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The Tesla Semi’s economical advantage is frighteningly underestimated

TSemi

Member
Sep 7, 2020
95
107
Texas
https://twitter.com/Teslarati/status/1350805337696313344?s=20

The Tesla Semi’s economical advantage is frighteningly underestimated

The Tesla Semi has its own fair share of critics, and even today, some notable voices such as Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates believe that the Class 8 all-electric truck is not feasible. When one looks at the currently available information about the upcoming vehicle, however, one would see that the Tesla Semi is vastly underestimated.

One of the key criticisms surrounding the Tesla Semi is its weight, which skeptics would claim is far too much to be economically viable. Tesla has not shared any specifics surrounding the Semi’s weight, though the company did note that the vehicle consumes less than 2 kWh per mile. As noted by the OBF in a YouTube video, this would translate to the Semi likely having a battery that’s roughly around 600 kWh to 1,000 kWh, depending on whether the vehicle features a 300 or 500-mile range.

Considering that Tesla’s 100 kWh batteries typically weigh around 1,300 lbs, it could then be inferred that the Semi’s battery pack would weigh around 7,800 to 13,000 lbs. This is assuming that the Semi is equipped with the same batteries that Tesla had when the Class 8 truck was unveiled. If Tesla’s 4680 cells are involved, this weight could be optimized further, considering that the company’s custom batteries are lighter and more powerful.

Traditional diesel semitrailers typically weigh around 15,000 to 25,000 lbs, which means that the Semi would likely be at a disadvantage weight-wise. To address this disadvantage, Tesla would have to ensure that the rest of the Semi is made with light and durable materials. Tesla’s extensive experience as an EV maker plays a huge part in this, as the company could use all that it has learned during the design and rollout of the Model S,3,X,Y lineup to optimize the Semi’s weight.

If Tesla’s estimates are correct and its new 4680 batteries are lighter, and if the electric car maker uses innovations such as a structural battery pack on the Semi, the weight disadvantage of the Class 8 truck against diesel rivals becomes much smaller. Couple this with the fact that the Semi’s electric motors weigh far less than a large diesel engine and the all-electric Class 8 long hauler becomes a very compelling alternative to traditional semitrailers. Even the Semi’s higher price, which is expected to start at $180,000, becomes a moot point considering that electric vehicles need far less maintenance over their lifetime.

But this is not all. The Semi also stands to benefit from Tesla’s work with its Full Self-Driving suite, whose inner-city driving features are currently being rolled out to its initial batch of testers. Features such as Navigate on Autopilot, which would be incredibly useful for operators of the Tesla Semi, have already become refined over the years, and it would likely only take a matter of time before inner-city driving reaches the same state. When it does, capabilities that are unique to the Semi, such as its Convoy Mode, would likely become a “killer feature” that would make the vehicle a no-brainer against the competition.


 

TSemi

Member
Sep 7, 2020
95
107
Texas
It was the Semi that prompted me to buy Tesla stock a few years back (woot!). I think the economics of this rig, with a 2 year ROI, will allow Tesla to sell as many as they can make.

And so far no one, absolutely no one, has even come close to the Tesla Semi Tractor 500 mile range. And that's pulling 80k lbs !

CATL has the battery technology/chemistry to get close to Tesla Semi max range but not at the same price. And Tesla Semi will come with FSD.
 

themorey

Member
Feb 15, 2020
82
86
USA
That's unpossible according to Daimler

“If Tesla really delivers on this promise, we’ll obviously buy two trucks — one to take apart and one to test because if that happens, something has passed us by. But for now, the same laws of physics apply in Germany and in California.”

California physics are the best!
 

ThomasD

Member
Nov 22, 2019
936
405
Breckenridge Co Ky
Hopefully Tesla will release the weight of the semi soon. The more a semi weighs the less weight it can tow. Has Tesla released the cost of the mega chargers. Will States give tax incentives for companies to purchase the mega chargers
 

AMPd

Active Member
Nov 27, 2012
4,358
3,481
Northern California
And so far no one, absolutely no one, has even come close to the Tesla Semi Tractor 500 mile range. And that's pulling 80k lbs !

CATL has the battery technology/chemistry to get close to Tesla Semi max range but not at the same price. And Tesla Semi will come with FSD.
Neither has Tesla, that’s just their advertised range, let’s actually wait and see how the production model does in real life. Neither Musk nor Tesla can be trusted on their word anymore.

Also we don’t know how much the charging equipment will cost to install. If I had to guess it’s going to be expensive, so that would offset a chunk of the economical advantage.

if this truck is going to be used as a local or regional truck rather than long haul then it would compete with the daycab trucks which sell for around 120k.
 

TSemi

Member
Sep 7, 2020
95
107
Texas
Also we don’t know how much the charging equipment will cost to install. If I had to guess it’s going to be expensive, so that would offset a chunk of the economical advantage.

It will be interesting to see how much the charging equipment will cost.


if this truck is going to be used as a local or regional truck rather than long haul then it would compete with the daycab trucks which sell for around 120k.

1) 500 mile range is not going to compete with long haul. It would at least have to have a 800 mile range to compete. I know about the limitations on driving time but there won't be a charging station at every rest break.

2) There are only day cabs available right now for the Tesla Semi so yes, it will be regional or local.
 

AMPd

Active Member
Nov 27, 2012
4,358
3,481
Northern California
It will be interesting to see how much the charging equipment will cost.




