First Daytime Video Of Tesla Semi Surfaces

1 month ago by Eric Loveday 30

Tesla Semi Truck #tesla #teslasemi #teslasemitruck #spyshot #truckspotted #carspotted #carporn #truckporn #allelectric #electric #instavid #vidoftheday #teslahawthorne #teslahq #teslaheadquarters #teslaroadster #roadster

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We’ve seen it at night, at the big reveal, but now here’s some daytime footage of the Tesla Semi in action.

It’s brief and there’s no acceleration tests, but at least we get a solid look at the Tesla Semi with proper lighting.

Notable is how sleek it looks from an aerodynamic perspective. Notice those hidden wheels and tires.

The Tesla Semi has logged hundreds of known orders, plus some unknown for sure, with the latest being from Budweiser and Sysco.

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30 responses to "First Daytime Video Of Tesla Semi Surfaces"

  1. theflew says:

    That low skirt is going to get a lot of abuse.

    1. Kamran says:

      This Tesla Truck is all hype.. All their so called orders are just option contracts if the truck is actually delivered and some free publicity.

      Some truth if you dare to read is here with a real look at the economic reality.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Whoever wrote that Bloomberg article, if they honestly believe what they wrote (which IMHO is questionable), is both scientifically illiterate and woefully ignorant about EV engineering. There is nothing in Tesla’s claims which push up against the limits of the laws of physics.

        ProTerra is already using 500 kW chargers for its EV buses. “Using” as in everyday use, not merely some “test case” demonstration. Doubling or even tripling that level of charge, for Tesla’s “MegaChargers”, requires nothing more than using off-the-shelf high voltage electrical systems. By comparison, a single electric induction furnace can draw up to 42 megawatts (MW), so let’s not pretend that a draw of 1-1.5 MW is anything extraordinary for industry. Large skyscrapers can draw more than 10 MW at times, so 1-1.5 MW is also well within commercial power uses.

        Also, stuffing a lot of batteries into a small car like the Roadster Mark II is nothing new. Lots of people have done that as a stunt to show off how far a small EV can go if it’s stuffed full of batteries. We’ve seen several articles about that, on InsideEVs, over the past few years (see, for example, the link below). Tesla will, apparently, be the first to put such a car into production, but again there’s nothing particularly difficult about it from an engineering standpoint. Just don’t expect all the batteries in the Roadster Mark II to be under the floor, like Tesla’s other cars. I would guess they’ll stuff some under the hood and behind the back seat.

        We need to exercise critical thinking when we read articles about Tesla on financial websites. There is a high level of “interest” in shorting Tesla stock, and sadly that often takes the form of articles highly biased against Tesla while pretending to be objective. Like that one from Bloomberg.

        1. Kosh says:

          “Whoever wrote that Bloomberg article,”….

          Is a Tesla Shorter.

          I fixed it for you PP!

      2. Bill Howland says:

        Yeah there are some valid questions that your link brings up – although the new Roadster seems more straight-forward than the Semi – at least to these eyes.

        Pushi is just rehashing stuff I’ve already said, but left out one important point: If you have the CA$H to pay for it.

        Tesla’s business plan allows for charging vehicles at a loss – deaming all such charges ‘Not Material’ financially.

        So, they’ll subsidize charging of the the semi’s as they do most people charging at their SuperCharger stations.

        As long as the stock market keeps rising, Tesla will be unconcerned.

        1. Nick says:

          They’ve already stated 7 cents per KWh will cover their costs.

          Do you think they’re lying?

          1. Bill Howland says:

            I recently talked to one factory owner around here just east of Rochester down the street from the Ginna Nuclear Plant. Harbec Plastics. I asked as a broad average (you can’t just say its one cost as you do at home) what he pays for electricity (he has 1 800 hp and 1 1200 hp windmill on the property to recover some cost). He says its around 14 cents/kwh, and his loading of his plant (24 hour a day operation) makes it as cheap as possible.

            Do I think Tesla is lying, no I don’t. They’ll just subsidize it as the article said.

            I never worry about what minutia Musk says during speeches because in the final analysis he doesn’t worry about it – so I shouldn’t either.

    2. Steven says:

      Selling replacement (non-warrantee) parts is a valid revenue stream.

