The Tesla Semi is currently traveling across the United States to gather real-world data and refine its systems before it gets released next year. Tesla seems to have brought the Semi over to be test driven by professional driver and 28-year auto veteran Emile Bouret recently as well, who walked away from the experience thoroughly impressed.
Emile Bouret is a professional test driver who has worked with Tesla for years. Bouret is a close friend of Tesla chief designer Franz von Holzhausen, and he has been asked to test drive the company’s vehicles from the Model S to the original Tesla Roadster. He was also the man who conducted test drives in the next-generation Tesla Roadster during the vehicle’s unveiling last November.
The professional driver recently posted an update on his Instagram about the Tesla Semi, lauding the electric long-hauler for its speed and agility, stating that the truck’s performance is practically at odds with its size. Bouret’s caption on his Instagram post suggests that he actually got some hands-on time with the electric long-hauler.
“Blurring The Line | Coworker Edition – I’m clearly very lucky to do what I do & to work with many talented people. As if they could ever be overlooked, the inanimate coworkers I get to work with also tend to be incredibly capable. And that was certainly true with this one, which made a surprise appearance at a recent work site. To see this thing coming down the road in near silence & with speed & agility seemingly at odds with something of its size makes you feel as if you’re living in the future. Kickass cool & crazy in equal measure… the Tesla Semi.”
Tesla loves bending the rules of markets that it disrupts. When the company started selling cars, its business model did away with dealerships, shaking the very idea of how brand new cars are sold. When it seemed like GA3 would not be enough to build 5,000 Model 3 per week by the end of Q2 2018, Tesla built another assembly line inside a sprung structure at the grounds of the Fremont factory.
Now, Tesla is attempting to break into another market that is ripe for disruption — the American trucking industry — and its weapon of choice is the Tesla Semi. The Tesla Semi, just like CEO Elon Musk and the company itself, has attracted its own set of disbelievers and critics. Martin Daum, Daimler’s head of trucks, even suggested that the Tesla Semi defies the laws of physics, considering the specs announced by Musk. Jon Mills, a spokesman for engine maker Cummins Inc., largely dismissed the electric truck and its chances at the long-haul market as well, citing weak demand.
That has not stopped Tesla from pushing the Semi, though. Over the past few weeks, multiple sightings of the Semi have been reported across the United States, and during this time, the vehicle was seen visiting some of the companies that placed pre-orders for the long-hauler. Among these are UPS, J.B. Hunt, and Ruan Transportation Management Systems, all of which shared their enthusiasm for the truck online.
Just like Tesla’s other vehicles, the Semi is designed to be a long-hauler that could be driven well. This is a trademark of all Tesla electric cars to date, as the Model S, Model X, and Model 3 have all been hailed for their ride and drive. The vehicles themselves might attract criticism over their design (such as the Model X’s overcomplicated Falcon Wing Doors and the first-production Model 3’s build quality), but when it comes to drivability and performance, Tesla’s electric cars usually pass with flying colors.
This is what happened with the Model 3 during Detroit veteran Sandy Munro’s teardown and analysis of the vehicle. Munro spared no criticism when he talked about the Model 3’s panel gaps and overall build quality, but when he actually drove the electric sedan, he was impressed. Munro later noted that the person who tuned the suspension for the Model 3 could easily have been an “F1 Prince” — no small compliment coming from a man with decades of experience in the auto industry.
If Emile Bouret’s praise for the Tesla Semi is any indication, it appears that the electric long-hauler would be able to impress even its staunchest critics when it comes to the way it drives and its overall performance. Tesla, after all, has noted that it is in the process of improving the truck before it enters mass production. Elon Musk has already teased that the long-range variant of the vehicle will have closer to 600 miles of range. Making the Telsa Semi impressive to drive is just more icing on the cake.