Tesla Semi real-world performance hints at the arrival of a new king of the road

July 28, 2023

The Tesla Semi is not being mass produced yet, but the few units that have been built are being put to use. It is then no surprise that sightings of the all-electric Class 8 trucks operating in the wild are becoming increasingly common. And if these recently shared clips are any indication, it would appear that there is a new king of the road — it just happens to be electric. 

Tesla Model S Plaid owner and self-described “notorious Tesla Semi stalker” @HinrichsZane has been fortunate enough to capture multiple videos of the Semi in the wild. Among the Tesla owner’s recent videos featured the Semi reportedly traveling up a steep grade. Needless to say, it is quite a sight to behold. 

I had some thoughts about how to (safely) capture some video of the Tesla Semi vs diesel semi’s going up a steep grade. The average grade ascending the Donner Pass is 7% up to 16%. This is some of what I captured. #Tesla #teslasemi Tesla runs these semi’s daily, fully loaded up… pic.twitter.com/eEHwc1s0DB

— Zanegler (@HinrichsZane) July 14, 2023

When Elon Musk unveiled the Tesla Semi in late 2017, he emphasized that the all-electric Class 8 truck would outperform its diesel-powered counterparts by a notable margin. These words are proven true by the Model S Plaid owner’s recent videos. In one clip, for example, the Tesla Semi could be seen easily passing several diesel-powered trucks without missing a step. 

Yet another video showed a Tesla Semi unit, which is reportedly carrying a significant amount of weight, smoking a diesel-powered truck on an uphill road, completely without any noise or drama. Interestingly enough, the Semis that have been sighted by the Tesla watcher were painted white, suggesting that they were being used by the electric vehicle maker, not customers like PepsiCo. 

Tesla Semi Smokes Diesel Semi Second Installment – Verdi grade pre-Donner Pass Grade. Diesel bro’s start your hater engines. 😎😂 yes the trailer is carrying a significant weight. Can’t share how I know, but I know. I’ll accept all of your apologies for doubting the veracity of… pic.twitter.com/BGj218HHFH

— Zanegler (@HinrichsZane) July 16, 2023

During a conference in Austin last month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk admitted that the Tesla Semi will likely see meaningful production numbers around late 2024. This suggests that there is some delay in the Semi’s ramp, as Tesla initially expected to build around 50,000 units of the all-electric Class 8 truck in 2024. With a rate of 50,000 units of the Semi per year, Tesla would effectively become one of the largest truck makers in the country today. 

There is much anticipation surrounding the Semi, with numerous high-profile companies placing orders for the all-electric Class 8 truck. These include Walmart, Anheuser-Busch, UPS, DHL, and many others.

Don’t hesitate to contact us with news tips. Just send a message to simon@teslarati.com to give us a heads up. 

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Tesla Semi real-world performance hints at the arrival of a new king of the road