These independent tests occurred within the framework of the Run On Less event organized by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE). Three of PepsiCo's 21 Tesla Semis stationed in Sacramento participated in the program. Over the course of 18 days, these electric trucks completed daily runs, with their performance statistics reported back to NACFE, which promptly shared the results on its website.
During the initial days of testing, the Tesla Semis made a compelling impression. One of them covered an impressive 335 miles (539 kilometers) on a single charge, concluding the run with a 17% state of charge (SoC) remaining. The second Semi achieved a range of 295 miles (475 kilometers) before needing a recharge, leaving it with 21% SoC. The third Semi surpassed the others, boasting a remarkable range of 377 miles (607 kilometers) and depleting its battery to just 1.76% SoC at the end of the test.
While the payload information is not disclosed by NACFE, PepsiCo indicated that “approximately 65% of miles driven during the first two weeks of Run on Less were loaded to a gross vehicle weight plus load of over 70,000 pounds.”
On day 17 of the event, one of the Tesla Semis achieved a remarkable feat by covering 1,076 miles (1,731 kilometers) in a single day. During this extensive journey, the Semi required three charging stops. The first charge took approximately one hour to replenish the battery from 10% to 46%, the second charge lasted just 1.5 hours to boost it from 3% to 89%, and the final charge took only 25 minutes to move from 18% to 52% charge.
Evan Chenoweth, a Staff Mechanical Design Engineer for the Tesla Semi, expressed optimism for the electric hauler's future, stating, “This is just the beginning; electric trucks will continue to replace dirty, polluting diesel trucks over the coming years.”
These results serve as a strong endorsement of the Tesla Semi's capabilities, dispelling doubts about its effectiveness and its potential to transform the trucking industry. Notably, this achievement may challenge prior skepticism, including remarks made by Bill Gates, who had raised concerns about the practicality of electrifying heavy, long-haul trucks.