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Worlds Biggest Roadgoing EV

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by richkae, Mar 15, 2014.

  1. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    Tesla should ( and will be in the position to ) make the worlds biggest roadgoing EV in a couple years.
    This EV will have a 3.4 MWh battery pack. Thats 3.4 megawatt hours.
    It will weigh about 80000 pounds and ( by my back of the napkin calculation ) have a range of at least 2000 miles. Maybe closer to 3000.
    The great thing about having a range over 2000 miles is that will let it do its job perfectly.

    It's job? Transporting about 40 Tesla battery packs from the Giga-battery factory to the Tesla car factory.

    Converting a normal ( but streamlined ) truck to use electric drive, it would haul an undersized ( and very aerodynamic ) trailer that holds all the battery packs.
    The battery packs are all connected together to provide the traction pack for the truck.
    The trailer would only be about 30' long, 6' wide and 5' tall, giving it about 1/3 the frontal area of a normal semi trailer.
    Eliminating the 1500 pounds of diesel fuel and a couple thousand pounds of diesel engine and transmission for a couple hundred pound electric motor will also help make the truck smaller, lighter and more efficient.
    ( I haven't figured out is how to get the empty trucks back to the battery factory )
    I'm not saying Tesla should spend their manpower on this, they should subcontract this out.

    If they choose to transport the battery packs by rail, they could use a standard diesel locomotive - but bypass the diesel entirely, and run it as an electric locomotive.
     
  2. GSP

    GSP Member

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  3. 772

    772 Member

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    I would guess that the empty truck/trailer would be able to run on far fewer batteries.
     
  4. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Member

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    I am not so sure the owners are going to be keen on getting a used battery in their brand new car.
     
  5. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    Every battery is already tested after its built. Every car gets some test miles.
    There is no reason that this cant be part of the test cycle.
     
  6. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    A very innovative and clever idea. I hope they bite.
     
  7. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    Love it!
     
  8. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

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    This is entire thread is GENIUS.

    If the Semi(s) could be re-worked a bit for more range (min. of 250 miles without full load for the return trips), and it/they could use Superchargers (empty trailer, heading East back to the Gigafactory), everything could be run and built using only Supercharger Network.

    Heading West with a full load of batteries (which are fully charged), probably not too many stops would be required.

    Oh my Goodness...
     
  9. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Rail transportation would be far more efficient and they'll use that.

    How would the EV transporter get back once it has offloaded its batteries? (Superchargers are not set up for use by semis).

    The battery testing and aging can be done at the factory as part of an automated battery super-store.
     
  10. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

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    Agreed, Superchargers are not CURRENTLY set up for Semis, but it would not take that much to alter/add a few specific SpC stations on "the return-trip path/trail" to accommodate charging them.
    Agreed, that a rail line could easily haul more batteries at a single time, but at some point, it might still need to be off-loaded to a tractor-trailer to make it to the factory.
    Let's just say it might be an Option.
    I am not familiar with all the delivery and dock logistics @ Freemont plant, perhaps they have a rail yard for deliveries.
     
  11. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    richkae: seriously you need to tweet this thread or at least idea to Elon.
     
  12. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

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    IF the tractor-trailer idea was fully developed for delivery of (Tesla) batteries became a reality, how long would it take before it became a commercial truck that could be used for other long-distance deliveries via truck.
    ANOTHER full business in the offing, using batteries and electric motors that already delivery gobs of torque.
    Battery swap stations might be used in lieu of Superchargers in lieu of charging, or maybe the Semi would simultaneously use two Superchargers (for the larger batteries.)
     
  13. Calvin.K

    Calvin.K Member

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    I am almost certain that Tesla will transport all the batteries by rail
     
  14. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    I agree in the real world rail makes sense, especially with the Fremont plan having direct acess. But richkae points out that this is a wonderful opportunity for proof of concept in a situation where you have all tjose batteries stacked together anyway. Initially it doesn't make sense business wise, but most commercial successes didn't in their infacy.
     
  15. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    We are all picturing a traditional big-rig for this purpose, but the electric drivetrain is so compact, that I bet the tractor for this purpose could be made much much smaller.
    Picture a regular sized truck. You don't need a massive diesel motor, or giant transmission with a dozen or more gears. You also don't need 200 gallons of diesel fuel.
    I think it could be made to use existing superchargers.
    Heck, maybe Tesla could modify an existing Model X to have a 5th wheel and set up the dual motors with lower gearing ( 80mph top speed ) and more torque.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yes rail transportation is more efficient than traditional trucking. Compared to a semi-trailer you can move a lot more cargo for the same amount of fuel.
    A typical train can move a ton of cargo 450 miles for a gallon of diesel.
    So it will take 80 gallons of diesel to move 20 tons 1800 miles. 80 gallons of diesel is about $320 at $4 per gallon.
    If our mythical electric truck can move its 20 tons of batteries 1800 miles at 1kWh/mile, then it uses 1800 KWh. At 10c per kWh, thats $180 of electricity. ( And don't forget, that electricity can be provided by the solar panels on the battery factory )

    I think it can beat a diesel train.
     
  16. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    The Fremont plant has rail. It's right next to a railyard. The extra land that Tesla purchased was 147 acres of 160 acres Union Pacific purchased in 2011.
     
  17. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Average 2012 US rail freight rates were 4c/ton-mile. So that would actually be 20*0.04*1800 = $1,440. I don't know how the rates would be for an operation with constant flow like Tesla's. But that's an all-in cost since you're basically outsourcing.

    For the tractor-trailers (the plural being important).
    Electricity $180. Running total $180
    A middling hourly rate for a semi driver would be $20 per hour. Pick a speed: let's say 55mph. Then 1,800/55 = 32.73 hours, 20*1,800/55 ~= $654.55. Running total $834.55.
    But, trucks are subject to additonal running fees. In NM there is a weight-distance mill rate of 43.78 for an 80klb tractor-trailer combination. Let's use that and add $78.80. Running total $913.35.
    So we are now at a total of $913.35.
    $486.65 remaining for each 1,800 miles to pay for the truck, trailer, registration, any other fees, tires maintenance, and the systems that install and uninstall the batteries in the trailer.
    For a 32.73 hour trip, the driver will have to take at least 3 8 hour breaks, so add 24 hours (unless they could figure out some clever vehicle swaps). That gives you a maximum of 154.53 trips per year, which with perfect turnaround would give you a maximum of $81,382.701 per tractor-trailer per year.

    So, I guess it's conceivable, and I'm sure truck drivers would appreciate the smooth drivetrain and autopilot system. ;)
     
  18. SwedishAdvocate

    SwedishAdvocate Active Member

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    Like richkae wrote in the OP:

    Isn’t this by far the most optimal solution?

    For the parts of the rail that isn’t electrified, the train they're using should be able to utilize electric power from the batteries. Have the train run as a diesel-electric hybrid to reduce diesel consumption.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Or just electrify the rail.
     
  19. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #19 TEG, Mar 16, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014
    If they did the mega truck, perhaps it should be self driving? (Only need to program for one fixed route between cell factory and car factory.)

    Or maybe build a "micro-hyperloop" that transports little parcels of cells in a tube between the two locations.
     
  20. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    If Tesla sticks with the 18650 form factor, this hyper loop could run with 19mm inner diameter. Hint: 3/4" is a -> nominal size for piping. :biggrin:
     

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