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Forbes: Tesla’s Electric Semi Is Almost Here, But Elon Musk Hasn’t Shared Some Heavy Details

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
8,768
11,436
Boise, ID
Well I'd ask, why would Tesla sell the Semi at 1/3 the cost of the competitors?
Yes, I already answered that before you specifically asked it here:
So on the passenger vehicles they have no reason to offer low prices when they are doing so well in that market. In a different market of trucking, maybe they are willing to take a lesser profit margin to gain entry into that market segment. Maybe you're right that the semi prices are a bit of a loss at the beginning because they are expecting it to get better in the next few years, and they can support it with profits from the passenger vehicle market. Plenty of businesses do things like that.
 
I drove a semi for a year. Bought it used and hauled my own stuff. What I didn't do was have a lot of maintenance costs. And I would expect that the EV version would have even less, because of near zero moving parts in the "engine". I would expect that an electric would need even less drive train maintenance. Oil and filter changes come around a lot sooner on a semi, simply because the miles rack up faster. My truck only had a 300-gallon fuel tank, but it sure drank that fuel fast, and at five and a half bucks a gallon, that drains the wallet mighty fast. Over a thousand bucks per fill-up.
 
not exaggerating. please. get some other FUD. this one is old.

what is wrong with people?

nevermind. it's pretty easy to armchair this *sugar* from the keyboard. whilst real engineers run the numbers. and, you know, science it out, producing things that will never amaze some.

Yah, I'm sure you are right.

That 150K 500 mile getting Tesla Semi will come out right along with that $39K Cybertruck in 2021.

Thanks for the insight.

When will you people figure out that it's not the engineers spouting out this stuff, it's PT Barnum/ Musk? Never I'll presume.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
8,768
11,436
Boise, ID
Yah, I'm sure you are right.

That 150K 500 mile getting Tesla Semi will come out right along with that $39K Cybertruck in 2021.

Thanks for the insight.

When will you people figure out that it's not the engineers spouting out this stuff, it's PT Barnum/ Musk? Never I'll presume.
That didn't take long to see your true colors come out.

We've been hearing people say "That's impossible!!!!!1!!1!" with almost every product Tesla has announced. And they produced them. So, yeah... When you come on here adamantly ranting that this is also impossible, and we are the ones saying, "We'll have to wait and see before judging.", who is being reasonable?
 
So we will see the actual final product next week. It will be interesting to see how naysayers respond when we start shoving the actual specs up their nose. They typically stop responding and just go silent. Oh they’ll probably say it’s still not true and now Tesla and Pepsi are both lying. It’s interesting because they really have no “Inside knowledge” to make claims. Just gut feelings.

I do agree Elon stretches and blurs the edges between reality and what he can see happening. But when final products are delivered they typically perform as advertised. Obviously FSD is excepted. Still I did pay for it twice.
 
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Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
8,768
11,436
Boise, ID
According to the Tesla website the Model s Plaid costs around 135K. The 500 mile Tesla Semi will only cost 45k more?
Well, that was the amount listed on the screen at the unveiling event originally. But that was several years ago, and like the Cybertruck, I think we are having to be realistically skeptical whether they will be able to hold to that price point now.
 
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Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
8,768
11,436
Boise, ID
Thoughts on how the price hasn't been disclosed yet?
Yes.
Could it be that Tesla and Pepsi haven't come to an agreement yet?
Certainly not. They took delivery. There's no way they are still negotiating that.

You know how they took a bunch of orders from a couple dozen companies at first and then stopped taking orders for a while, as there were some delays? I think those were orders committed at the announced $150K and $180K prices. But with a few years of delays, they are realizing that inflation just won't let them offer it NOW at those same prices.

So I expect they will be fulfilling those initial orders at the initial prices, but then when they start taking new orders, they will probably have new higher prices.
 
Some dumb*ss wrote this little blurb up. He/ she probably doesn't know a thing about the topic at hand but responded to a video regarding the Frito-Lay Semi's:

I possess significant knowledge on this topic.

A modern weight sensitive day cab tractor weighs about 16K#s with enough fuel to travel 500 miles.

A day cab aero tractor in CA (commercial speed limit is 55mph) will easily average over 8 mpg. Getting mid 8's is very doable in that environment. In fact I've seen over 9mpg. My experience mostly in construction has the trucks literally loaded on scales within 200#s of legal limits, but OTR loads seems to be well below that at times (also, not my experience) so I'll defer to the stats that most loads are cubed out not grossed out.

