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Tesla Electric Semi-Truck?
Old 11-16-2017, 11:58 AM   #1
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Tesla Electric Semi-Truck?

To be announced tonight:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/fo...of2&yptr=yahoo

Educated guesses are that this simply cannot do long-haul trucking (range and/or REALLY BIG and REALLY $$$ batteries, and REALLY BIG charging stations would be required). But maybe the numbers can work for semis that make deliveries in a limited range from their base, and return to their base for overnight charging?

If it is affordable, it might be a big enough market for them. I think it probably makes more sense to replace the dirty diesel trucks with EVs than it does the relatively clean high mpg cars and hybrids with EV cars.

Plus, Musk may bring some innovation to the market. Should be interesting.

-ERD50
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Old 11-16-2017, 10:58 PM   #2
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If they had battery swap stations, that would eliminate a huge amount of time used for charging, then the station would charge the battery to be used later in the day to swap into another truck.

A truck by design can carry a large battery, so perhaps they will have a range of 500 miles.
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Old 11-16-2017, 11:27 PM   #3
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Well that was cool, although the roadster is just too costly to sit in my garage for my 3 mile trip to the grocery store. Cost is possibly going to be $200K , it costs $45,000 just to reserve it.

I like the transport truck at a cost of $1.21 per mile, but that is probably based on driving 175K per year and not my 11K.
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Old 11-17-2017, 06:43 AM   #4
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Ive said it before and ill say it again...Elon Musk is a con man. Im glad he is making electric vehicles cool...but this company will not be around that long...just a road bump for bigger powerhouses.

The main issue is weight. In the US there are maximum load capacity for big rigs...thats why you see weight stations everywhere. The battery pack to operate these trucks will weight tons more than a standard diesel engine. Less payload will be moving from point A to point B...not very economical.

And...seeing how well/fast the tesla 3's are being built...the tesla company will only be able to produce one of these semi trucks a month. Again...this company is not profitable...smoke and mirrors.
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Old 11-17-2017, 08:09 AM   #5
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I watched the stream of the unveiling last night, pretty interesting.

So it is designed for 500 mile range - I was wrong on that, thinking they'd focus on inter-city trucking.

So they lay out the scenario where the truck drives out ~ 250 miles for a delivery, and then back, and can recharge (with a MEGACharger - a Supercharger station would take far too long) at the home station. He also claims they can recharge to 400 mile range in 30 minutes, and that would be no lost time, as the truck could be loaded-unloaded at that same time. And a diesel takes ~ 15 minutes to fill anyhow. Interesting.

Oh, and a o-60 time of 10 seconds unloaded, 20 seconds at full load! Now, not many are going to buy this to drag race, but when he compared that acceleration to a standard diesel, it was amusing, he had to sit around and act bored while the diesel caught up, must have been around 2 minutes?

I don't know how important that is, it's just one of those natural benefits you get with electric, low speed torque. But I would appreciate it when I'm stuck behind a big rig, slowly accelerating, and puffing clouds of black smoke the whole time.

But I was right about Tesla bringing other innovations.

Better aerodynamics, partially due to not having a big engine/radiator to work around, partially innovation - they say there are movable flaps that will automatically match up to the sides of the trailer. Driver sits in the middle, for better view, huge windshield made out of some super glass (Musk claims a semi has a broken windshield ~ 1/year, and this will save downtime).

And of course Auto Pilot, large screens for the driver, the 4 wheel drive supposedly can prevent jack-knifing, some other stuff I'm probably forgetting. Overall, I was pretty impressed.

But... they never mentioned battery size (I'm sure someone will reverse engineer the numbers soon), and as mentioned by others, carrying around a big heavy battery is a big negative for something designed to carry big heavy freight.

Cost was only given in terms of some sort of per/mile cost - which is what is important to truck operators, but what are the details to measure that?

And a 1 M mile "no breakdown" warranty? Not sure what that means, as he said with 4 motors, if two motors die, you can still drive it just fine. So I guess losing 2 motors is not a 'breakdown'? What is the warranty then?

Oh, available in 2019 (even Musk said 2 years, so that would mean end of 2019. Funniest comment from one of the live streamers, ribbing Musk for his over-promise on deliveries - something like " Available 2019, you can have one in 2037!".

I'm curious about these MEGA-Chargers, man that must take some serious juice to charge to 80% in 30 minutes.


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Originally Posted by ponyboy View Post
Ive said it before and ill say it again...Elon Musk is a con man. ....
Well, I'm also skeptical of much of what Musk says and does. But I was still impressed with this. Devil's in the (not so small) details, but some of these big questions - and can he deliver? And long term, is it something Tesla can make money on? There will be competition in this field by 2020 for sure. But in a way, by having more models (they announced the new Roadster too), there is some reuse of the engineering (I think he said the motors are the same as the model 3, but 4 of them), so it could help them.


