It took quite some time for Tesla to reveal their new all-electric truck called the Semi. And before it made its debut, it received a lot of hype and attention, which is why people were excited for its reveal. Apart from being an all-electric truck, it was also supposed to be quicker than any diesel alternatives.
But here is the biggest question: does performance matter to long-haul drivers? Well, according to the UK’s Road Haulage Association (RHA), performance is not actually that important.
Rod McKenzie RHA policy advisor of Autocar said earlier this week that drivers do not really prioritize performance figures, and what actually concerns them would be the charging ports that are lacking, as well as the minimal range of the Tesla.
Drivers of these haulers do not actually care about all of Tesla’s claims when it comes to the Semi, as they are not relevant to them. And the reason why performance is just a plus is because they have a limited driving speed of 56 miles per hour - so what is the point?
Even before it made its live debut, Tesla already boasted that the Semi reported 500 miles worth of range, and that is already a lot less than a diesel lorry, so what makes it even more special? After 500 miles, drivers will then have to stop for a few hours while they charge the vehicle; but a diesel version can keep on going. A bigger problem would be finding the locations of charging points in highways. Take note that there are not a lot in the country. And they’re also not distributed evenly.
In defense, Musk said that quick charging is an option that allows the truck to be charged in 30 minutes. However, he did not specify whether this would fully charge the car, but we doubt that. He also said that we need to see the charging time in real time. This is because time lost is equal to inefficiency, says McKenzie.
As for performance, the Tesla Semi can accelerate to 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) in 20 seconds, even with 80,000 pounds of payload. That’s not all. Without the trailer, it can hit the same distance in just five seconds. However, like I said earlier, drivers do not really find this to be a major factor. Maybe if they will not get stuck behind a slow moving truck, they will actually care, but that is not usually the case.
Another thing that McKenzie noticed is that haulers do not really drive fast to begin with, as safety is their main priority, and not speed.