To clarify, he does parse the weight discussion by saying the Semi has the same cargo capacity as a diesel semi. Hear for yourself at ~ 4:30:
Thanks for the clarification.
That's a huge
difference. There is no single value for maximum truck weight (it depends on axle count, axle spacing, which road, where...) so it's easy to compare an eight-ton diesel tractor and an 10-ton electric tractor and say they have the same payload because they can both haul a 30-ton trailer.
Commercial trucks in North America have their tare mass and maximum gross loaded mass posted on the side of the truck. Some which operate over wide areas have quite a list of gross combination weight values listed, each annotated with where it applies. The highest values (typically a Canadian federal limit of 62,500 kg - 137,789 lb - for a B Train Double) are more than 1.5 times the lowest values (such as the general US federal limit of 80,000 lb or 36,288 kg). Even within a single jurisdiction, a truck licensed for 40 tons and one licensed for 60 tons are not wildly different in their own weight.
On the other hand, Guillen refers to only a single GVW limit (the US federal value) and says that they are aiming
to have the same payload... so nothing has actually been achieved, and we're still talking about aspirations. Even the 800 kilometre (500 mile) range is expressed as a target, not an actual specification. By the time these numbers get from the Truck VP to the Supreme Leader (Musk), of course they become absolutes.