Unbelievable video shows Tesla electric semitruck go head-to-head with a diesel 18-wheeler — see who won

So far, electric vehicle giant Tesla has focused on developing the next generation of passenger vehicles. But, a video released on Twitter shows the power and capacity of Tesla’s new Semi truck as it easily drives up a steep hill on the Donner Pass.

Conventional diesel semitrucks have historically struggled to get up to highway speed going up steep slopes. Many of them may reach only 60 miles per hour within 30 seconds, which can block other motorists from passing and slow down the speed of traffic. The Tesla Semi, in comparison, can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than 20 seconds.

Tesla currently uses its semitrucks to carry materials between its California and Nevada facilities. Therefore, it’s likely the Semi recorded in the video was carrying freight.


Besides the apparent benefits of traversing across graded surfaces, Tesla’s Semi may also revolutionize the trucking and hauling industry in terms of emissions. Combination trucks account for nearly 18% of motor vehicle emissions nationwide. Tesla’s Semi has a smaller footprint and opens up the opportunity to be powered by alternative renewable sources like solar and wind.

The Semi uses 2 kilowatt hours of energy per mile and can travel up to 500 miles before needing a charge. Like its smaller EV counterparts, the Semi needs to charge for only 30 minutes to recover 70% of its range capacity.

Trucking companies will see drastic financial returns from purchasing electric Semis rather than diesel vehicles. The company estimates buyers will save more than $200,000 on fuel in the first three years of ownership. The remote diagnostic system also decreases the maintenance and repairs needed on the vehicle, suggesting that the long-term cost of owning one may be more optimal than an internal combustion engine.

The first Tesla Semis were sold to PepsiCo in 2022, and Tesla remains one of the predominant users of the vehicles for its own trucking purposes. The company expects more of its Semis to be on the road in the coming years.

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