Many wonder whether the upcoming Tesla Semi Class 8 electric semi will really have a range of 500 miles (804 km), specifically when fully loaded.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in October that the range of the Tesla Semi was calculated with cargo - "Just to be clear, 500 miles with the cargo on level ground."

In the most recent tweet, the company's boss wrote that a Tesla Semi completed a 500-mile drive weighing in at 81,000 lbs, which is almost 100% of its Gross Combination Weight (GCW) of 82,000 lbs (37,195 kg).

"Tesla team just completed a 500 mile drive with a Tesla Semi weighing in at 81,000 lbs!"

We guess that it was a test run to confirm the key parameter ahead of the first customer deliveries, which are scheduled for December 1.

 

Well, there is no reason to doubt the result, although it would be nice to also hear some details about the speed and energy consumption. We are really eager to see some independent tests of the vehicle.

According to Tesla, the energy consumption of the Semi is lower than 2 kWh/mile (1.24 kWh/km). At 500 miles of range, the battery capacity would be lower than 1,000 kWh (1 MWh).

The company currently produces the Tesla Semi in Reno, Nevada and aims to quickly ramp up production to 50,000 units per year, at some point in 2024. That would be more than 100 vehicles per day, on average, and enough to make Tesla one of the largest Class 8 truck manufacturers in North America.

However, the initial rate might be much lower. One of the reports indicated 100 units in 2022.

Gallery: Tesla Semi

Tesla Semi specs (August 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): 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 on rear axles
    (vs. four motors in the initial specs in 2017)
  • Fast Charging: up to 70% of range in 30 minutes
  • Estimated average charging power in 70% SOC window (based on specs):
    600 kWh battery: 840 kW
    1,000 kWh battery: 1,400 kW (1.4 MW)
  • Fuel Savings (est.): up to $200,000 over 3 years
Tesla MY2023 VIN Decoder  
 

Initial prices (at unveiling in 2017):

  • Expected Base Price (300 mile range) – $150,000
  • Expected Base Price (500 mile range) – $180,000
  • Base Reservation – $20,000
  • Expected Founders Series Price – $200,000
  • Founders Series Reservation – $200,000
    * Prices displayed in USD. International pricing will vary.
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