It’s been a long haul, but Tesla’s Semi is finally proving that it’s ready to traverse the open road.
According to Tesla, its electric Semi truck, which has been more than five years in the making, just hit a major milestone by traveling 500 miles on a single charge. As noted in a celebratory tweet from Elon Musk, not only did the Semi complete a 500-mile journey, but it did so while shuttling 81,000 pounds of cargo. Not bad for a battery-powered set of wheels.
While 500 miles might not be a humongous feat in the world of long-haul trucking, it is notable in the world of electric long-haul trucking. And with its feat is relative proof that the pain of the Tesla Semi’s journey to fruition may actually be worth the promise.
Long road — It hasn’t been an easy journey for the Tesla Semi. Elon Musk’s first contribution to the world of regional trucking was first announced way back in 2017 and was supposed to go into production just two years after.
Fast forward to 2022 and here we are, still on the precipice of the Tesla Semi debut. Like many of Musk’s most optimistic claims (especially those regarding self-driving), it’s proven a lot harder to bring a Tesla Semi to fruition than he would have the public believe.
Even with that arduous journey, though, Tesla’s Semi is poised to have a major impact on not just how eco-friendly logistics can be, but how cost-effective they are. As noted by Electrek, driving an electric semi is much cheaper than driving a diesel counterpart, and even more so in a world where oil is an increasingly expensive resource.
Major companies are clearly already taking note of those benefits. Tesla is set to ship 100 of its Semis to Pepsi in December, marking the first major adoption from a corporation of note. Tesla knows how big of a win securing Pepsi’s seal of approval is and is set to hold an event on December 1 when the vehicles are delivered.
A new age — EVs are clearly the future of personal transit, and as such, commercial driving is trending in the same direction. Tesla may be the biggest name in the world of electric trucking, but other competitors like Canoo, which sold 4,500 electric vans to Walmart, are also making major headway in the space.
Electrification of regional shipping isn’t the only goal, either. Tesla has a headstart on self-driving tech, and will use that to its advantage. For shipping companies, the only thing better than cutting costs on fuel is cutting costs on paying a real person a real wage to actually drive something to a different location.
Whether Tesla will be able to dominate the trucking market like its done with consumer-facing EVs is an open question, of course, but with name-brand recognition and years of hard experience under its belt, it’s hard to envision a world where the Tesla Semi doesn’t make a splash.