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Tesla Semi 500-range variant starts shipping this year: Elon Musk

You do know that a truck uses very little power going down the road. The main drag is going up hills, which is where electric motors shine. Tesla has already done numerous tests driving loaded semis powered by the same motors used in the Model 3. Diesel engines used in trucks today are notorious for having little torque or power. And yes, I used to drive diesel semis. The power needed to move the "loaded weight of a typical freight truck", that is, a max of 80.000 lbs, is easily handled by electric motors. Once the truck is moving at speed, there is very little extra power needed, loaded or not.
Everything uses little power going down hill. Gravity is doing the work.
Going up hill has little to do with drag and more to do with the fact that you're fighting gravity. Of course, some of the energy utilized going up hill can theoretically be recouped going down hill.
That is additional energy you have to expend in addition to overcoming wind and road drag. Electric motors are indeed efficient, but what really matters when it comes to semi trucks is energy density, which is currently not that great. It is not true that it takes very little power once at speed. You're talking about overcoming 82000 lb of drag on the flat roadway. Assuming all else constant, this is 20x more power consumption than a Model 3.
You're also talking about overcoming a large frontal area of the truck moving at 70 mph on freeway. This is also probably 5-10x of Model 3.
This is not negligible. Yes, getting up to speed takes a lot of energy, but maintain this power consumption at 70 mph for 500 miles takes a lot more energy. If a Model 3 needs 30-50 HP to maintain constant speed at a given speed, the semi will need >10x that! Tesla website even says >2 mWh/mile. That's < 0.5 miles/ kWh. A model 3 gets roughly 4 miles/kWh (4.5 if you go by Tesla's numbers). That's 8-10 worse efficiency than Model 3 and that's according to Tesla's numbers, which are probably a conservative estimate. Chances are at freeway speeds this is going to be even lower. Reducing this efficiency by even 25%, you're looking at 0.375 miles/kWh. For a 1 MWh (1,000KWh) battery pack, that's probably going to be 375 miles, and that's assuming 100% battery. Factoring in 10% buffer on the bottom and the top end, you're talking about 80%, or 300 miles of real world range. This is before you factor in the cold weather performance. We also haven't even mentioned the fact that a 1 MWh battery pack will weigh on the order of 15,000 lbs. That's effectively reducing the amount of stuff you can haul.

300 miles is still very useful in the trucking world. Don't forget trucks have to be loaded/unloaded and the drivers can only drive X hrs/day. All of this downtime is potentially charging time, given the right infrastructure, which I'm sure will be in place at some point.

Let's try to be a little objective here.
 
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300 miles is still very useful in the trucking world. Don't forget trucks have to be loaded/unloaded and the drivers can only drive X hrs/day. All of this downtime is potentially charging time, given the right infrastructure, which I'm sure will be in place at some point.
11 hour driving, with a 30 minute break before 8 hours, total on-duty time can only be 14 hours
 
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Did you read the link?
Your are right that Elon Musk has mentioned longer ranges. "In response to a question about the Semi's batteries, asked on a quarterly earnings call, Musk said the vehicle's production version will probably have a 600-mile range. When Tesla unveiled the semi-truck late last year it described a 500-mile range."

Elon did say in an even later interview that it could go up to 621 miles. I always expect only what was specified in the unveilings because Tesla is very good about meeting those. We all know Elon Musk can sometimes get too optimistic about what's possible without taking into account some of the drawbacks (like price point, weight penalty that reduces cargo capacity, etc).
 
Your are right that Elon Musk has mentioned longer ranges. "In response to a question about the Semi's batteries, asked on a quarterly earnings call, Musk said the vehicle's production version will probably have a 600-mile range. When Tesla unveiled the semi-truck late last year it described a 500-mile range."

Elon did say in an even later interview that it could go up to 621 miles. I always expect only what was specified in the unveilings because Tesla is very good about meeting those. We all know Elon Musk can sometimes get too optimistic about what's possible without taking into account some of the drawbacks (like price point, weight penalty that reduces cargo capacity, etc).
I would be quite happy with a 500 mile range at 82k gross we rarely run at max capacity, just a guess we probably average 60k gross more is better but on first run trucks to get into the industry you have to start somewhere.
 
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I would be quite happy with a 500 mile range at 82k gross we rarely run at max capacity, just a guess we probably average 60k gross more is better but on first run trucks to get into the industry you have to start somewhere.
Here is a short read that talks about overweight fines per state. It may or may not make financial sense to exceed the weight limit of 80k lbs depending on where you are driving, but fleet managers will likely not want to do it at all.


 
Here is a short read that talks about overweight fines per state. It may or may not make financial sense to exceed the weight limit of 80k lbs depending on where you are driving, but fleet managers will likely not want to do it at all.


82,000 is legal weight for an electric powered truck or a truck with an auxiliary power unit in interstate commerce.
 

AMPd

Well-Known Member
Nov 27, 2012
5,139
5,545
Northern California
I would be quite happy with a 500 mile range at 82k gross we rarely run at max capacity, just a guess we probably average 60k gross more is better but on first run trucks to get into the industry you have to start somewhere.
60k gross? Lucky
Our full truck loads are 75K and above most of the time.

Also a few 95k gross loads shipped via container :)
 

AMPd

Well-Known Member
Nov 27, 2012
5,139
5,545
Northern California
Here is a short read that talks about overweight fines per state. It may or may not make financial sense to exceed the weight limit of 80k lbs depending on where you are driving, but fleet managers will likely not want to do it at all.


Overweight fines? … not if you follow the correct route ;)
 

AMPd

Well-Known Member
Nov 27, 2012
5,139
5,545
Northern California
The story of the boy who cried wolf warns that you may not get help when you need it. But the corollary is that just because it was a false alarm in the past, doesn’t mean that will never be true - at least we hope so.

I too am a bit cynical only because of the stock price being down the past week. And Elon was never shy about making announcements when their stock needed a boost.

But I’m still hopeful this is actually going to happen this time.

I am not saying *this time* it isn't true, just that we heard a similar sentiment last year. And also Elon with any number of deadlines/timelines in the past.
 
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