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... Im glad he is making electric vehicles cool....
I'm actually NOT glad about that. EVs are seen as cool "zero pollution" vehicles, and they are not. After factoring in the production of electricity, a decent hybrid probably does better for the environment. Even if by some measures the EV were to be better, it isn't so much better that it should be looked at as some sort of "solution", it might be just a small incremental benefit. And hybrids aren't standing still either (look up the recent Mazda HCCI engine design)

Oh, back to Elon being a con man - I will grant you this from the unveiling. He mentioned the MEGA-Chargers will have solar panels, so the trucks are running on "sunshine" I've debunked that before - the short version is, if those solar panels were not charging the EVs, they'd be feeding the grid. So the EV is still, in effect, using grid power.

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Old 11-17-2017, 08:10 AM   #6
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Elon is an out of the box thinker and not all of his inventions may stand the test of time but they sure are interesting and pushing the envelope. I wonder if/how repeal of the EV federal tax credit will affect sales ?
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Old 11-17-2017, 08:38 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by frayne View Post
Elon is an out of the box thinker and not all of his inventions may stand the test of time but they sure are interesting and pushing the envelope. I wonder if/how repeal of the EV federal tax credit will affect sales ?
I bet Elon wishes he could have reserved all those credits that were given to the Roadster, Model X, and Model S buyers. I doubt a $7,500 credit meant much to the buyers of $100,000 cars. But it certainly will have an affect on sales of a $35,000 car.

From my previous post:

"But... they never mentioned battery size (I'm sure someone will reverse engineer the numbers soon),"


I'm pretty sure there was a watt-hour per mile spec in his presentation ( ~ 1000 I think?), multiply that by miles range, and you have an estimate of battery KWh. I'll see if I can find it. My 1000 watt # would mean ~ 500 kWh battery, about 5x to 10x what they offer in their Model S, X or 3.

edit-update: OK, the Tesla site says < 2 KWh per mile, so somewhere near 1000 Kwh battery (that's a Mega-Watt hour), or 10x ~ 20x what is in their cars.

So to charge 80% in 30 minutes, means the charger must provide ~ 1.6 MW of power (plus losses, but the 1MW # may be on the high side, close enough). I think that's about the max power that ~ 50 houses could draw if they were right at panel breaker capacity at once (which they never are). Or roughly 1,600 toasters or microwave ovens running at once. Or ~ 3,333 Amps if they use the Supercharger's 480 Volt system. That is some big cables, roughly like a bundle of 100 wires at 10 gauge (200 total - 100 for Plus side, 100 for Neg side). Probably be some kind of robot arm and solid conductors?

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Old 11-17-2017, 08:48 AM   #8
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I'm glad to see Elon is continuing to create new products, but it would be nice if he could figure out how to build more than a few Model 3's each week before venturing out into two new product categories.

It looks like there's a good chance the $7,500 tax credit is going to end this year, which may cause a lot of people (including me) to cancel their orders.
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:37 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I'm actually NOT glad about that. EVs are seen as cool "zero pollution" vehicles, and they are not. After factoring in the production of electricity, a decent hybrid probably does better for the environment. Even if by some measures the EV were to be better, it isn't so much better that it should be looked at as some sort of "solution", it might be just a small incremental benefit. And hybrids aren't standing still either (look up the recent Mazda HCCI engine design)

-ERD50
Im not sure people view them as "zero pollution" cool vehicles. A couple of my friends are in queue for the model 3. After all the discussions with them ive never heard them once talk about zero pollution. They just think they're cool...no gas...insanely fast off the line...can drive themselves if you want to pay a mint for all the bells and whistles..receive updates OTA, etc etc.

I personally dont view them as saving the environment. When I said cool...I meant they look cool and the technology behind them is cool. It would be nice to not be a slave to big oil...but if everything becomes battery powered we'll be a slave to "conflict mineral" companies...so either way the chains will never be broken.
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:47 AM   #10
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Musk reminds me of the Popular Mechanics articles of the 1950's era. Lots of pipe dreams and little in reality.

I wonder where he plans to build these large trucks seeing his only assembly plant is in Fremont, Ca and is stuffed with Model 3's (low production at the moment), and model S and X vehicles? Plus, it's not designed or tooled up to handle large frame vehicles and only previously built near 250 K annually of Matrix and Vibe small SUV's. And, the capacity is bottle-necked with only one paint line.

And his excuse of the Model 3 shortfall in production is he can't make enough batteries and is raw material dependent from 3 rd party vendors.

The real issue will be paying vendors when Tesla runs out of cash to pay bills.
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:50 AM   #11
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Of course this truck design will work nicely for driving between Mars base Alpha and Mars base Beta. Especially in self-driving mode.
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Old 11-17-2017, 10:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
...

