California highway patrol shares video of Tesla Semi in action on closed icy road: 'These trucks are the real thing'

The rollout of Tesla's Semi truck has been limited to around 100 vehicles, which is why seeing it perform out in the open is still a rare and fascinating experience.

Footage from the California Highway Patrol has added another layer to that interest, with the Semi tackling icy conditions on a closed road.

Electrek shared the video, noting that among the criticisms of the all-electric haulage vehicle is the fact it has been typically used on roads in California and Nevada by existing customers, including Pepsi and Tesla itself.

The conditions for driving in these areas aren't so troubling for the truck, with typically dry roads and a favorable climate. But if Semis prove successful and are utilized in other states — or even if haulage routes require traveling through different areas with varying weather — they will need to prove they can handle tough situations such as icy roads.


In CHP's video, the trailer might not have been having the best time, but the Semi itself handled the tricky road well, inching slowly forward while remaining in control.

The performance of Teslas in the cold is a hot topic, with questions surrounding battery performance in chilly temperatures and footage of Cybertrucks unable to free themselves when stuck in the snow.

But judging by the video alone, the Semi came through unscathed.

The potential of the truck is encouraging for companies looking to reduce the pollution they produce when hauling goods. According to Transport & Environment, heavy-duty vehicles are "responsible for 27% of climate emissions from road transport in Europe, while only accounting for 2% of the vehicles on the road."

In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency says the freight transportation sector contributes 50% of nitrogen oxide pollution as well as 30% of volatile organic compounds and 20% of particulate matter.

"Within transportation, heavy-duty trucks are the fastest-growing contributor to emissions," the EPA said.

That's why Semi trucks, which produce zero tailpipe pollution on the road and can provide 500 miles of range on a single charge, could make such a difference in terms of limiting planet-warming pollution and reducing levels of particulate matter — which can cause respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses.

"When I was with the Tesla Semi team we used them to pull trailers stuck in the snow out in the yard that diesel trucks couldn't budge," one comment on Electrek read. "These trucks are the real thing."

"Wow, the regenerative braking deceleration helps stabilize driving on ice," another added. "One more advantage for electric cars!"

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