The Tesla Semi is finally taking to US roads after the first delivery event took place yesterday at a PepsiCo facility in California.
While you can learn more about that specific event in a separate post, this article is dedicated to the Tesla Semi's 500-mile (804-kilometer) drive with a gross combination weight of just under 82,000 pounds (37,194 kilograms). Elon Musk first announced that in a tweet that got a lot of attention, but the lack of context generated debates online on whether the electric semi-truck covered the distance on a single battery charge.
As it turns out, the Tesla Semi did cover 500 miles on a single charge, as confirmed by the automaker at the delivery event and in a tweet that shared a timelapse video of the entire trip. The 2-minute long video was accompanied by a short yet informative description: "Tesla Semi driving 500 miles, fully loaded, on a single charge."
The trip took place on November 25 between Fremont and San Diego, and Elon Musk promised at the Tesla Semi delivery event that a full, eight hours long video of the journey will be uploaded on social media.
Until then, it's worth noting that the 500-mile test run was accomplished without any tricks like special aero, as highlighted by Elon Musk and Dan Priestley, Sr. Manager, Semi Truck Engineering at Tesla, during the delivery event (see video at the bottom of this page). Musk even said that Tesla could have performed a number of tricks to make the demonstration more impressive, but it didn't.
This means that the demonstration was a real-world test involving a Class 8 electric truck identical to those delivered to PepsiCo. The drive was completed at highway speed at over 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) of elevation. We can also notice that at least half of it took place during the night, presumably to avoid heavy traffic.
Unfortunately, Tesla did not share information about the cargo, although the video does show many boxes (one is labeled as weighing 600 kilograms/1,322 pounds) covering the entire floor of the semi trailer bed. There's plenty of cargo room left under the ceiling, so we can assume there were even heavier boxes in the trailer.
The trip took about eight hours to complete, although Musk and Priestley noted that the Semi's driver had to take a brief bathroom break towards the end of the drive. Check out the drive in the videos above and watch the delivery event segment dedicated to the 500-mile test run in the following video.