And his excuse of the Model 3 shortfall in production is he can't make enough batteries and is raw material dependent from 3 rd party vendors. ...
True, but there won't be any volume of these until 2020, so they could conceivably catch up with battery production by then. And I doubt they would be selling one truck for every 100 cars, but if they did, that would be a 10% added demand.

That could still be a big problem come 2020, but we will see. I am skeptical of many of Musk's claims as well though.


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...
The real issue will be paying vendors when Tesla runs out of cash to pay bills.
I sure would not want to be in the position of having Tesla owe me a lot of money.

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Old 11-17-2017, 10:18 AM   #13
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The main issue is weight. In the US there are maximum load capacity for big rigs...thats why you see weight stations everywhere. The battery pack to operate these trucks will weight tons more than a standard diesel engine. Less payload will be moving from point A to point B...not very economical.
Tractor diesel engine/transmission ~ 2 tons.

300 gallons diesel fuel ~ 1 ton.

"Tesla Semi" battery pack guesstimate: 3 tons

https://www.axios.com/elon-musks-sem...370032475.html
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Old 11-17-2017, 10:43 AM   #14
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Musk can do anything with batteries. Next thing you know he will be investing a hand-held gadget that streams light in front of it.
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Old 11-17-2017, 10:43 AM   #15
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Tractor diesel engine/transmission ~ 2 tons.

300 gallons diesel fuel ~ 1 ton.

"Tesla Semi" battery pack guesstimate: 3 tons

https://www.axios.com/elon-musks-sem...370032475.html
The numbers there seem way off, and are not apples-apples.

First, comparing 500 mile range, at 6.5 mpg for diesel, that is 77 gallons, a lot less than 300 gallons.

They estimate 1 KWh per mile, but Tesla's site says < 2 KWh per mile. Safe to assume not much less, or they would have said ~ 1 KWh per mile. So off by almost a factor of 2x on battery size.

Not sure about the weight comparisons, but you would also need to include the 4 electric motors in that.

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Old 11-17-2017, 10:48 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
Musk reminds me of the Popular Mechanics articles of the 1950's era. Lots of pipe dreams and little in reality.

I wonder where he plans to build these large trucks seeing his only assembly plant is in Fremont, Ca and is stuffed with Model 3's (low production at the moment), and model S and X vehicles? Plus, it's not designed or tooled up to handle large frame vehicles and only previously built near 250 K annually of Matrix and Vibe small SUV's. And, the capacity is bottle-necked with only one paint line.

And his excuse of the Model 3 shortfall in production is he can't make enough batteries and is raw material dependent from 3 rd party vendors.

The real issue will be paying vendors when Tesla runs out of cash to pay bills.
This,! I'm still pissed. I was supposed to be flying a rocket car by now. Kinda like the "coming ice age" they taught me in school

We'll see.
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Old 11-17-2017, 11:13 AM   #17
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Musk can do anything with batteries. Next thing you know he will be investing a hand-held gadget that streams light in front of it.
And the light will be fast, really fast, light-speed fast
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Old 11-17-2017, 11:34 AM   #18
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I think it'll be a decade plus before this can potentially be used for long-haul trucking. However, I think it is perfect for dedicated delivery. I know people who drive truck about 350-400 miles roundtrip per day. They could do their delivery and return to their company terminal to plug in the truck and start fresh the next day. This would save a lot on "fuel" costs and maintenance would be WAY lower than a diesel engine/transmission. Up front costs are surely higher but long term should be far lower. Better experience for the drivers too with no shifting and faster acceleration. Plus AWD and other added tech making driving safer in bad road conditions.
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Old 11-17-2017, 11:35 AM   #19
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I hope he comes out with a hand-held, battery powered device soon that can allow people to speak to each other through a coded numbering system! That would be cool!
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Old 11-17-2017, 11:38 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by ncbill View Post
Tractor diesel engine/transmission ~ 2 tons.

300 gallons diesel fuel ~ 1 ton.

"Tesla Semi" battery pack guesstimate: 3 tons

https://www.axios.com/elon-musks-sem...370032475.html
OK, on the battery, my number look more like:

The Tesla 85 kwh pack:
85 kwh
600 kg
141.67 wh/kg

So assume ~ 1000 kwh battery in the semi:

1000 kwh truck batt
7,059 kg truck batt calculated
15,529 #

That's about 15 thousand pounds of battery pack. That's a big chunk (~ 19 %) of the 80,000 # max gross weight allowed in the US. Though I'm not sure if most deliveries are limited by weight or size of cargo?

Anyone want to take a stab at engine/trans/related weight versus electric motor weight? I'm guessing the delta won't come close to that 15,000 # delta of battery versus 77 gallons of fuel @ ~ 7#/G ~ 540#. Plus the tank weight, battery weight includes the pack , but then again, 15,000 # will require some support as well.

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