an issue, the Tesla Semi design makes for a safer highway environment overall.

Why Would Companies Switch to Tesla Semi Trucks?

Diesel trucks have dominated the trucking industry for decades. While many old-school truckers say that this isn’t about to change anytime soon, the writing is on the wall for the classic internal combustion truck. Now that electric cars are growing in popularity at an alarming rate, the commercial sector is looking to get in on the EV action.

One of the most significant selling points of the Tesla semi is its cost-effectiveness. According to Tesla, charging the vehicle with electricity is approximately 2.5 times cheaper per mile than refueling with diesel.

tesla semi
The Tesla Semi is powered by three motors and is claimed to have approximately three times the power of a typical diesel semi-truck.

This means that operators can see significant fuel savings over the life of the vehicle. Tesla estimates companies who take the plunge could save up to $200,000 within their first three years of ownership.

Additionally, the Tesla Semi requires less maintenance than traditional semi-trucks, thanks to its advanced design. Because it has fewer moving parts, it’s less likely to break down or need repair. Additionally, with remote diagnostics and over-the-air software updates, drivers can quickly troubleshoot any issues without wasting valuable driving time at a service center.

The Environmental Benefits of Electric Trucks

Perhaps the most consequential effect of the Tesla Semi is a paradigm shift in the trucking industry. This shift can’t come sooner, with the adverse effects of the diesel trucking industry showing more and more every year. The biggest victim of the diesel trucking industry is undoubtedly our environment.

One of the main ways that diesel trucks harm the environment is through the emissions they produce. Diesel engines release harmful pollutants into the air, including nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and carbon dioxide. These pollutants can have severe health impacts, especially for people living near highways and major thoroughfares.

In addition to the health impacts, diesel truck emissions also contribute to climate change. Carbon dioxide, also known as CO2, traps heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, leading to rising temperatures and other climate changes. The transportation sector, including the trucking industry, is a major contributor to CO2 emissions, and diesel trucks are a significant part of this contribution.

Another way the diesel trucking industry harms the environment is through the extraction and transportation of fossil fuels, which are required to produce diesel fuel. The extraction and transportation of fossil fuels can have various negative environmental impacts, including air and water pollution and habitat destruction.

Tesla Semis do not immediately eradicate the threat to our environment. Since the sources of electricity are not entirely renewable yet, you will still marginally rely on fossil fuels for some time. However, as more companies make the switch, infrastructure improves, and renewable energy sources are upgraded, we’ll see a significant reduction in emissions.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can you buy a Tesla Semi truck?

Production started in October 2022, and you can place a preorder for your Tesla Semi truck now.





How much is the deposit for a Tesla Semi? 

You will need to pay a $5,000 fee to reserve it, with an additional $15,000 within ten days.

Has Tesla sold any Semis? 

Yes, Pepsi Co. was the first customer to take delivery of the Tesla Semi on December 1, 2022.

How many miles will a Tesla Semi last? 

The Tesla Semi will have a range of 300 to 500 miles, depending on capacity and driving conditions.

How long does the Tesla Semi take to charge? 

It only takes about 30 minutes to reach 70% charge, meaning drivers can recharge while loading and unloading cargo.

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