Truck Driver Reviews of Tesla Semi

I include youtube videos with various feedback and reviews of the Tesla Semi from Truck drivers (direct and indirect). The first review is that Tesla has over 500 orders for Semi Trucks. The US has 4 million Semis and there are about 270,000 sales each year in the US. There are 4 million global large and semi truck sales each year with most in China and the rest of Asia.

PepsiCo has pre-ordered 100 trucks.
Anheuser-Busch has ordered 40 units.
Walmart ordered 130 trucks.
Pride Group Enterprises has ordered 150 trucks.
Pride Group Enterprises announced in November 2020 that they paid the booking amount to reserve initial units and build slots. The orders are just a fraction of these companies’ fleets.
Orlando-based start-up EV Semi-Fleet has ordered 50. The new trucking company plans to reserve “thousands more.” The asset-based carrier will be hiring CDL drivers to move freight for distribution centers with the Tesla Semi trucks.

PepsiCo’s has a fleet of 36,000 trucks, 11,000 tractors, 12,300 vans, and 8,300 service support vehicles. The brand also has over 25,000 drivers in the USA. They installed its first 1.5-megawatt Megachargers at Frito-Lay’s facility in Modesto, California.

Coca-Cola will use electric delivery trucks (currently bought Renault) to cover 200 km daily, or more than 40% of the beverage manufacturer’s delivery route. Coke and Pepsi have significant shorter haul trucking needs. 1 million global trucks or more are needed for shorter haul usage. The US likely has 2 million total trucks or 100,000 trucks per year needed for shorter trips.

Yes, the Tesla Semi has less range than long haul trucks which have 600-1000 miles of range.

Tesla Semi will need cabin improvement and/or changes for various driver use cases.

This licensed driver is more positive but has some concerns about backing up. He likes not having to use a J brake.

Yes, it is not yet for long-haul truckers.

89 thoughts on “Truck Driver Reviews of Tesla Semi”

  1. In 1890 all the buggy whip manufacturers were up in arms about ruining an industry and creating one with little purpose

  2. I am not sure if it has been discussed before but I am quite sure that learning to drive a electric semi will be easier than a diesel semi. (no gear changes and no J breaking) This potentially opens up the market to a whole new class of electric semi only drivers. This may be seen as a threat to traditional drivers and hence the opposition to Tesla. On the other hand filling the gap of driver shortages will be welcome relief in both the US and Europe.

  3. This article is completely flawed. Showing very little knowledge about transportation and all the logistics it takes to get the job done. There are many more industries in Trucking the flatbed and refer. 1000s of reasons this won’t work for long haul. Most of my trips are 700 plus miles. All this is being developed for the idea environment in mind. Not with the Comforts of the driver in mind. Also is focused only where the federal dollars are being sent to blue states. Most manufacturers are just in it for the ride as long as the feds send the money for evs they manufacturers will be in the game. When the money train stops so will the manufacturers of evs. He’ll I. Texas of all places. They are storing EV semis because no 9ne is buying them. The same with ev cat equipment in Airzonia. No ones buying the junk. Only the fools who fall for free tax payers dollar incentives buy what government is pushing down our throat. If all this was so good. People would buy willingly. Wouldn’t have to be forced to buy. This is not green at all. It takes dirty diesel to make any of this happen. Who kidding who. In California all you buy is bio diesel at truck stops. We were told Bionwas the way to go. Then told that DEF on trucks was the was the answer to dirty diesel. What’s next to lie to us. Not to mention the cost of a new day cab ev from Freightliner is over $300,000. You think everyone can just drop the current financing on the new truck they were told buy government to buy with def systems last few years or maybe the nice banks will have truck forgiveness loans. Then everyone can go buy a ev with free tax payer money. I’m sure the banks will understand. He’ll what’s the payment going to be be on a $400,000 ev truck with feds upping interest rates. Great idea folsom. Keep up the devil work.

  4. It’s funny the way people just regurgitate the last thing they saw on their phone without any idea of what they’re talking about.

