Another significant victory is the outstanding performance of the Tesla Semi on ice.

Kurt “CyberGuy" Knutsson: Video shows Tesla Semi can navigate icy conditions, potentially offering a sustainable, all-weather, heavy-duty transport solution amid emissions concerns.

Another significant victory is the outstanding performance of the Tesla Semi on ice.

Performance under less-than-ideal circumstances is one of the main concerns of Tesla Semi-Truck naysayers. Although this all-electric truck is capable of operating in strictly controlled environments, truckers are aware that real-world road conditions are rarely ideal.

Many of our readers had unanswered questions regarding the Tesla truck design even after we published our article about how the Tesla Semi-Truck outperformed a diesel-fueled vehicle in acceleration, especially on steep gradients. A few of those queries concerned whether it had the strength and control to deal with inclement weather and ice roads.

We sought answers to those questions about weather from Tesla itself but did not receive a response. Fortunately, we have some other means of investigating this issue, including a recent video from the California Highway Patrol (CHP) that may provide some answers.

The CHP created a Facebook post in early 2024 that mentioned closing Donner Summit along I-80 in California after multiple semi-trucks lost control on icy roads. The announcement itself was not the notable item, though.

What caught our attention – and the attention of 3.5 million-plus viewers – was a video of a Tesla Semi-Truck slowly but successfully navigating the icy roads. The CHP didn’t mention the Tesla truck in the post, but the video clearly shows its unique design.

We must say that although the video seemed to show the Tesla Semi-Truck handling the ice like a cold-weather pro, it was only 17 seconds long. It’s impossible to tell just how far the truck traveled during the video and how fast it was going. We also don't know what happened with the truck after the officer stopped recording. 

Still, the video evidence appears to show that icy conditions were no problem for this Tesla Semi-Truck. If true, this would indicate that it could perform anywhere in the United States at any time of the year rather than only in warm-weather states that experience primarily mild weather.

Tesla claims its Semi-Truck has an energy consumption of less than 2 kWh per mile, even when fully loaded at 82,000 pounds. Such energy savings could be monumental in terms of cutting emissions. Transport & Environment estimates semi-trucks in Europe account for 27% of all vehicle emissions while only representing 2% of the vehicles on the road. 

The EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) calls heavy-duty trucks the "fastest growing contributor to emissions," making an all-electric option like the Tesla Semi-Truck game-changing. With the EPA expecting freight activity in the United States to grow by 45% from today to 2040, finding new options for cutting emissions is vital.

Of course, to provide such benefits, the Tesla truck would have to prove that it can handle the conditions that truckers encounter every day, including performing in less-than-ideal road conditions and weather. What the vehicle seemed to do in the CHP video would indicate a positive step forward.

The Tesla Semi-Truck appears to show video proof of the strength of its design, such as the power it delivers on hills. It proved its efficiency for traveling long distances on a single charge. And now it seems to be showcasing safe operation in winter road conditions. It will be interesting to see what this truck can deliver in the near future as it attempts to overcome skeptics.