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Diesel rigs overtake by Tesla Semi brings hope for driving behind heavy trucks

Tesla Semi passing ICE trucks at Donner Pass (image: Zanegler/Twitter)
Tesla Semi passing ICE trucks at Donner Pass (image: Zanegler/Twitter)
It usually takes forever for one semi truck to pass another and those driving behind it are in for an excruciating wait. Electric trucks like the Tesla Semi, however, can overtake much quicker, and even on steep hills, it seems.

The most common diesel engines used to power long-haul semi trucks in the US are optimized for longevity rather than performance. Their motors have 6 cylinders on average with around 600 HP output, and have 1850 pounds of torque. Even those 600 horsepowers, however, aren't enough when a loaded semi starts passing another on flat road.

It takes forever for one truck to overtake another, as many drivers who have had the misfortune to be in the fast lane behind one can attest. On a steep hill, the situation deteriorates further to an extent where trucks rarely try to pass one another as they will be blocking the lane forever.

Until the arrival of electric rigs, that is, as Tesla claims that its Semi is roughly 3x more powerful than the average diesel long-haul truck. While the exact Tesla Semi specs aren't disclosed just yet, its tri-motor config is likely to output 1000+ HP and the peak torque number is available at any speed.

These specifications and numerous tests have made Tesla confident enough to announce that its Semi truck can maintain its speed at 6% incline even. Talk is cheap, however, until there are real-life examples that electric trucks like the Tesla Semi can finally put an end to the tortuous long-haul truck overpassing scenarios.

One such example just hailed from Donner Pass - a 7,056 ft mountain pass in Sierra Nevada - whose uphill incline starts at 7%. Big-rigs usually cover it at speeds of less than 50 mph and there are right-hand lanes for slower trucks in steeper areas.

It's precisely there that a loaded Tesla Semi has recorded to comfortably overtake two diesel trucks in a row, before tucking in before them to keep on its merry way. It seems to do so rather effortlessly, too, with an Audi SUV next to it keeping up.

The Tesla Semi is not the only game in town, too, as many other automakers like Volvo now have electric rigs, so at some point those excruciating ICE truck overtakings could become a thing of the past.

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Zanegler (Twitter)

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2023 07 > Diesel rigs overtake by Tesla Semi brings hope for driving behind heavy trucks
Daniel Zlatev, 2023-07-18 (Update: 2023-07-18)