  5. Read all of the comments from horse owners in the early 1900s. Pretty much the same opposition to change. Lots of people cannot accept change.
    It’s still early days people. Also think of your children and grandchildren, they are the ones that will suffer from climate change!!

      • I am 61 years of age and I can remember when I was a kid back in the 1960s The summers where alot hotter and the winter weather was always changing from cold and warm just like today weather in the winter,but now days the summer is colder. To me for seeing this climate change is nothing but being scams from a conartist tricking you all the believing you into this scam con. First of all the moon gravity and the Earth gravity pulls on each other and make the Earth tilt on it axis that what causes weird weather to be like that and the sun can do sun flairs and make our weather go crazy.And you can not predict what the future brings ahead of time.I have seen in my life time changes in weather but getting only colder.To me Climate change is nothing but a SCAM.

        • I am 78. Every thing about this world is changing. I remember snow storms leaving 10 feet and more of snow. Could not get home 1 Xmas because of that about 60 years ago. Then the icestorm at my favorite. Ski hill where we could see the city lights of a large city 60 miles as the crow Flys away. This goes on and on about natural events. We just called it holy #@& weather and hunkered down. Most of the ancient cities that disappeared were due to climate change long before a small human presence on this planet could lay claim to causing climate change.

          Besides we all know that most of this current stuff could be cured up with just less of us.

        • Climate change is no scam Rex Tillerson X CEO of mobile admitted that climate change was real and that mobile spent billions of dollars fighting litigation to stop climate change

        • Trying to be polite and of course you are entitled to you’re opinion. Anecdotal or your feeling about climate change is wrong way to know what’s happening. Scientific data proves you wrong in every instance you mention. One thing that concerns me is history of North and South pole reversal. Science says every 250k years the poles will reverse and we are past that average now. A pole reversal will eliminate almost all animal life instantly. Now that’s a climate change to fear

        • Trying to be polite and of course you are entitled to you’re opinion. Anecdotal or your feeling about climate change is wrong way to know what’s happening. Scientific data proves you wrong in every instance you mention. One thing that concerns me is history of North and South pole reversal. Science says every 250k years the poles will reverse and we are past that average now. A pole reversal will eliminate almost all animal life instantly. Now that’s a climate change to fear

          • What people speak on climate change is a reason to change nonsenses. How many times do we go out of space and how many countries travel with spacecraft. That is your fossil fuel burning a hole in the earth atmosphere causing gases to break down The molecules that revolves around the earth causing storms and Global warming. Fuel burning vehicles are not the cause of it . We have a lot of new and used vehicles are getting repaired everyday to improve fuel efficiency. What we have here is a new revolution. Now what we need to do is all truckers come together and improve on our equipment to be better. We control the economy by providing services to mommy and papa stores in parts and services. If that stops the town will vanish eventually. Let’s do our part and find a way to minimize pollution and recycle. We also need to have a month to don’t buy where electric vehicles deliver. And we can find common ground to make sure that we balance this system of making a living as a small business trucking company.

          • Yeah but it takes 1000 years for a magnetic flip to take place and we will have been the mass extinction by then.

        • That’s because you refuse to accept science. You declare you know better than the well founded and accepted peer to peer theory of global warming. A theory as a close to absolute as you will ever get. Read a book.

        • Dude what planet do you live on? You can’t just look at the statistics and see that every year it’s getting hotter. You’ve never lived in a world where it’s getting colder and in the summers… You’re delusional old man and I’m almost your age.

    • Nonsense! Climate change is very in part due to all the unnecessary use of fossil fuels for things like wars, armies and many others, like ship cruising…… never again compare horses to cars! The vehicle has totally revolutionized the world with the ICE, something EVs will never manage to achieve.

        • Why are you calling facts theories? You obviously have not done any research. There’s irrefutable proof of climate change.

          • Just like irrefutable proof coffee is bad for you, sorry, no it’s good for you, no wait, bad! Or is that good?

