It seems whenever Tesla (Elon Musk) reveals specs for upcoming vehicles, there are many naysayers. What about those Tesla Semi stats?
There will always be lovers and haters. This is especially true for niche-market companies attempting to disrupt industries. Typically, OEMs reveal concept cars at auto shows, which often remain concept cars. Additionally, if the vehicles do come to market, they aren't usually quite up to par with the flashy, futuristic concepts.
Inside The Tesla Semi
Tesla doesn't really play by these rules. In fact, the Silicon Valley automaker doesn't follow most past practice when it comes to how the industry functions. Instead, it relies on CEO Elon Musk's wild ideas promoted via social networking, followed by highly publicized, exclusive reveal parties.
Nonetheless, the company only unveils vehicles that it has every intention of manufacturing (albeit slowly and later than planned), and for the most part, these vehicles arrive in the same form and with the same specs as the unveiled concept.
The Tesla Semi is supposed to disrupt the trucking industry and destroy dirty diesels with its incredible spec sheet. As usual, we only have the words of Musk and a single concept vehicle as proof. It will be years before the actual vehicles are on public roads, yet companies are already putting down deposits.
Pepsi was the most recent major corporation to reserve some semis (100 to be exact), which is the largest order thus far, cranking the total number of pre-orders to over 300. How can these companies bank on the fact that Elon Musk's word is gold without having any second party confirmation of the Tesla Semi's prowess?
According to Electrek, XPO logistics was able to validate the Tesla Semi. Morgan Stanley analyst, Adam Jonas, revealed the information to clients in a recent communication (via Electrek):
“The Tesla semi has already received important validation from some customers. We spoke with mgmt. at XPO Logistics, one of the largest logistics companies in the country, that has been talking to Tesla on their EV semi for the past 18 months, including testing live prototypes. XPO mgmt. confirmed that in their testing, the features and capabilities of the truck mostly lived up to Tesla’s claims at the launch event, including the performance vs. diesel trucks up a 5% grade (55 mph vs 45 mph), recharging time, safety/anti jackknifing features and payload (similar to a typical diesel truck, as confirmed by Tesla).”
However, Jonas made clients aware that the semi's range (500 miles) was not confirmed. This doesn't mean that it can't travel 500 miles, but it also doesn't mean it can. XPO may not have had time to drive the semi that far, or perhaps an attempt was made but it didn't make it. The vehicle won't be arriving for a few years, so Tesla will have plenty of time to make good on the claim. In terms of range, the automaker hasn't struggled in the past.