One of the Tesla Semis was recently spotted driving Donner Pass in California, effortlessly outpacing other class 8 semi-trucks.

It's not the first sighting of this type, as Tesla already teased the Semi capabilities during the launch of the vehicle, which was called "a beast."

Twitter user Zanegler (@HinrichsZane), who shared new videos, explains that Tesla is testing some of its early Semi vehicles "fully loaded" to see whether there will be any reliability issues.

"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 this grade and on other routes to uncover any issues and remediate them before they begin volume delivery. More on this later."

With a powerful tri-motor powertrain, the Tesla Semi is promised to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour (96.5 km/h) in just 20 seconds (when fully loaded - which means 82,000 lbs (37,195 kg) Gross Combination Weight (GCW)).

 

As we can see, Tesla's Semi is capable enough to overtake other semi-trucks (or cars) at highway speeds, even when driving uphill.

Along the route, a surplus of power can be an important feature from both safety and comfort perspectives.

 

However, we don't know how much such a type of driving affects range, which according to the specs is up to 500 miles (804 km).

Higher speed means higher energy consumption, while acceleration to reach a particular speed can be partially offset by regenerative braking.

In a broader analysis, also the time factor is very important because saving time (vehicle usage and driver work) also has value, which potentially exceeds an increase in energy consumption.

Tesla Semi specs (2022):

  • Fully loaded at 82,000 lbs (37,195 kg) Gross Combination Weight
  • Range: about 300 miles (483 km) or 500 miles (804 km)
    (two battery options)
  • Energy Consumption: less than 2 kWh/mile (1.24 kWh/km)
  • Estimated battery capacity (based on range and energy consumption): lower than 600 kWh or 1,000 kWh (1 MWh)
  • Acceleration 0-60 mph (96.5 km/h): 20 seconds (when fully loaded)
  • Speed up a 5% Grade: Highway speed limit
  • Powertrain: 3 independent motors (vs. four motors in the initial specs in 2017)
    - two electric motors for acceleration at the rear axle (with automatic disengage)
    - one electric motor for highway driving at the second axle (constantly engaged)
    - carbon-sleeved rotors just like Plaid
  • Fast Charging: up to 70% of range in 30 minutes
  • Fuel Savings (est.): up to $200,000 over 3 years

Gallery: Tesla truck 2019