The Class 6 EV trucks from competitors weigh 5K#s more than the diesel version (not a made up number). I'm going to guess that at a minimum the Class 8's weigh 6K#s more than a diesel Class 8 losing net 2 tons of legal payload, a not insignificant portion of the payload in a notoriously low margin business. I'd expect the same out of the Tesla Semi. Not a huge deal hauling potato chips, but definitely an issue hauling sodas. As in I'm certain you'd lose >10% of your payload of sodas so would need to run an extra load every 9 loads to just make up for the payload loss.

The competitor's EV Class 8 products reportedly cost >$500K for a Class 8 Tractor (google can confirm). Tesla would be idiots to sell for 1/3 of that cost and that math doesn't work just knowing what a Class 8 chassis costs plus the battery pack costs.

Fresno electricity cost is 28 cents, San Diego is 39 cents. Average 33.5 cents if Frito Lay charges equally at each point on the route.

Average diesel price in CA is $5.65/ gallon but if you set up an on site tank you can take about 30 cents off (minimum for a large customer!) which only seems reasonable compared to building actual multiple million dollar superchargers. So that's $5.35/ gallon.

So the diesel truck getting 8.5mpg at $5.35/ gallon cost $332.35 to drive 500 miles (in fuel costs). The Tesla Semi getting 1.7kw/m at 33.5 cents cost $284.75 in electricity, except that isn't correct either because fast charging costs 15% in charging efficiency, so $327.46 in electricity.

So you saved $5 in fuel cost for the trip, but lost payload, flexibility, spent 2-3x more in acquisition costs , spent millions on charging stations, have essentially no resale to the owner operator market, and in reality have less reliability than the well developed diesel products from the established manufacturers.

I'm VERY pro-EV for personal transport, but sorry, don't see it for trucking for DECADES in any significant capacity.
 
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Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
8,768
11,436
Boise, ID
It is interesting to comb through these kinds of hater "analyses" to see what assumptions they are making, and which are realistic and which aren't. I'll take a quick first pass.

A modern weight sensitive day cab tractor weighs about 16K#s with enough fuel to travel 500 miles.
Huh, interesting. Most claims I see about diesel semis always claim 1,200 miles range on their fuel tanks. So this doesn't seem like a normal semi. I was in a little discussion with a trucker whose rig is an "ultralight", which weighs 12K pounds. Maybe that is more like what's being referred to here?

I'm going to guess that at a minimum the Class 8's weigh 6K#s more than a diesel Class 8 losing net 2 tons of legal payload
This sounds realistic. We finally got a source with a real weight of the Tesla semi at 24K pounds. There's an extra 2K pound allowance, but still maybe around 4K to 6K overweight in lost payload.

As in I'm certain you'd lose >10% of your payload of sodas so would need to run an extra load every 9 loads to just make up for the payload loss.
OK, maybe so.

The competitor's EV Class 8 products reportedly cost >$500K for a Class 8 Tractor (google can confirm). Tesla would be idiots to sell for 1/3 of that cost and that math doesn't work just knowing what a Class 8 chassis costs plus the battery pack costs.
So he just straight up doesn't believe Tesla's actual prices. Oooookay.

Average diesel price in CA is $5.65/ gallon but if you set up an on site tank you can take about 30 cents off (minimum for a large customer!) which only seems reasonable compared to building actual multiple million dollar superchargers. So that's $5.35/ gallon.
We'll cover this part first. He is assuming that a site has gotten the appropriate permits for the restricted and dangerous thing of a flammable fuel depot on site at their location. While possible, I don't know how common that really is. But this is in his cost assumption, that companies have built their own fuel depot to get those lower costs. but he's also seemingly assuming $0 cost for the installation or maintenance or servicing of it.

Fresno electricity cost is 28 cents, San Diego is 39 cents. Average 33.5 cents if Frito Lay charges equally at each point on the route.
AH! And now here comes the big fat lie! He is using the best case on-site fueling with the best cost discounts for diesel, but then using the opposite situation of companies being that stupid that they would go out and pay full retail highest cost residential non-discounted electricity rates. Why wouldn't they use on-site electricity systems for much cheaper electricity costs? That's right--because it would undercut your ability to call this a dumb impractical idea.
 
It is interesting to comb through these kinds of hater "analyses" to see what assumptions they are making, and which are realistic and which aren't. I'll take a quick first pass.


Huh, interesting. Most claims I see about diesel semis always claim 1,200 miles range on their fuel tanks. So this doesn't seem like a normal semi. I was in a little discussion with a trucker whose rig is an "ultralight", which weighs 12K pounds. Maybe that is more like what's being referred to here?