          • Yes the poles are melting however if you studied the history of the planet you would know the poles freeze and unfreeze every few million years the average temperature of earth is around 57⁰F which is nothing to the average 87⁰F of the Jurassic Era the poles are still suffering from the last Ice Age and will continue to melt with or without the use of fossil fuels you would also know in the history of our planet the poles have spent more time unfrozen then they have frozen. Don’t find it convenient that the ice sheets track the last couple thousand years and not a couple million? Because they aren’t that old. The planet is experiencing climate change but it’s a cycle that repeats throughout the history of earth it gets cold then it gets hot then it gets cold again we are actually in a colder cycle that’s starting to enter the warm cycle

            • Deep history 95% of the time the world is far hotter. Cooling from Azolla plants and then the rise of trees. Increase trees from 3 trillion to 4 trillion and 1 trillions tons of CO2 is isolated from the atmosphere restoring pre-industrial revolution atmosphere.

      • Fossil Fuel is a name that was put on Oil by Rockefeller . In the 1900″s . Science then came up with the theory of how it was created . Oil is secreted from the ground and a Natural occurrence. New Science is finding but is being hidden .

        • Punishing people, because don’t understanding a strategy or ‘disinformation’, doesn’t sound intelligent on a 21st century knowledge base? Then ‘we’ have not learned in thousands of years? (Why?)
          Formation of fossil coal is also a process in time, shortening this formation (technically) requires or releases (locally) energy amounts. It depends, if this is useful and for ‘whose’ philosophies.
          What is our respect and responsibility for people who formed and built societies on the energy of that coal?

    • You must be a democratic there will not make any difference takes same amount of fossil fuels to build a battery vehicle do your home work no difference it already been proven have you seen the footage of them getting the littium child labor you may think you are saving the planet but you are not you are making Joe and China very rich get off of c.n.n all lies good luck on thinking you are saving the planet for your kids

      • All of that is either verifiably false, baseless, or intentionally missing the big picture.

        Lithium mining doesn’t use child labour. Some Cobalt does, but modern batteries are using increasingly less Cobalt or none at all. Sodium ion batteries use no lithium, Cobalt or rare earth metals whatsoever, just extremely inexpensive and plentiful sodium. Their energy densities are also catching up to LFP batteries, which are the fastest growing type of lithium ion battery and use zero cobalt.

        Mining of anything is of course environmentally damaging, but the difference is that we don’t turn around and burn them. In fact EV batteries can be repurposed, extending their useable life, and then recycled recycled at end of life.

        EVs actually require MORE energy to produce, not the same as ICE vehicles. Here’s where your will stop listening and say you won the argument. Not so fast. Lifetime emissions are vastly worse for internal combustion vehicles and the gap continues to widen as our power grid becomes cleaner over time due to the acceleration in adoption of uber cheap wind and solar.

        How exactly is “Joe” getting rich? Yes, China makes most batteries, solar panels, etc. That’s because they’re not stuck in the stone ages of regressive politics like half of America is. The world’s is moving forwards while people like you dig your claws in and try to go backwards, which invariably will always result in disaster. Don’t be a dinosaur just because your can’t let go of dino juice.

        • Thank you for saying that because I have done my research and found exactly what you just posted and I wish people would research before saying ignorant things.

        • Well batteries are “catching up”? Nonsense. Gasoline energy density is still 100 times greater than lithium ion batteries. No hope in sight that it will get significantly better in the near future. Electric cars and ICE cars have about the same carbon footprint. And when you add in that 80% of world electricity comes from burning fossil fuels there is very little if any advantage to using an electric car. It’s easy to do a superficial look and say electric cars are great. They are not. And when you add in the expense compared to ICE cars the advantage evaporates. And as a side note, climate change is constant. Sea levels have been rising for 400,000 years. An ice sheet covered most of the United States during the last ice age. There were once jungles and swamps in Wyoming, North and South Dakota. Change is normal.
          And honestly if you are worried about greenhouse games methane is a much bigger problem than CO2. Itsveffect is 27 times greater when you look at things like amounts released, carbon and methane cycles. CO2 has a cycle time of just over 100 years. We are still producing more CO2 year to year on a world basis with no realistic end in sight as to when the world overall will produce less. If CO2 really is a threat then we are all dead. If it is not then all we have to do is accommodate to certain weather changes, not the end of the world.

