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Tesla's much-vaunted Semi truck spotted silently cruising on Californian roads

Sam Dickerson

03 Mar 2021

Twitter user shares video of a silver Tesla Semi pulling a trailer down a US freeway.

Elon Musk originally unveiled Tesla's Semi truck to the world back in 2017, and now a Californian motorist has shared a video of one of the trucks silently driving down a freeway.

In the video which can be seen here - please be warned, the video contains explicit language - Twitter user 'Christian' using the @tesla-master handle, can be heard getting incredibly excited when he spots the gigantic truck silently pulling alongside his car with a trailer in tow.

In the video, shot just before sundown, the Semi's Tesla badge can be clearly seen on the front of the futuristic truck, and videographer Christian noted how it was completely silent, a bizarre sight to see for a vehicle of its size.

The silver Semi boasts a sleek front-end design and is powered by four Model 3 electric motors that allow it to cruise without producing the usual roar associated with traditional diesel heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).

The truck is estimated to be able to go from 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) in 5 seconds unloaded and 20 seconds when fully loaded carrying 80,000 pounds (36,287 kg) of cargo.

The Semi is expected to be able to travel up to 300 miles on a single charge, with Musk hoping that it will eventually compete with conventional diesel-powered HGVs, which can travel up to 1,000 miles on a single tank of fuel.

With regards to the Semi, Elon Musk said previously: "We believe the Tesla Semi will deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety."

"There are two other types of electric vehicle needed: heavy-duty trucks and high passenger-density urban transport."

Back in January, Musk said that the only obstacle that prevented Tesla from releasing the Semi was the availability of battery cells, saying: "The main reason we have not accelerated new products – like for example Tesla Semi – is that we simply don’t have enough cells for it."

"If we were to make the Semi right now, and we could easily go into production with the Semi right now, but we would not have enough cells for it," he continued.

"A Semi would use typically five times the number of [battery] cells that a car would use, but it would not sell for five times what a car would sell for, so it kind of would not make sense for us to do the Semi right now.

"But it will absolutely make sense for us to do it as soon as we can address the cell production constraint," he added.

Tesla has previously claimed that you'll be able to run a Semi for around $1.21 (£0.91) per mile, whilst a diesel lorry costs around $1.51 (£1.14) per mile and that the base level Semi model will set you back around $150,000 (£110,000).

Sam Dickerson

03 Mar 2021

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