TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

Tesla Semi

Discussion in 'TSLA Investor Discussions' started by jhm, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. mrdoubleb

    mrdoubleb Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2013
    Messages:
    2,485
    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    Absolutely! It is like battery swap was invented for this... I`ve been thinking about this for a while.

    I always thought one of the main reasons why battery swapping was DOA from a customer point of view for passenger cars, was, that the battery is the most expensive and most sensitive part of the BEV. So if you were to swap your own battery you took great care of and next time get "whatever" is available, no one would go for it. Tesla tried to solve this by shipping your pack back to you, but seriously, that would have never been fesible.

    With semis, the trucking company could own a certain number of packs and these would get swapped among their fleet. Better yet, the pack-business could be spun off from the vehicles, so that no one would own specific packs, but use them on a subscription bases, so even multiple customers - companies - could share the pool, with Tesla recycling them when they wear out.

    Another issue is the power needed to charge huge packs in a short amount of time. Instead, they could do it like this:
    • Every semi uses a number of standard 100kWh Tesla battery packs mounted at the bottom of the cab or the trailer section. This helps optimize tesla production - sharing pack production between cars and semis - and also requires charging standard 100kWh packs vs. a single monster 300 or 500.
    • As the semi pulls in, the automated system simultaneously takes off the packs from under the vehicle and places them into the charging bays.
    • A swapping station could house a number of bays where the pack can charge for an hour or longer to get to 100% - or maybe just 80-90% as that is quicker and extends pack lifecycle.
    • In a matter of 2-3 minutes the semi gets the new packs and is ready to go.
    With autonomus semis and automated swapping stations, the trucks could parctically run uninterrupted, needing no mandatory breaks for "human"or technical factors.

    Alternatively, regulators or Tesla could come up with a system where this is only for transporting perishable itmes like food or livestock. For other stuff, the trucks could run only at night, when the roads are relatively empty, they do not contribute to the congestion and leave the packs charging during the day on solar power. OR... the other way... trucks run during the day and packs charge at the stations at night on cheap power.

    So many options...
     
    • Like x 2
    • Informative x 1
    • Love x 1
  2. dhanson865

    dhanson865 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Messages:
    4,211
    Location:
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    I disagree. Autopilot + human will be safer than human alone reducing insurance costs for both liability to others and comprehensive/medical for the truck and driver.

    It'll also make the job much more livable (less stress, more comfortable) making it more likely someone will be willing to do it at all. Thus increasing the worker pool and in the end reducing labor costs due to supply/demand imbalance. You might even gain back drivers that had to take disability. Maybe they are 20% disabled but autopilot covers enough that they feel able to rejoin the workforce. Maybe it's the difference between someone driving that big a truck or not if they have one arm or one leg missing (or maybe it just reduces the cost of those that already drive like that as they don't need to modify the vehicle as much if "out of the factory" autopilot can replace customized controls).

    and read "customized controls" as expensive controls. Anything non standard tends to be less reliable and more expensive. Heck just having standardized assistance might bring in people that have never done long haul before. Imagine the freedom in fleet operation of being able to use any Tesla semi instead of focusing on only the one truck you had modified for your use but waiting for it to be repaired or maintained as big trucks often require.
     
    • Like x 2
  3. kenliles

    kenliles Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    Messages:
    3,060
    Given the point of the poster was that a greatly expanded 'refueling' distributed network would have to be formed or expanded; what's the difference?

    Super-Swap or Super-Charge or both - the swapped battery has to be recharged, and the slower the charge the tougher the distribution of availability becomes. Assuming Swap is deployed, integration with and therefore expansion of, SC is the path of least resistance- rather than a point of disagreement imo. And both will need critical expansion -cross country and short-haul alike.
     
  4. electracity

    electracity Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2015
    Messages:
    4,028
    Location:
    60606
    Is Tesla going to come out with a semi that needs huge infrastructure?

    I think it is more likely that the first version will be aimed a warehouse distribution. The truck can charge at the walmart distribution center, and possibly at the walmart store when it is being unloaded.
     
    • Like x 4
  5. EV-lutioin

    EV-lutioin Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2016
    Messages:
    1,919
    Location:
    California
    Semis might work with a truck-specific V3 Supercharger network with +350kW/h charging along major interstates. Range would not be as much of an issue with V3's every 150-200 miles. Full charge in ~15 min. This would definitely help reduce the CO2 emissions trucks produce.

    57-percent-graph.jpg
     
    • Like x 2
    • Informative x 1
  6. electracity

    electracity Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2015
    Messages:
    4,028
    Location:
    60606
    That would not work in the U.S. Long miles are driven with few stops during duty hours.