          • [ but it’s not to trucking companies nor truckers to verify if climate change (this times ‘global warming’) justifies all uprising demands or requests (?) ]

        • “…Mining of anything is of course environmentally damaging…”

          No it’s not. Mining is good for the environment. The key is that ecogeeks only measure the environment “right now, this second”. The great dirt in the northern US comes from glaciers grinding up rock and making minerals available. The same with mining. The rock is broken up and this makes minerals available. The short term sometimes there are too many minerals too fast, but all of these oxidize and are available long term, enhancing plant growth. Plants grow really fast on reclaimed open pit coal mines because of all the mineral availability. If it’s good or bad all depends on looking at right vs. a hundred or a couple hundred years.

      • Like there aren’t kids digging up coal and oil. Plus coal, oil and natural gas create 10 micron and 1 micron particulates. aka smaller than soot. Goes to lungs. This is the stuff that everyone breathes. Every must breath. It is why air pollution kills 4 million per year with outdoor air pollution (3 million indoor where poor people have their wood or coal stove inside). Bad air pollution in China and India and African cities and rural areas is like forcing everyone to have 6 cigarettes per day. Even granny who has bad lungs and even babies or people with asthma. think of babies and kids forced to “smoke air pollution”. But hey we are only talking about world war 1 levels of annual death and hospital visits. f* them..I want to drive my SUV and fill up at $150 at a shot.

        • Seems complex and not all defined easily like with natural science reducing parameters for each subject science having focus on.
          When did we recognize, what is an overall amount on places locally if introduced optimized (dependency on wood stove cooking?), what is ‘our’ cultural habits and possibilities (from surroundings materials) and earnings (Chinese wealth level, on average, also rural areas did improve/increase, me not knowing if comparable to India or Africa [The Netherlands asked for excuse on their former centuries abuse of humans being enslaved. Comparing that to Uyghures situation, will China get towards this point of consciousness next years (a global learning curve)? Is it me being wrong on that towards China’s situation? Maybe some can explain that complexity? It is democrathies i can ask this question for improving understanding and some say I could not ask about it in China (maybe, with all respect to cultural differences)?] )
          (thanks for reading)

  6. Read all of the comments from horse owners in the early 1900s. Pretty much the same opposition to change. Lots of people cannot accept change.
    It’s still early days people. Also think of your children and grandchildren, they are the ones that will suffer from climate change!!

  7. Fellas, I get all your complaints about these trucks. Driver comfort, driver ease, driver convenience…guess what! These trucks were NOT built with drivers in mind. Why? Because truck drivers are going to be obsolete and unnecessary in the coming years. These trucks will be driving themselves. Going to need an “operator” in the cab for the first decade, but he will not be “driving”. Its coming boys. Get used to it.

    • Wrong!!!! Totally wrong! Drivers are still going to be needed for a lot of applications including trucking and more. Your self driving crap can’t do everything let alone off the pavements or very precise maneuvers….. let’s not mention taking care of the truck in case of anemergency or tire flats…… dangerous loads…..

      • Are the batteries gonna unload the trucks, move the pallets, plug themselves into charging stations, blow the horns for the kids, shift in the way items around, on and on?

  8. They cars are made super cheap for top dollar.. new plaid rattled and squeaked off the lot returned it 2 days later …. I can only imagine the lack of quality in the truck.
    Cant wait to these catch on fire !!!
    Gona be BIG …

    • It has to prove to be very tough because diesel trucks are used all around the world in very harsch conditions up to remote places with no infrastructure.

