Tesla Semi has been pushed ‘well beyond expectations’ by a new customer


Tesla has delivered its Tesla Semi, an electric semi truck, to a new customer for a pilot program that has reportedly pushed the electric vehicle “well beyond expectations.”

The Tesla Semi program has seen some significant delays – even since it has officially entered production.

It was first unveiled in 2017, and it was supposed to come to market in 2020, but it only officially entered production in late 2022.

Despite entering production more than a year ago, the program has been very limited.

In October 2023, we learned that Tesla had only built about 70 Tesla Semi trucks and the company was using them internally and with one main customer: PepsiCo.

Tesla was supposed to expand production of the truck at a Gigafactory Nevada expansion announced last year, but the automaker only recently broke ground on the construction project.

Now, we learn that Tesla has at least also delivered electric semi-trucks to another customer: Martin Brower (MB), a large logistics company specializing in restaurant supply chains.

MB recently confirmed that it used two Tesla Semi trucks in a pilot program earlier this year:

A group of five MB drivers, Frank Solari, Leo Alvarez, Casey Kamp, Carlos Nava, and Javier Hernandez, were trained to operate the Tesla Semi, which uniquely positions the steering wheel and driver’s seat in the center of the cockpit and has other design features to increase driver visibility and safety. Overall, our drivers had positive feedback on how the vehicle performs.

One of the drivers who got to use one of the electric trucks, Casey Kamp, commented on the Tesla Semi:

The Tesla Semi rises above any other tractor with mobility, center seat configuration, and precise movement that allows the driver to navigate safely

Megan Yamaguchi, Assistant Transportation Manager at MB, added that the Tesla Semi trucks were pushed “well beyond expectations”:

The Tesla Semi experience has been impressive since day one. Our drivers had no problem learning the systems and maximizing the features that set these tractors apart. We’ve been able to push these tractors well beyond expectations and look forward to our electric future.

Tesla Semi can travel up to 500 miles with a full load, which the company claims is competitive with diesel semi trucks with a much lower cost of operation.

Dan Priestley, Tesla Semi lead engineer, commented on MB’s test program:

These demonstrations with the Tesla Semi have provided great product feedback on how to make the best class 8 truck while also showing customers how it can fit in their operations. Thanks to Martin Brower and our other very patient customers for working with us to test, develop, and refine the Semi. Keep an eye out for them on the road!

MB operates hundreds of trucks based at dozens of distribution centers. The company says that it will review the results of the pilot program and move to electrify its fleet from there.

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