In a groundbreaking real-world test conducted by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency's (NACFE) Run On Less program, Tesla's electric Semi has showcased its mettle as a formidable workhorse. The results of this independent test reveal promising data regarding the truck's range and charging capabilities.
Last week, we reported that Tesla's electric trucks managed to cover over 300 miles on a single charge, although payload details remained undisclosed. It has now come to light that one of PepsiCo's three Tesla Semis participating in the program achieved an astounding feat, covering a staggering 1,600 miles in under 48 hours with just three full charges and two brief range-extending charging stops.
During this intensive trial, the Semi executed nine deliveries over the course of two days, with day two accounting for 794 miles and day three adding another 806 miles to its journey, all within the state of California. Remarkably, the truck spent approximately 90 percent of its time on the highway, ensuring a rigorous real-world test. NACFE's director, Mike Roeth, confirmed that these Semis were consistently loaded throughout the trial.
Dave Mullaney, NACFE's principal of carbon-free transportation, clarified that these particular Semis were tasked with beverage transportation, devoid of semiconductor chips, and rarely ran empty. Although the truck's substantial battery does result in a slight reduction in payload capacity compared to diesel counterparts, the impact is not deemed significant, according to Roeth. The estimated payload loss ranges from 2,200 to 4,400 pounds, inclusive of the additional 2,000-pound allowance granted to electric vehicles (EVs). It is worth noting that these payload figures are approximations, as official data on the exact cargo carried by the Semis remains undisclosed, but it is evident that they were far from running empty.
An essential factor contributing to the impressive performance of the Tesla Semi is the rapid charging capability. Tesla's 750-kilowatt Megachargers facilitate an impressive 5-80 percent state of charge (SoC) in just one hour. According to data from Geotab for day two of the trial, the Semi took a mere 55 minutes to charge from 18 to 80 percent SoC.
Dave Mullaney emphasized the significance of high-powered charging, not only in terms of its impact on the battery but also on the grid. He believes this test serves as a glimpse into the future for electric utilities, highlighting the potential demands placed on their infrastructure.
Earlier this year, Dejan Antunovic, PepsiCo's electrification program manager, had revealed that the Semi's operational efficiency stood at an impressive 1.7 kilowatt-hour per mile, further underlining the truck's promising prospects in the world of electric freight transportation.