Depending on whom you ask, the Tesla Semi is either the best thing happening to the trucking industry or the major flop that will break Tesla. The latter claim might have gotten some unexpected support after pictures and videos of the electric Class-8 trucks being towed surfaced on social media.
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The Semi is the first Tesla product in years, and the company has huge expectations. The electric Class-8 truck has already divided the internet, and professional truck drivers have demolished it for being just a gimmick, built without any consideration for what a work truck actually is. In the meantime, major trucking companies are still waiting for feedback from PepsiCo before taking the plunge.

The Semi specifications are pretty impressive on paper, with a 500-mile range and operating costs that look enticing. If everything checks out in real life, the Tesla Semi might become the best-selling truck in history. On the other hand, its lower gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) might indicate that a trucking company needs more Semis to move the same cargo than it does with conventional trucks. There’ll surely be a balancing act between the truck’s capabilities, costs, and requirements, so it’ll be interesting to see how all these will pan out.

Elon Musk promised that the Semi could drive one million miles between overhauls with little to no maintenance. This is mighty impressive, but the Semi still has to prove this claim. If it holds to this promise, the Tesla Semi might be the most cost-effective Class-8 truck on the market, but we’re only a little more than a month away from the delivery start to conclude. Even so, there are already two known instances when a Tesla Semi needed towing for unknown reasons.

The first broken Tesla Semi was spotted on New Year’s Eve via live feed from Nevada DOT. The Semi broke down at the roundabout intersection of Nevada State Route 439 and U.S. 50, just west of Silver Springs, Nevada. There is no information about this incident other than that it took two hours before it was towed away. On January 5, another Tesla Semi wearing a PepsiCo livery was spotted while being towed in Sacramento, California, near a Pepsi Bottling Company location. This is also a mysterious event, and both Tesla and PepsiCo remained silent about what happened.

It’s not the first time a Semi has broken down in the middle of the road. In an earlier incident, a testing prototype needed towing after breaking down in the middle of a highway on-ramp, causing a traffic nightmare. Nevertheless, while a prototype might get the excuse of an immature configuration, a production vehicle does not. Two trucks needing towing in less than a week are not random events. They seem indicative of the failing Tesla quality control.

It’s also something you’d expect from a new model coming from a company that never built such a big rig before. Breakdowns happen all the time, even with trucks from established manufacturers. But for a newcomer, this could prove a lot worse. No matter how good it looks on paper and how cheap it is to operate, a truck that needs towing is not very helpful to a trucking company. And we’re still very far from the one-million-mile mark, so Tesla Semi trucks breaking down on the side of the road are a disturbing image.

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