There were many naysayers who believed the Tesla Semi would not be an effective hauler compared to traditional diesel-powered semi trucks, but new independent testing shows the electric Semi is the real deal and set to disrupt the trucking industry.
This independent testing has been taking place at the Run On Less event held by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE). Within this program are 3 of PepsiCo’s fleet of 21 Tesla Semis stationed in Sacramento, which over the last 18 days have been performing daily runs and reporting their stats back to NACFE, which publishes the results daily on their website.
As we previously reported the three Semi’s shined on the first day of testing, with one achieving an impressive 335 miles (539km) on a single charge, concluding the run with a 17% state of charge (SoC) remaining. The second Semi covered a distance of 295 miles (475km) before recharging, leaving it with 21% SoC. The third Semi outperformed the others with a range of 377 miles (607km), depleting its battery to just 1.76% at the end of the test.
The one piece of information that NACFE doesn’t publish is the payload, but according to PepsiCo “approximately 65% of miles driven during the first two weeks of Run on Less were loaded to a gross vehicle weight plus load of over 70,000 pounds.”
While we don’t know the payload on the second to last day of the event, day 17, one of the Tesla Semi trucks was able to cover a remarkable 1,076 miles, or 1,731km in a single day. While covering that distance the Semi plugged in to recharge three times, taking about 1 hour to replenish the battery from 10% to 46% on the first charge, then just 1.5 hours to take it from 3% to 89% on the second charge, and finally 25 minutes to go from 18% to 52% on the final charge.
As noted by one of the Tesla Semi engineers, this is just the beginning for the electric hauler. “A Tesla Semi (fully-electric semi-truck) covered 1000 miles yesterday. Congrats to the team that helped make this vehicle possible. This is just the beginning; electric trucks will continue to replace dirty, polluting diesel trucks over the coming years,” said Evan Chenoweth, a Staff Mechanical Design Engineer for the Tesla Semi, on LinkedIn. (via Teslarati)
These results shed any doubts as to the effectiveness of the Tesla Semi, and should quieten the naysayers, the most notable of whom was Bill Gates, who once said electrifying heavy, long-haul trucks is the wrong solution.
:The problem is that batteries are big and heavy. The more weight you’re trying to move, the more batteries you need to power the vehicle. But the more batteries you use, the more weight you add—and the more power you need. Even with big breakthroughs in battery technology, electric vehicles will probably never be a practical solution for things like 18-wheelers, cargo ships, and passenger jets. Electricity works when you need to cover short distances, but we need a different solution for heavy, long-haul vehicles.”
Here are the full results for Tesla Semi 3 on day 17.