    Summary of Hours of Service Regulations
     
    • Informative x 1
  7. Pando

    Pando Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2016
    Messages:
    380
    Location:
    Sandy Ego
    Well, the big question is... does it have HUD?

    :D
     
    • Funny x 9
    • Helpful x 1
  8. DriverOne

    DriverOne Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2012
    Messages:
    834
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Interestingly a semi could be large enough to mount a useful area of solar panels.

    1 sq metre of panel would normally give ≈150-200W. Not very much when it takes 20,000 for a car to drive along.

    But a semi would offer an area roughly 13m x 2.5m = 32.5 sq.m. 32.5 * 175W ≈ 5,700W. That's a reasonable amount of energy. Now a semi would need more than 20kW to drive, but still.
     
    • Like x 3
  9. bxr140

    bxr140 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2014
    Messages:
    2,397
    Location:
    Bay Area
    That's why it's called 'disruptive'.

    If every new idea had to fit in the small box that preceded it, we'd never get anywhere as a society.
     
    • Like x 4
    • Love x 1
  10. waterloo42

    waterloo42 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2017
    Messages:
    60
    Location:
    Waterloo
    The really interesting thing could be that Tesla isn't selling the semis -- with autonomous driving and potential changes in regulation, they can provide a freight service directly to customers with low cost for both fuel and drivers. Just need to work on logistics at both ends of the delivery but a substantial part of travel on Interstate may be done at far cheaper cost.
     
  11. mmd

    mmd Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2015
    Messages:
    1,338
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    You can't put panels on the container. They will be unloaded/loaded on the ships and will be gone, never to be seen again.
     
  12. geneclean55

    geneclean55 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    Messages:
    2,078
    Location:
    DC, DC
    Great point. Even if the panels aren't fully fixed to the container, they could use a deployable solar shield as Musk has alluded to recently for other Tesla vehicles.
     
  13. electracity

    electracity Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2015
    Messages:
    4,028
    Location:
    60606
    Drivers logging considerably fewer miles per work day is not "disruptive".
     
  14. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    9,762
    Location:
    North Bay, CA
    Worth posting here is this graphic (and animation in the source), of the most common job by state.

    Screen Shot 2017-04-13 at 8.46.35 PM.png
     
    • Informative x 9
  15. larmor

    larmor Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,132
    Location:
    Westlake, TX
    Maybe the tesla truck network will haul amazon goods around...
     
  16. steve3

    steve3 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2016
    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    Denver
    #76 steve3, Apr 13, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
    Thanks for your helpful reply!

    It seems likely to me that Tesla would mirror an existing/planned business model like Tesla Network, as that keeps things both simple and highly profitable - customers as silent business partners who happily generate pure profit for you. Does it make as much money for Tesla as starting up a new Tesla Logistics business unit? Probably not as much, but it would be nice for Tesla to profit from some breezy tailwinds rather than take on another business to create from scratch.

    Buy selling semis rather than than producing only Tesla-owned trucks, they don't compete against fleet operators and independent operators. A great many of these operators would jump at the chance to access significant cost reductions in their existing business models: they pocket enhanced profits, they're customers are thrilled with significantly lower shipping costs, early birds grab market share from competitors slow to adopt, and the overall addressable trucking market expands further, probably into arenas traditionally served by rail freight haulers.

    100% profit, royalty-type, burgeoning annuity - always a welcome line item on any high-growth enterprise's balance sheet.

    [Edit] And is a no-cost, profit-generating addition in the enterprise-wide "capital light" paradigm.
     
  17. jhm

    jhm Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Messages:
    9,082
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    This is fun.

    High efficiency cells are pushing 25% or about 250W/m^2.

    Added benefit for refrigerated trailers is some reduction in heat from sun in addition to powering refrigeration.

    Now incremental cost is minimal if inverter and battery are already part of trailer. So why not design a power trailer that has inverter, motor and battery? This is all controlled by the tractor when hooked up. Motor for trailer is cheap, and provides better traction and regenerative braking. Battery collects surplus solar power, boosts range, and provides options for charging logistics, for example, while loading, unloading or waiting. Inverter is needed for motor, but also works with solar panel.
     
    • Like x 3
  18. jhm

    jhm Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Messages:
    9,082
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    The dog can also be a guard dog. Security is something that drivers provide.
     
    • Funny x 1
  19. cdub

    cdub Future Model 3 owner / Current original Leaf owner

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2014
    Messages:
    593
    Location:
    Glendale, CA
    I want a Tesla RV. :)
     
    • Like x 2

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


    SUPPORT TMC