Watch an Electric Semi Completely Own a Diesel Truck

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Toyota’s ‘Project Portal’ Semi truck impresses with this acceleration test video.

It’s easy to sit back and hate on electric trucks. The idea that someday you will have to trade in your big V8 for an electric pickup might make you want to punch someone. But you know what? The truth is that electric trucks are the future, and they have the potential to be pretty damn good! This is especially the case when it comes to larger trucks such as commercial vans and even semi trucks.

This video by The Wheel Network features one of many tests from Toyota’s ‘Portal Project,’ with two semis with a gross vehicle weight of 35,000 pounds each. Once the “race” begins, the diesel truck lumbers along just as you’d imagine it would: slow and steady. The electric truck bursts at the start, accelerating at a much higher rate. Now, before you start crying foul, keep in mind the Toyota truck generates 670 horsepower and 1,325 pound feet of torque, which is nearly identical to trucks of such class. The comparison of the two vehicles is perfectly legit.

Electric Semi VS Diesel Semi

The implications of this test are huge, and not always in favor of the electric truck. If these engines can be made for a reasonable price, we could see the landscape of trucking changed forever. There are environmental and economic advantages to going electric, but there’s also a safety aspect. No longer will these massive vehicles need to take extra precautions to get up to speed on the highway, or take extra-long to maneuver around specific situations.

“Project Portal” differs greatly because the batteries aren’t used to generate electricity, like a Tesla. Toyota uses hydrogen fuel cell technology to recharge the batteries. Therefore, the truck can travel for more than 200 miles before needing to stop. At that point, the truck would refill on hydrogen, instead of waiting around for batteries to charge.

For those of you who love to crap all over electric trucks, your days are numbered. For those of you who love to crap on internal combustion engines, remember that this test only shows an acceleration comparison. As we all know, semi trucks do much more than just accelerate on a regular work day.

Clearly, there’s still a long road ahead.

Chime in with your thoughts on the forum. >>

Charles Dean is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and Rennlist, among other auto sites.

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