The truck, which was first announced in 2017, has had a long and winding development that led to December 1, 2022. That’s when the first truck was handed over, with Tesla holding an event to celebrate the occasion.
The company took the chance to remind everyone that semi trucks only account for around 1% of the vehicles on US roads, but that they make up 20% of the emissions. That’s why the company wanted to get into the game of replacing diesel trucks, starting now.
The handover saw Tesla confirm that the Semi has three motors that are essentially the same as those found in the Model S and Model X Plaid. But Electrek reports that they are configured specifically for use in the Semi.
Dan Priestley, Tesla Semi Program manager, explained that Tesla is using one of the motors for cruising speed geared toward peak efficiency at highway speeds and the two other motors are used for torque when accelerating in order to create a smooth driving experience never seen in a class 8 truck before.
Tesla also confirmed that the Semi can travel 500 miles with a full load between charges, noting that trucking companies can save around 70,000 in fuel per year — depending on how much they pay for electricity, that is.
With trucks now in the hands of Pepsico/Frito Lay we can hopefully expect more to start to roll out of factories and onto roads sooner rather than later.