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Semi and Supercharger V3... a match made in heaven.

Discussion in 'Future Vehicles' started by KarenRei, Aug 31, 2017.

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  1. KarenRei

    KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei

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    I was thinking about this a bit this evening.... and I think Semi's potential for Tesla itself is pretty amazing in its own right when combined with Supercharger V3. Consider that the latter is well more than 350kW and battery buffered. What happens when you put one on the back of a Semi trailer, including its corresponding pedestals?

    Well, first, you get the ultimate roadside assistance vehicle. Drive anywhere and it can rapidly fill up vehicles (several to completely full, or dozens with enough to reach the next charger, on a single charge). Since V3 should only weigh perhaps 4-5 tonnes or so, and not take up a huge amount of space, you still have a flatbed to haul back any vehicles with more serious problems.

    Furthermore, if there was predicted to be a shortage of superchargers at some point - say, for a festival, or some big event (like the eclipse), Tesla could have such trucks drive out to important areas. They'd still need to be wired into the grid, but that's all they'd need. In most places, applications tor temporary grid connections are much easier and faster than permanent ones.

    On the other hand, if instead of leaving an empty flatbed, you fully load it with either a grid-scale mobile generator (which get easily into the megawatts), or a grid-scale Powerwall (like Tesla is doing for Australia).... Then you have the ability to be an instant portable supercharger. No need to be anywhere near the grid - you just show up, and people can supercharge, so long as you can keep the fuel flowing or the Powerwall filled. Trucks with emergency generators are already godsends in disaster zones, and portable supercharger trucks could be deployed to such emergencies as well.

    Contrarily, if one is willing to scrap the "instant" part, the bed could contain solar panels, framing, and earth anchors. While it would take some time / labour to set up, you could have at any location A) the ability to power vehicles indefinitely, B) the ability to provide power to local services indefinitely, C) an onboard battery to buffer consumption (for charging, for uneven grid usage, for low-level nighttime use). Festival in the middle of nowhere? Refugee camp? Military base? Check, check, check.

    Most importantly, whatever ability it provides to others, no matter what configuration you use, it can use for itself as well. If it runs low on range? It could use its own supercharger to add more (more to the point, if they wanted to they could have a direct connection to the Semi with no need to stop to hook up). Have a generator or a grid-scale powerwall? Same story. Etc. A diesel semi could certainly also carry any of the above hardware configurations, but does not benefit from its own cargo.

    I think there's a lot of appeal to the concept of electric trucks carrying around fully-contained, ready-to-go, battery-buffered superchargers. :)
     
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  2. azred

    azred Member

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    Hopefully the plan is not for trucks to keep the Superchargers clogged but I imagine that is precisely what will happen.
     
  3. timk225

    timk225 Member

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    I am really happy that I barely care at all about the Tesla Semi, as it makes waiting for the reveal so much easier than it was with waiting for the Model 3 reveal!

    I'll look at its specs and all, but I have little use for a semi truck. The semi is going to have to have a BIG battery, so I think regular superchargers wouldn't be the best place to charge them.

    Also, there is the physical issue. Superchargers were built to have cars line up and charge with fairly short power cords, not big trucks.

    Without having fully researched their needs, I think an electric truck would be better suited for something like a UPS or FedEx delivery truck's daily travels, not an over the road long haul truck pulling 80,000 pounds down the road.
     
  4. mgdurand

    mgdurand Member

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    I would think Tesla plans on battery-swapping for their semis, not charging them per se?
     
  5. KarenRei

    KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei

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    That would be a guess, given that Tesla has said nothing at all about how they get power. Given Tesla's history with battery swapping, however, and pretty much everyone else's history, count me on the "strongly doubting that it will be battery swapping" side. A swap never has been in practice as simple as just driving up to a robot, nor as quick as just accounting for the robotic swap time, nor at all cheap, nor in any way hassle free, the stockpiling requirements are huge, the tech changes too quickly, and nobody else wants someone else's old batteries. While meanwhile, fast charging continues to advance.

    Tesla does not fear high powers. I do not see them fearing high powers with Semi.

    But, until Tesla makes its Semi announcement, who knows what sort of quick way they'll have to refill a Semi? Either way, not allowing at the very least regular supercharging would be pretty darn dumb of a design decision. At the very least it won't suffer from the effects of taper until right at the very end! ;)
     
  6. Phillip L

    Phillip L Gas Passer

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    Just like there are big truck stops for diesel semi's now, would not it make sense for the same for the Tesla semi? Don't plug up regular Superchargers with semis, have specific semi charging stations with parallel charging of independent battery compartments via one big ass connector, like plugging in 5 or 10 Model S's simultaneously.
     
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  7. KarenRei

    KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei

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    That is reasonable, although it might be better utilization to be able to enable, say, one powerful charger to handle either one semi, or several passenger vehicles (or potentially a combination thereof at reduced rates), so that you might be able to get better utilization.

    I'm sure Tesla is investigating the optimization problem in great detail.
     

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