New Video Footage Proves Tesla's Semi Is Needlessly Fast

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Footage of Tesla’s electric semi truck has been circulating around the internet all month — proving the vehicle is more tangible than some might have previously argued. There appears to be at least two test platforms milling around California right now, and one of them is laying rubber on low-speed industrial roads.

While we’re not sure of the logistical merits of an electric semi offering blisteringly fast cab-only acceleration, Tesla’s truck certainly looks capable of trouncing your average bobtailed hauler. There’s even video evidence to back up this claim. However, fleet managers won’t give a rat’s ass about this, as it has nothing to do with optimizing efficiency.

That doesn’t make watching the electric truck pull away any less impressive. We expected Tesla’s hauler to be a torque monster capable of superior acceleration, but this thing looks downright fast. The test platform showcased in the video (found via a Jalopnik sharing) even distributes two rows of rubber directly over the road’s painted “25 mph” marker in an act of utter defiance.

Take that, The Man.

Presumably, the company will want to add some sort of limiter to prohibit lead-footed truckers from doing exactly this once the vehicle goes into production. But Tesla already said the truck is supposedly capable of a 0-to-60 time of about five seconds without a trailer, and Elon Musk claimed it was intentionally designed to “be like a bullet.”

We may see this truck entering commercial service with a silly ludicrous mode that fleet managers have to beg the company to disable.

[Image: Tesla Motors]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • 05lgt 05lgt on Feb 23, 2018

    400 miles of range in 30 minutes .... And how much less time on oil changes? Adding 15 minutes to a driver swap isn't fantastic. Adding a day of use every couple months is. This only works if the # and location of chargers works out to not waiting an hour to start charging. That's logistics, and trucking companies are either good at it or already broke.

  • NikkoCharger NikkoCharger on Feb 23, 2018

    Did anyone else hear the loud high pitch noise? I hope the production version doesn't do that.

    • Luke42 Luke42 on Feb 24, 2018

      I can hear the high-frequency noise from the PWM controller on Toyota HSD drives. They're pretty common in my town, and it's handy to know when a hybrid is braking without looking -- they're pretty quiet otherwise. Drag racing EVs just happen to sound like a cordless drill from hell. I don't think there's much you can do about that. I've never much cared for the sound & fury of big engines with "modified" exhaust systems, and high-power EVs have been winning races ever since Plasmaboy's White Zombie EV drag racer.

  • V16 2025 VW GLI...or 2025 Honda Civic SI? Same target audience, similar price points. Both are rays of sun in the gray world of SUV'S.
  • FreedMike Said this before and I'll say it again: I'm not that exercised about this whole "pay for a subscription" thing, as long as the deal's reasonable. And here's how you make it reasonable: offer it a monthly charge. Let's say that adaptive headlights are a $500 option on this vehicle, and the subscription is $15 a month, or $540 over a three year lease. So you try the feature for a month, and if you like it, you keep it; if you don't, then you discontinue it, like a Netflix subscription. In any case, you didn't get charged $500 up front the feature. That's not a bad deal.In my case, let's say VW offers an over the air chip reflash that gives me another 25 hp. The total price of the upgrade is $1,000 (which is what a reflash would cost you in the aftermarket). If they offered me a one time monthly subscription for $50 to try it out, I'd take it. In other words, maybe the news isn't all bad.
  • 2ACL A good car, but - at least in this configuration -not one that should command a premium. Its qualities just aren't as enduring as those of Honda's contemporary sports cars. For better or worse, this is a formula they remain able to replicate.
  • Jalop1991 I just read that Tesla's profits are WAY down "as the electric vehicle company has faced both more EV competition from established automakers and a slowing of overall EV sales growth." This Cadillac wouldn't help Tesla at all, but the slowing market of EV sales overall means this should be a halo/boutique car. Regardless, yes, they should make it.
  • FreedMike It's just a damn shame that Alfa never conquered its' quality demons in time for the Giulia and Stelvio to hit the market - these are loaded with personality, and we need more product like that.