Tesla finally delivered its first electric semi trucks



Tesla on Thursday night delivered its first production semi trucks, five years after first unveiling the Tesla Semi. The trucks were delivered to PepsiCo. 

With smoke, strobe lights and a bumping techno beat to set the mood, Tesla CEO Elon Musk personally drove one of the vehicles out before a cheering crowd gathered in Sparks, Nevada for the delivery. 

The trucks, which Tesla says deliver 3X the power of any diesel truck on the road right now, represent “a step change improvement” in the trucking industry, Musk said. 

“At Tesla, we don’t make slow cars,” he said. When the truck is not towing anything, he declared, “it looks like an elephant moving like a cheetah.”

The vehicles were also designed for efficiency, consuming less than two kWh of energy per mile. Tesla says it can travel 500 miles on a single charge. 

“People may wonder why build a semi truck,” Musk said.


Tesla’s mission, he said, is to “accelerate sustainable energy” by electrifying all major forms of transport. 

Musk noted that while there are millions of passenger vehicles sold in the US each year, there are only a couple hundred thousand semi trucks sold each year. However, given the number of hours they are driven and the weight they carry, those trucks account for about 20% of US vehicle emissions. 

“From a health standpoint… this is a huge impact,” Musk said. “In addition climate change and global warming matters… it’s going to fundamentally improve the health of people living near freeways.”

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