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Category: Transportation and Logistics

Tesla Semi Electric Truck Performed well in Recent Third-Party Test


Daily Range is Good but Charging Frequency is Unclear in Some Cases, and it Takes an Hour to Achieve a Full Charge

Sept. 19, 2023

Is the electric truck era about to break?

The interest in etrucks has been high for several years, with the promise of zero-emission trucks hauling freight on US highways – but there have been concerns about battery life, charging times, engine torque and more.

Supply Chain Digest Says...


The full NACFE test is an 18-day program taking place at electric truck depots of various companies across California. NACFE publishes the results on the Run on Less website on a daily basis.

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Some of those concerns may be allayed with the results from a third-party test that showed very mostly positive if at times fuzzy results from the Tesla Semi electric trucks.

Last week, data was released by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency’s (NACFE) Run On Less program. It comes from first independent real-world test of the Telsa Semi.

The test was undertaken by about 10 months from when PepsiCo first took ownership of some Telsa Semi’s in December in 2022, with now 21 Telsa trucks working at a distribution center near Sacramento, CA. The test involved measurement of Tesla trucks using existing routes common before the NACFE measurements.

The test involved three of the Semis PepsiCo has acquired from Tesla. One of those three trucks travelled 1600 miles under 48 hours, requiring three full battery charges and two brief range-extending charging stops.

That Semi performed nine deliveries in that period, travelling 794 miles on day two, and 806 miles on day three, around California, according to PepsiCo.

The etruck drove at highway speeds for about 90% of the total route.

And that range was achieved with the truck loaded most of the time.

“NACFE has verified that these are fairly fully loaded when they leave and stay fairly loaded,” said NACFE’s director Mike Roeth.

The test trucks were hauling beverages, not light-weight potato ships and other snacks from Pepsi’s Frito-Lay business unit.

On the first day, one of the Semis drove 335 miles on a single charge with around 17% state of charge (SoC).


(See More Below)





The second Semi appears to have delivered 295 miles of range before recharging at around 21% SoC. A third Semi delivered 377 mile range – its battery life taken down to just 2%.

As a note, the heavy battery reduces the weight legal freight capacity of electric trucks by what is thought be somewhere between 2000 to 4000 pounds, net of a 2000-pound exemption the US DOT is allowing for etrucks.

Charging times were good or not, depending on your perspective. Tesla’s 750-kilowatt megachargers are said by the company to charge from 5% of fully charged to 80% in one hour. On day 2, it took 55 minutes for one truck to charge from 18 to 80%

While some viewed this as strong performance, the charge time is obviously much longer than filling up the tank for a regular diesel truck.

The full NACFE test is an 18-day program taking place at electric truck depots of various companies across California. NACFE publishes the results on the Run on Less website on a daily basis.

The data is a little fuzzy in parts, such as how many times a given truck had to charge to achieve a given daily range, but it is likely this data will be sorted out at the end of the test.

Any thoughts on this Tesls Semi test? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback section below.




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