The Tesla Semi may still be in its initial production, but the units that have been delivered to PepsiCo are already making a strong statement. If anything, they emphasize the idea that it is possible to adopt a cleaner, quieter alternative to conventional trucking solutions featuring large, noisy, Class 8 diesel-powered semitrailers today.
It is easy to forget that while diesel-powered trucks have been the norm for a very long time, they do come with their own set of inconveniences. In 2021, researchers from the University of Michigan highlighted the issue of noise and air pollution caused by heavy-duty diesel trucks running through neighborhoods in Southwest Detroit. Residents in affected neighborhoods told the media that the presence of large diesel trucks is challenging because they tend to be noisy, and their emissions are significant. Some residents also noted that the constant sound from the diesel trucks had become a stressor.
Such issues are directly addressed by vehicles like the Tesla Semi. Being all-electric, the Semi is arguably the quietest Class 8 truck on the road today, with most of the vehicle’s sound seemingly coming from its wheels. The absence of an exhaust pipe on the Tesla Semi also means that regardless of where the Semi travels, people around it would not need to worry about inhaling harmful substances.
Needless to say, the Tesla Semi is a glimpse of a cleaner, quieter future for the trucking sector. And thanks to the growing number of PepsiCo’s Tesla Semi fleet, the EV community can now get a glimpse of what an electric truck-powered future could be like. Social media posts featuring the Class 8 all-electric truck in action show that the Semi is indeed a very quiet vehicle, and unlike its diesel-powered counterparts, it would likely not be as much of a nuisance for residents even if it travels through inner-city streets.
The lack of noise and emissions from the Tesla Semi is only the tip of the iceberg for the Class 8 all-electric truck’s inherent advantages. The vehicle is equipped with numerous safety features and driver-centric functions that would likely make the Tesla Semi a great truck to drive, even for drivers who have spent decades operating a conventional diesel semitrailer. Of course, both drivers and operators have to be open-minded enough to try out the Tesla Semi before the vehicle can truly make a difference.
Considering the initial reception of the Semi from PepsiCo and the general public so far, it appears that the enthusiasm surrounding all-electric Class 8 trucks is substantial. This is good news overall. As noted by CEO Elon Musk during the Semi’s first delivery event, after all, trucks comprise just 1% of all vehicles on US roads, but they are responsible for 20% of all US vehicle emissions and 36% of all US vehicle particulate emissions. It is then in everyone’s best interest to change the status quo.
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