  2. Mark says:

    i don’t like those break lights

  3. William says:

    Try NOT to rub the Tesla Truck Skirt, and all of those 100s of kWh of battery juice, between the wheels, the wrong way😻.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      I think you’re taking the label “#truckporn” too seriously. 😉

  4. turboro says:

    ..and there is no acceleration tests…

    Who cares, its a semi, its just great seeing it driving around and see its design in more detail

  5. Mister G says:


  6. SJC says:

    As Tesla runs more miles they will get data on longer term capacity. Heavy loads and daily super charging could take its toll.

  7. God/Bacardi says:

    See it has a super single rear tire…Tire manufactures claim a 3% fuel economy improvement…I can’t recall ever seeing super singles, wonder why aren’t other truck built from the beginning with super singles?

    1. Don Rober says:

      Super singles are standard in Europe

      1. john Doe says:

        That depends on where you are, on what type of transportation that is done and so on.
        I see dual tires all the time too. It is very common since it can handle almost double the load, and the truck don’t have to stop if one tire runs flat. They can normally drive to a service station or at least a safe place to change the tire.

        Looks like in my area, there is (way) more dual tires then super singles.

        1. Nick says:

          I thought that was a myth?

          Quote from RV Tire Safety site:

          If you have one tire punctured and losing air the mate is “taking up” the load for both tires until it is 100% overloaded. Driving at highway speed will do serious internal structural damage.
          …your limp speed is not 30mph or 20 mph or even 10 mph but it is limited to 2 mph. That is TWO miles per hour Maximum. Any more and you are damaging your tire beyond repair.

          If you lose one tire in a loaded dual tire setup, you’re done until you change it.

    2. john Doe says:

      There are pros and cons, and many stay with dual tires.

      Dual tires have been used on the non-steering axles of heavy-duty commercial trucks to increase their load capacity and help maintain vehicle drivability in the event of a flat rear tire.
      With a super single you have to pull over to the side, and change a tire. With a dual tire, one can normally drive to a service station or a safer location to change it.

      Placing two tires on both ends of a single axle nearly doubles the weight that the axle can carry and allows three properly inflated tires to temporarily carry the weight originally allocated to the four tires if a rear tire loses pressure or goes flat.
      (It can carry a little less then twice the weight, due to less cooling).

      If they use same tire dimensions on all wheels, all tires can be rotated periodically and the vehicle can be outfitted with a single spare tire and wheel.

      The wheel width and offset are carefully engineered for the vehicle and the selected tire size. This allows them to match the vehicle’s requirements while assuring sufficient clearance is maintained between the pairs of tires on the rear axle so their sidewalls don’t rub each other under maximum load when cornering or running over large bumps.

      There are benefits with super singles, but somehow – customers have not been that interesten durig the 12-14 years super singles have been on the market.

      You can probably save about 4-500kg going from steel rims, and duals to super singles and all aluminum wheels.
      Aluminum wheels cost more, and the super singles are not possible to buy everywhere. Giving reduced uptime on the truck.

      Super singles have reduced rolling resistance, due to the fact that less energy is wasted in deformation as the tire goes into and out of its footprint. With one tire instead of two, you have fewer sidewalls that are deflecting.
      The whole idea is to reduce friction so there’s less heat generated and the tires are allowed to roll more freely for extra fuel savings.

      Super singles also provide an increase in self-aligning torque, the vehicle’s tendency to pull itself straight. Whenever duals are off in diameter, even just a little, the vehicle can pull to one direction or another. Super singles minimize that possibility.

      There are other reasons that makes super single tires less interesting for truck companies.

      Normally a truck company average 1.8 retreads per casing in line-haul applications. You’re only going to get one retread out of a super single even under optimal conditions. These tires see a lot more stress and work than duals.

      Manufacturers are working to address super single retreadability.

      Tread life is shorter on super singles. They tend to wear out faster than duals. Initial tread depth for super single tires is less then on doubles. There’s less rubber to start with.

      A typical super single weighs 70% of two tires, but still weighs more than one normal truck tire. Super singles don’t require special equipment or tools to mount and demount, try to lift one of those things.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        @john Doe:

        Thank you muchly for that deep dive into the pros and cons of “super single” tires!

      2. J P DeCaen says:

        That’s a really good bit of info on that. Thanks!

      3. Dav8or says:

        Another issue in this comparison is dual tires have a greater potential for catching fire and that is because one may go flat and the driver might be unaware. As it drags along, it can get hot enough to catch fire. I believe this is why in my area I see no trucks carrying fuel, or tankers with flammable cargo using duel tires.