This sounds realistic. We finally got a source with a real weight of the Tesla semi at 24K pounds. There's an extra 2K pound allowance, but still maybe around 4K to 6K overweight in lost payload.


OK, maybe so.


So he just straight up doesn't believe Tesla's actual prices. Oooookay.


We'll cover this part first. He is assuming that a site has gotten the appropriate permits for the restricted and dangerous thing of a flammable fuel depot on site at their location. While possible, I don't know how common that really is. But this is in his cost assumption, that companies have built their own fuel depot to get those lower costs. but he's also seemingly assuming $0 cost for the installation or maintenance or servicing of it.


AH! And now here comes the big fat lie! He is using the best case on-site fueling with the best cost discounts for diesel, but then using the opposite situation of companies being that stupid that they would go out and pay full retail highest cost residential non-discounted electricity rates. Why wouldn't they use on-site electricity systems for much cheaper electricity costs? That's right--because it would undercut your ability to call this a dumb impractical idea.

It was actually posted an individual that apparently works in the industry and can provide real info, instead of guesses. Just because you don't like what it says doesn't mean you should refer to it as a 'hater analysis'.

1) Modern diesel truck specs are 100% custom and can be speced with any amount of fuel you desire within reason. 45 gallons to 600 gallons is doable. However diesel fuel weighs close to 7#s/ gallon. 500 miles of range on a diesel getting 8.5 mpg is less than 60 gallons and matches the long range Tesla Semi's capabilities well with a correspondingly low weight of fuel. Fun fact: those Al diesel tanks are near weightless, My child could literally lift and carry a 150 gallon Al diesel tank as they weigh like 12#s. Of course brackets and fuel fitting and lines have weight also. So it's quite easy to spec larger tanks on a diesel rig with little weight penalty, and only partially fill them which is when they get real heavy.
I have seen a sub 12K# day cab tractor (it was about 11K#s as I recall, pre-emissions), many years ago, but it had some serious compromises in performance to reach that weight. 16K#s is a very middle of the road easily obtainable weight, by pretty much any brand, with a good powerful engine and an automatic transmission and with fuel on board. Trucks have been gaining weight due to emissions equipment.

2) Skipping down a bit to pricing. Yah, a quick google search shows that other EV Semi's are selling for closer to half a million. It seems unlikely to me as well that the Tesla Semi could be sold for $150K-$180K. I mean google tells me that Tesla battery costs are $132/ kwh so that's $132K just in the battery alone on the Semi. Anyways, Schneider just bought 100 more E-Cascadias and I bet they checked on T-Semi prices before dropping more than $180K for the Freightliners.

3) Regarding on-site diesel fuel, I actually owned a trucking company at 2 points in my life and it's actually super easy to get onsite fuel in most places (I've done it) and is very common for fleets over just a few units. I'm certain it's easier than getting approval for some mega-charging station. It's just not as cost effective to have driver's filling up on the road as they waste time, lose receipts, etc. Also can have a non-CDL driver fuel them up and not burn driver hours. At the most adding on-site fueling would not be any harder than building and permitting a gas station, and those happen all of the time. Mega-Charging stations cost millions to permit, install and manage. When I had an approved diesel tank it was free (the fuel provider lent it to me in exchange for buying his fuel) and I just had to send a picture to the County showing it had a barrier around it (literally just 2" x 8" boards in a rectangle with the tank sitting on lumber plastic) and it wasn't near a creek or anything. I'm certain it's harder in CA, and I'm also certain that nearly every local fleet with more than 10 trucks has one in CA. It's not hard. To be clear this person didn't build any cost at all in to the building or maintenance of the mega-charging stations, knowing full well that they are extraordinarily expensive. I actually have a friend that had a custom fueling station with cards for the drivers and what not built at his yard and the entire thing cost him about $20K and he told me that he calls around to buy fuel, tells them he pays cash upon delivery, and they take off nearly $1/ gallon.

4) Regarding Commercial electrical rates vs. Residential electrical rates in CA, I just googled and received 2 different answers. I'm actually having internet connection problems currently so can not further explore. It appears that Commercial pays a very similar rate (one link said they pay more after fees, another said they pay slightly less). So I don't see a problem with that portion of the calculation.
 
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SO16

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
3,844
14,305
MI
Will be interesting to see how this plays out. Obviously some think it’s worth it. Maybe only because of the subsidies? Not sure.

But I remember some people saying Hertz buying EVs were a waste. It seems they are pleased with decreased maintenance, etc.

Time will tell.
 
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