Tesla Semi limps up Donner Pass during I-80 snowstorm

Screen Shot 2021 06 28 At 3 39 52 Pm Headshot
Updated Feb 8, 2024
Tesla Semi i-80 donner pass snow
The Tesla Semi puts on another great performance on Donner Pass.
CHP Truckee

California's Donner Pass on I-80 is among the steepest, most treacherous bits of interstate in the country, and also the stomping ground of the Tesla Semi, sometimes seen blowing past slower diesel rigs up grade

But how does the Semi handle in snow and ice?

[Related: Tesla's Semi blows past diesels uphill, but do owner-ops care?]

After a rough few nights on I-80, featuring multiple truck spin-outs that closed the interstate off and on, California Highway Patrol posted a few updates showing diesels stuck in the ice, sometimes leading to hazmat-spill situations.

One Tesla Semi, however, managed to keep rolling unassisted, at least during a short video posted by CHP's Truckee unit. 

Just hours after a "solo big rig traffic collision" shuttered the interstate near Soda Springs, where a tractor pulling a conestoga managed to separate itself from its hood, a "small fast moving storm hit the summit bringing snow and ice to the roadway causing a bit of a mess," according to CHP. 

The result was "multiple big rig spin outs on 60 mile," where CHP patrol trucks on some occasions had to push stuck diesels out

Tesla's passenger cars haven't always fared well in the cold this winter. Regular readers may remember a Chicago-area charging station became something of a "graveyard" for cold EVs that refused to take a charge in January. This Semi apparently had enough steam, or a skilled enough driver, or just plain luck, to keep rolling, albeit slowly.  

Not bad for an automatic, right? 

For now, I-80 at Donner Pass has reopened, but keep an eye out for chain advisories and traffic information at this link