    • A higher number of gasoline cars catch on fire each year when compared to electric vehicles. The facts are out there, but people choose to believe and spread false or exaggerated reports. My Model 3 has had much less maintenence than any other vehicle I’ve ever owned. Also it is easily the best made vehicle I’ve ever driven. Of course there are bad ones, but they seem to be the exception rather than the rule.

    • I think we need to do what the Canadians did back in the nineties when JB hunt went into Canada pull the driver out and set the truck on fire. Yeah I’m old and I know change is coming but that doesn’t mean I’m changing with it I’m gonna be spewing carbon particles out of my vehicles for the next 20 years.

  9. For short run i see these truck being beneficial for company cost on fuel.

    Long haul and OTR don’t think so.

    • If they actually allowed road trains in the USA like in Finland or Sweden they would have used Volvo fh16 750 or scania trucks to haul about 3×80,000lb and more of loads and save immensely on fuel per loads.

  10. If Elon really wanted to make an impact on the trucking industry, would have made a vehicle that’d be perfect for electricifcation. The less glamorous yard hostler is an ideal candidate. They don’t need range, just torque. And replacing the engine driven hydraulic pump with an electric one would increase reliability and decrease costs.

  11. Can’t wait to hear about all the add-ons that Tesla will charge for, like extended battery (even though the battery itself is the same). Or how about repairs, when only Tesla service centers can perform repairs, and it takes 4x as much and 4 months to complete! Just to do the brakes on a model 3 is $4k! And of course, the 10 year lifespan of the battery pack will cost you nearly the same as a new tractor.

      • semi brake pads change every 30,000 miles driven. Stopping 40 tons (80,000 pounds) going downhill heat up and wreck brake pads quickly. Five axels on 18 wheeler. Five pairs of brake pads. 10 brake pads at $100-200. $1000-2000 for complete change of brake pads. Drive 90,000 miles in a year. Three sets of brake pads. $3000-6000 for a year

        • Brakes are changed about every 300,000 miles not every 30,000. And really i believe they can go longer.

          • Brakes will last on average for about 40,000 miles before needing replacement.

            A lightly driven Semi can replace 18 months.

            Drum brakes will need to be changed every 20-25K miles while disc brakes will last up to 45-55K miles before they need replacing or servicing.

            Expect semi-truck brake jobs to cost $250-$400 per axle on average. Heavy-duty trucks require more expensive repairs if they often tow or haul a lot.

            What kind of terrain ? Hills need more brake changes. What kind of route? More stopping then more brake changes. You are insance if you think you can change your brakes every 300k miles.

            Regular cars change brakes every 50-70k miles.

            • I read the article you linked, and it repeatedly refers to brake fluid. Semis don’t use brake fluid, they use compressed air to activate the brakes. I’m not sure what type of vehicles he is actually referring to, but it definitely is not the one in the picture at the bottom of the article.
              I just turned 600,000 miles on my 2017 freightliner and my disk brakes have lots of life left, both pads and rotors.

            • Brian, I know you mean well but you don’t have a clue. At 40,000 miles you would have to be replacing brakes every 6 weeks. It’s more like 250,00 and 300,000 miles depending where you run. Please leave the trucking conversation to truck drivers.

        • you don’t wear out brakes very much with regenerative breaking. on my model 3 I almost never use breaks. of course bigger loads will be different but still except in abrupt stops the motors got you on braking.

        • I am retired now, but I NEVER wore out brakes at 30, 000 miles in 37 years of driving. Not even in town driving a dump truck. Where are you coming up with that figure?

  12. Mike O’Connell,
    Pepsico VP released an interview on 16 Dec 2022 on CNBC titled “PepsiCo is using 36 Tesla Semis in its fleet and is upgrading facilities for more in 2023”.
    They started their fleet electrification project thanks to a 15.4 MUSD California grant, and a 40KUSD federal subsidy per vehicle helps offset part of the extra costs.
    At the moment, they seem happy with the trucks, but he also clearly states that the new trucks are used by Pepsi to transport lightweight stuff (potato chips and similar).
    Pepsi VP says that “The semi can haul Frito-Lay food products for around 425 miles, but for heavier loads of sodas, the trucks will do shorter trips of around 100 miles.”
    So to me, it is clear that the Tesla Semi has a payload issue.
    It might still be good for certain companies given the subsidies and lightweight nature of what the company might transport. But clearly, once again, Musk overpromised and underdelivered.