1) 500 mile range is not going to compete with long haul. It would at least have to have a 800 mile range to compete. I know about the limitations on driving time but there won't be a charging station at every rest break.

2) There are only day cabs available right now for the Tesla Semi so yes, it will be regional or local.
180k for a day cab, that’s gonna be a tough sell.
 

TSemi

Member
Sep 7, 2020
95
107
Texas
180k for a day cab, that’s gonna be a tough sell.

Yes it will. But there are government entities that are willing to subsidize these through "green initiatives" programs. My thinking is that Tesla hopes there is enough demand for these trucks to 'bid them through' while continuing to work on getting the cost of kWhr's of the battery packs cheaper, thus getting the Semi cheaper. The same as they are doing with their cars.
 

AMPd

Active Member
Nov 27, 2012
4,358
3,481
Northern California
Yes it will. But there are government entities that are willing to subsidize these through "green initiatives" programs. My thinking is that Tesla hopes there is enough demand for these trucks to 'bid them through' while continuing to work on getting the cost of kWhr's of the battery packs cheaper, thus getting the Semi cheaper. The same as they are doing with their cars.
Hopefully it’ll work out that way, kinda like with the model s, over its production life it’s seen quite a price drop since the beginning.
 

EinSV

Active Member
Feb 6, 2016
4,328
21,513
NorCal
The Tesla Semi's main customers will be businesses that buy on a total cost of ownership basis, which is expected to be much lower for the Tesla Semi than a diesel truck due to much lower "fueling" cost, less maintenance, etc. DHL said it expected the payback period to be only 1.5 years and others reported a 2 year payback period. DHL Exec: Tesla Semi Trucks To Pay For Themselves In 1.5 Years If Tesla can achieve numbers in that range, diesel trucks won't be able to compete.

Also, with the expected 500-600 mile range and 30 minute charging time for 400 miles capacity, the Semi is well-suited for long haul trucking. Most long-haul trucking is concentrated in a relatively small number of routes, which should help make it easier for Tesla to quickly set up a robust Megacharger network when it's ready to.

Major Freight Corridors - FHWA Freight Management and Operations

compofmajorfghtcorr.jpg
 
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TSemi

Member
Sep 7, 2020
95
107
Texas
Also, with the expected 500-600 mile range and 30 minute charging time for 400 miles capacity, the Semi is well-suited for long haul trucking.

There are no long haul trucks with day cabs, which is what Tesla Semi has. LHT's have sleeper cabs with many amenities such as small fridges, microwave ovens, TV monitors, etc., there are plugs for "shore power" w/APU's to power all these electronics. All that extra weight will eat into a Tesla Semi's battery range.

It will be a few years before Tesla Semi's have sleeper cabs.
 

ThomasD

Member
Nov 22, 2019
936
405
Breckenridge Co Ky
The larger sleepers can have a shower a toilet sink and stove. Has tesla even built mega chargers for their use when testing the semi? Will one mega charger be able to charge more than one truck at a time? Has Tesla allowed outside companies to verify the trucks specs.
 

EinSV

Active Member
Feb 6, 2016
4,328
21,513
NorCal
There are no long haul trucks with day cabs, which is what Tesla Semi has. LHT's have sleeper cabs with many amenities such as small fridges, microwave ovens, TV monitors, etc., there are plugs for "shore power" w/APU's to power all these electronics. All that extra weight will eat into a Tesla Semi's battery range.

It will be a few years before Tesla Semi's have sleeper cabs.

There have already been reports that a sleeper cab version of the Semi is in the works. New Tesla Semi Video Shows 26 Cameras, Sleeper Also Coming

The extra energy usage would be fairly trivial -- for example an efficient small fridge only uses about 0.5 kWh of electricity per 24 hours, less than 0.1% of the long distance (500-600 mile) Semi's battery capacity. The Best Green Mini Fridges of 2020 - LeafScore

Tesla may choose to hold off on introducing the sleeper cab version initially but I don't think there's any doubt that Tesla is going to go after the long haul market with the Semi. The exact timing may depend on how quickly they can ramp up battery production to meet demand for the Semi.
 

TSemi

Member
Sep 7, 2020
95
107
Texas
There have already been reports that a sleeper cab version of the Semi is in the works. New Tesla Semi Video Shows 26 Cameras, Sleeper Also Coming

"In the works" with Tesla means "a few years".

The extra energy usage would be fairly trivial -- for example an efficient small fridge only uses about 0.5 kWh of electricity per 24 hours, less than 0.1% of the long distance (500-600 mile) Semi's battery capacity. The Best Green Mini Fridges of 2020 - LeafScore

It's weight, weight, weight......the enemy of EV's. There is no way Tesla will be able to match the sleeper cabs of today. If they do make one it will be bare minimum in room and amenities.
And all that extra space will need more heating and A/C.
Check out just a couple of the newer Rigs sleepers.


The newer Mercedes Benz Rigs have cameras instead of external mirrors. But in case something happens to the cameras there is a place to bolt on mirrors until you get the camera's fixed. At least that is what one reviewer said.

The Tesla Semi sleeper may be more like the this 2021 MB Actros


Tesla may choose to hold off on introducing the sleeper cab version initially but I don't think there's any doubt that Tesla is going to go after the long haul market with the Semi.

It will be a few years.
 

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