When Elon Musk announced the Tesla Semi, the transport and logistics industry got a little nervous and a lot excited. Many large scale companies have now placed orders for the all-electric big rig, many of which are hoping the economics and performance of these new trucks will change their business for the future.
This morning Musk shared a photo to Instagram where he confirmed the tests are done, its time to start moving cargo with the new Tesla Semi. The first trip transported battery packs from the Nevada-based Gigafactory, through the mountains to the Tesla factory in California.
The journey is around 416km (259 miles) well within the range of both models the 300 and 500 mile versions. With the geography of the journey through steep accents over the mountains, its likely to be pretty draining on the battery. Right now there’s no Semi recharging infrastructure up and running, so while not confirmed, its likely this cargo run was done with the longer-range Semi.
What we don’t know at this stage is how long the journey took and that’s almost the more important part of the equation. One of the key differences between the battery-powered, all-electric drive-train and the more traditional one is the acceleration. With trucks taking off from stops faster, there should be a dramatic improvement to the overall travel time and this is where a large part of the economic benefits could be realised, with Tesla Semi able to do more trips per day.
Unfortunately Google Maps doesn’t offer time estimates for trucks to transit from point A to point B, but in a car that journey would take just over 4 hours. Trucks will always be slower than that, but the Tesla Semi should be the closest truck on the road to that time.