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Idling Semi Trucks Cost $20b Per Year

Discussion in 'Future Vehicles' started by gavine, Aug 23, 2017.

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  1. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    Another tick in favor of Tesla Semi. Also, I wonder if they will be integrating solar into their platform.

    "A key drain on freight providers is the amount of revenue lost from the time that a truck is idling its engine to run auxiliary equipment such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency carried out a study on the true cost of idling, based on the average of two hours per day idling (which for many is conservative, it can be up to 8 hours). One truck in the fleet could cost the company $1,650 per year, and across the transportation industry, equating to an astonishing $20 billion. Solar systems, such as the eNow eCharge system, bring the effective cost of idling to zero and effectively reduce overall fuel costs. What would a profit maximizing company by definition say to an innovation that could cut fuel costs from idling to zero?"

    https://www.freightwaves.com/news/2017/8/22/solar-stakes-out-its-trucking-niche-hopes-for-more
     
  2. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    That seems pretty unlikely to work. Their biggest system is 350W. I'm pretty doubtful that could power an AC unit to keep the cab cool, much less a trailer. The eNow website is remarkably free of content as well.
     
  3. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    Trailers have a lot of surface area. Why only 350W? I would think they should be able to get at least a couple of kW out of it.
     
  4. jhm

    jhm Well-Known Member

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    A twenty foot trailer should have near 12 sq meters of surface area. So with 25% efficient solar cells, you can put about 3kW up there. This can generate about 15 kWh in an average day. While that may not seem like much, it does offset the need for an extra 15 kWh in the battery pack. If the retail price per incremental battery capacity is $300/kWh and charging is at 9c/kWh, then such could be worth $4500 on the price of the trailer plus about $490 per years in charging cost. At 6% discount, the total value of the 3kW solar system is about $10,000. That's a value of $3.35/W. If the solar cells are built into the trailer roof at the factory, the marginal cost could be as little as $0.35/W. So while the scale of this may not be large, it has very good ROI. So I think we will see solar trailers complete with panels, inverter, battery and drive unit. Battery, inverter and drive unit enable regenerative braking in the trailer plus a power boost for acceleration.
     
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  5. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    Would you look at that? I got a post from the legendary @jhm on a thread that I started. Nice!
     
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  6. jhm

    jhm Well-Known Member

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    Aww, shucks!

    Hey, we've been discussing this over in the Tesla Semi thread.
     
  7. tander

    tander Active Member

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    #7 tander, Aug 25, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017
    I started a thread on the idea of solar on cars/semis a while ago(How Long Till Solar Powered Car?), it was surprisingly contentious, partly because I didn't do a good job wording the survey question and because people where using the existing technology as the determinant rather than taking into account future improvements. Most of the voters seemed to say that it's physically impossible due to square footage available, but I think they were sort knee jerk saying it's impossible now so it's always going to be and not taking into account future improvement in the various tech.

    Anyway I ended up looking up all the stuff and crunching the numbers both for cars and semis and what I found was that it might barely make sense for some situations today (or when the thread was started), and in the future as more investments are made into making the panels more efficient etc., it will probably become a no brainer. Worst case scenario it will be an option on the cars. Most likely IMO it will become just a standard thing on cars and on semis. For some people (who maybe park the car in the sun all day while at work) it will be the sole charging source. But for most it will be more of a supplement. And with semis, there is a lot of square footage which I'm guessing will get utilized more and more with time.
     

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