Tesla Semi achieves 500-mile test drive days before delivery

With the first delivery of the Semi scheduled for this Thursday, December 1st, Elon Musk has announced on Twitter that Tesla’s long-haul truck has achieved a 500-mile (800 km) drive with a loaded trailer earlier this week. That would match the initial promises made by Musk back in 2017.

As ever, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on his own recently-bought platform Twitter that the Tesla Semi, the 40-ton long-haul truck, has achieved its goal of a 500-mile drive – presumably on a single charge. Interestingly, this was done with a fully loaded truck and trailer combination, weighing in at 81 000 lbs (36 741 kg).

Delivery due this week

This was an important milestone to achieve, as the first deliveries of the Semi are scheduled for this Thursday, December 1st, with Pepsico’s subsidiary Frito-Lay (known in Belgium for the Lay’s and Doritos brands of potato chips) being the first happy customer.

No further specs of the Tesla Semi have yet been announced, although more details will presumably come at the delivery event. For now, all we know is that the Semi has three electric motors on its rear axles and that two battery options will be available: one with a 500-km (312-mile) range and one with the 800-km (500-mile) range referenced above.

Who can compete?

With the Tesla Semi being announced in 2017, with an initial launch date of 2019, its competitors also have had the time to appear on the market. The Mercedes eActros LongHaul is an important player here, with a 500-km range from the tractor, with up to 800 km of range in tandem with an eTrailer.

Near-production prototypes for customer testing of the eActros LH, which we assume Frito-Lay’s Tesla Semis are also set to arrive in 2023, with full production starting in 2024. Both Scania and Volvo only reach around 300 km with their 40-plus-ton electric trucks.

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