    • My guess is the Pepsi VP doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Unless you’re accusing Tesla of fraud with their 500 mi max GVW demo.

  13. Far as I am Concerned this Electric Trucks are a Joke for being out on the road they might be ok for City deliveries but not for the Over the Road professional Drivers Tesla is a Joke to be honest watching this Driver is a Joke to society he would not even drive a wheel Barrow for me

      • He’s right, though. Nothing about this truck is designed around long hauls. Lack of rest facilities in the cab. range limitations, etc. Currently it just won’t work for anything other than making multiple stops in a small metropolitan area or a city.

        • Addressing 40% of the large truck market which is about 12 million trucks globally and 1.6 million trucks in the US. 30 million large trucks globally and 4 million in the US. Length of haul is decreasing. I will write an article about it.

          • no please do not, we all can do the math and there is no need for another article advertising tesla over and over again,,,,,

            • get used to reading. I have written over 30,000 articles. 2000+ articles per year. Not just Tesla but space, fusion, molten salt nuclear, AI, quantum computers, nanotech, antiaging. People can obviously not do the math.

  14. I don’t think range ATM is a big deal. It is perfect for short hauls or even multiple stop hauls. I think the current range is good enough to get plenty of interest.

    What percentage of trips are made where A->B->A can fit in the current range? Also, to extend range, any stop where a truck is docking could add a single charger to there docks. When a truck is unloaded it can be getting recharged. 30 minutes and you are back to over 400 miles of range.

  15. The man made a product that end users don’t want. And we’re supposed to believe he’s going to get all this market share you’re writing about?

    These horrible things will someday join ET for the Atari and the Juicero in a big hole in the earth, because that’s what always happens when out-of-touch seven-figure c-suites forget the basics. If end users don’t want and don’t like your product, you have no fundamentals. Sales come from demand, not the luminiferous PepsiCo™ Demand Aether.

    Absolutely awful.

  16. Hard to say.

    Had I Musk’s wealth…I would have ASKED truckers how they would design a truck..and built THAT.

    The humble never become rich…that’s for jerks.

  17. If you look at trucks you’ll have to take hydrogen more seriously. Nikola is going to be a competitor especially since hydrogen trucks don’t just have a higher range, they are lighter as well and can even compete with short haul BEV trucks. FCEV trucks are going to beat BEVs once the infrastructure is there. And it’s coming.

    • The problem with fuel cell trucks is that the fuel is even more expensive than diesel and will always be more expensive than electricity. Not to mention hydrogen fueling stations cost millions to build.

    • In case you haven’t noticed most stocks have been going down because of inflation, the numbers for food and other necessities being significantly higher than the published rate, and the very real risk of a recession in 2023.

      What I didn’t see considered in this article is if Tesla has included a separate power source to run their heat pump system. If this is the case then cold or hot weather will not affect the range.

    • I never see any Pyramid in Tesla ..but a see a Pyramid in Bitcoin…
      I never believe that anyone can become wealthy without creating and contributing to society…..

    • If Tesla will build(using their 20B or so in cash) 1 zettaflop supercomputer before 2025 and train world’s largest, most advanced AI model, let’s say with 1 Quadrillion parameters, then there’s hope. In such case, they may create AGI, but I doubt Musk has such idea and would invest into this possibly most world changing “bet”

  18. I look forward to you comparing the Nikola FCEV (hydrogen) with the Tesla. The 1st video was clearly biased against FCEV. Were the others too? Nikola will be selling FCEV vehicles next year . . . Months away. This should be fun. 🙂

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