        This is not an issue with the super singles. When one goes flat there is no missing it. On the other hand, the one time I had a flat with dual tires, it was pretty nice being able to drive the truck to a safe and convenient place to change the tire.

        1. John Doe says:

          Yeah, that is true. There are also cases where the driver does not notice the flat, and (when using rethreaded tires) the heavy rubber fly off the casing, and can cause some damage both to truck and cargo.
          Along the roads one can from time to time see this.

          We never use rethreaded tires on long distance trucks, and never on the front wheels.

          Two years ago they fitted thermal detectors on the rear tires, and two cameras (the cheap waterproof ones that cost like 12 dollars)under the truck, for visual overview of tires and other stuff. These are connected to a 2DIN Android car radio, that have inputs for cameras and sensors. This was done on a few vehicles.
          This works great, but during winter, the cameras clog up with ice and dirt. Not that heat is a problem in the winter.. but ice build up is nice to notice.

          As prices for cameras and sensors are dirt cheap – I would think this will be standard in most trucks soon. It is really cheap.

          We’ve never had a tire catching fire (at least not for the last 19 years). 6-7 years ago we had a tire where all the remoulded rubber separated from the casing and did some damage to the wheel arches – but with less then a 1000 dollars in damage. Probably luck and low speed resulted in just small damage.

          We have placed a thermal camera (the cheap ones with a laser to point at the target – and just a digital read out) in each truck. During stops they point at bearings (at least once a day) to prevent failure. This is a cheap way to prevent failure, and saves the company from at least one or two breakdowns a year. It is used to control brakes as well (to make sure the brakepads/shoes are clear of the disk/drum during normal driving).

          Low margins, and low pay may result in less inspections of tires and the truck in general. It is a business where good routines are key to success.

      4. HVACman says:

        Good tire summary, John Doe. The “super singles” are also called “wide base” tires in the industry. They are slowly catching on. I frequently drive rural I-5 in far northern California, which carries a significant long-haul traffic. I’ve been watching the rigs I pass and it appears that about 5% of the newer tractors have them on their drive axles. I didn’t see any trailers fitted with them, though.

        For the Tesla semi, wide-based tires both on the tractor and the trailer will be crucial for two reasons:
        1) Rolling resistance is a much bigger % of the total HP requirement on a loaded semi than a passenger car. It is 1/3 of the total HP required at highway speeds on level ground. Reducing rolling resistance to an absolute minimum will be required to meet the 500-mile range with a viable battery pack size. By reducing truck HP by 5%, wide-base wheels can improve range by 25 miles – worth about 40 kWh of battery pack.

        2) For the Tesla, unloaded rig weight is also critical, as OVERALL rig weight is limited to 80K lb and profitability is based on how many lbs of PRODUCT the rig carries. As John Doe mentioned above, wide-based wheels, especially with aluminum rims, set on both the tractor and trailer could reduce weight by up to 1000 lb. That’s the weight of 60-70 kWh of batteries that can be added to the truck and increasing its range without impacting carrying capacity.

        Add up the rolling resistance and the carrying capacity factors, that adds up to being worth 100 kWh of pack – either meaning a 10% reduction in pack size and cost or 10% increase in range.

        From what I’ve seen, Tesla’s semi design has incorporated about every state-of-the-art efficiency measure for reducing both rolling and aerodynamic resistance recommended in semi-truck efficiency studies.

      5. God/Bacardi says:

        Thanks for the detailed post…One thing I’m not clear on, are super singles ultimately cheaper than dually over the life of the vehicle?

  8. J P DeCaen says:

    I’ve got it! The Tesla Semi reminds me of a Star Wars Imperial shuttle. Just need a ramp extending from the side with jets of steam shooting down as Vader disembarks.

  9. Rich says:

    After Tesla gets the Model 3 production at 3,000/week, it would be nice to see Tesla build 50 prototypes and start using them between Freemont and the Gigafactory. Let them work out the details in real world testing. It’s only 259 miles between them. Let Tesla install the mega chargers at the docking bays and prove out this system. Hoorah

    1. georgeS says:

      The Tesla Semi will begin to prove itself by hauling loads between the automaker’s factory in Fremont, California, and the Gigafactory near Reno, Nevada.

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