The Tesla Semi has trickled into service with a limited amount of trucks, a single recall, and a lot of speculation. But for those who have been curious about the real capability of the electric semi truck, there will finally be an answer. Pepsi is entering one of its trucks into an event that will test the truck at maximum payload for several hundred miles.
Run On Less is a trucking industry event that showcases advances in freight technology and test efficiency of current products used in trucking. In an interview with Automotive News, PepsiCo’s sustainability and technology director Amanda DeVoe says Pepsi is going to take its Tesla Semis and “run em’ hard.” The gauntlet at hand is a maximum payload towing test with up to 500 mile round trips to probe the out edges of the Tesla Semi’s capabilities, ones that have been kept mostly secret.
DeVoe wants to demonstrate the capability of the truck while also comparing it to other Class 8 internal combustion trucks to get more data about efficiency and longevity under more difficult conditions. It’s unclear if Tesla has officially sanctioned the truck’s use in the event, though it would be unusual if Pepsi went directly against Tesla’s wishes if it didn’t want the truck to participate. It’s possible that Tesla is now prepared to share more information and is using the event to demonstrate its latest developments. It last claimed an efficiency of slightly less than two kWh per mile, which would be extremely efficient for a semi-truck.
Finally, the Tesla semi is getting a real test in the trucking sphere. And the data will be public for everyone to know. This could be one of the first real tests of an electric semi-truck that will be conducted in an independent environment and the data is sure to be fascinating.
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