Tesla's electric semis make first production cargo trip

By William Gayde ยท 16 replies
Mar 8, 2018
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  1. Although Tesla is primarily known for their line of premium electric cars, CEO Elon Musk has had his eyes set on more than just that. Last November, Tesla announced they would be developing a line of electric trucks used for commercial transportation. This week, the trucks made their first official production delivery, carrying battery packs from the Gigafactory in Nevada to Tesla's car factory in California.

    Following this successful trip and future testing, Tesla hopes to sell their trucks to some big industry names like Walmart, DHL and JB Hunt. Tesla will still continue to use them internally while the models are being refined. Although this is the first publicized trip made by the semis, Tesla has also been testing discrete prototypes on a similar route for the past few months.

    Tesla claims the trucks will have an operational range of about 500 miles and this trip from Nevada to California is about 240 miles each way. There is some considerable elevation change so it's not clear if they will be making the round trip journey or charging up midway.

    Critics of the trucks worry about its hauling capacity and its range since it is easy to simply fill up a traditional semi with diesel but charging up can take hours. On a production and economics side, Tesla is likely diverting the majority of their resources to the upcoming launch of the Model 3 so we may have to wait until after that to see the full potential of these trucks.

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  2. DaveBG

    DaveBG TS Maniac Posts: 336   +114

    I cannot wait for this truck to kill all diesel pollution machines
     
  3. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,430   +742

    So if all of these electrics, replace gas & diesel, and, require constant charging, can the current power grid support the added load? Most likely not. Not to mention the demand on the electrical producing stations. Coal, gas, nuclear, wind, solar, hydro.
    Considering how hard it is to get permits to build new power plants, how much strain will recharging have on the power grid?
     
    ShagnWagn and TheBigT42 like this.
  4. iamcts

    iamcts TS Member Posts: 33   +10

    The power grid can easily handle electric vehicles. The notion that grid can't handle electric vehicles is baseless. Grid reliability is federally regulated, so anything that could actually affect reliability would be all over their radar.

    Plus, charging your vehicle at night when demand is already low is every power company's dream. Even charging them during the day won't put any noticeable strain on the grid.
     
  5. Kytetiger

    Kytetiger TS Rookie

    240 miles is already enough.
    I live in a city and in the center, the trucks are horrible. They go from the warehouses (outside the city) to the shops (in the center) but they take ages to start, pollute at each stops, make a lot of noise.
     
  6. senketsu

    senketsu TS Guru Posts: 578   +353

    I'm in Canada. A lot of goods come from Asia, SE Asia and hit the port at Vancouver. To deliver these to eastern Canada the ship can go through the Panama canal or truck it.
    One way Vancouver to Halifax (for example) is 6,160 km or 3,827 miles by the shortest route. This is called 'long-haul trucking'. It's longer if you stay on the Trans-Canada highway.
     
    TheBigT42 likes this.
  7. TheBigT42

    TheBigT42 TS Maniac Posts: 235   +121

    Right sure but in the future when there are 500,000 electric cars needing charging what then? California already has rolling blackouts because they can't product enough electricity
     
    p51d007 and ShagnWagn like this.
  8. gusticles41

    gusticles41 TS Maniac Posts: 261   +246

    What I'm curious about is the long term reliability compared to diesels, as well as maintenance costs.
     
  9. iamcts

    iamcts TS Member Posts: 33   +10

    Because California's ISO is terrible at running and optimizing their power grid, the whole country is going to have a problem? The rolling blackouts are happening because they can't produce enough power at peak usage times in specific areas on days with record-setting temperatures.

    If California invested even more in renewable energy like solar they wouldn't have so many problems.
     
  10. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Addict Posts: 217   +133

    I'm all for electric semis. However, very frightened about any kind of autonomy of vehicles, let alone these 60 ton behemoths. How about they actually do some of this beta testing at the public's risk in closed courses? Let's do some simulations of hardware/software errors and fails on mountain road curves and bad weather. These errors and major failures WILL happen. Just ask mechanics at any kind of shop/dealership. Then instead of a 2 ton car, there will be a 60 ton semi coming at you.
     
  11. Kashim

    Kashim TS Booster Posts: 53   +36

    You seem confused. This article has nothing to do with self-driving cars/trucks. And all those things you're suggesting about testing, do you really think they haven't thought of that and already doing it?
     
  12. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Addict Posts: 217   +133

    My bad. You are partially correct. With the flood of Tesla self-driving and Waymo self-driving crap, they read into each other.

    No, they haven't thought of that. After hundreds of articles, I have yet to see a single one where they tested any of these on a closed course. It was not proven technology before it was forced onto public streets. Testing as far as I have read has always been on public roads at our safety risk. If they really were testing these scenarios, they would be making sure articles went out how they "passed" those situations. That would be great publicity and they know it, but there isn't and that frightens me and for all our safety. Maybe you can link some tests like that?
     
  13. Ultraman1966

    Ultraman1966 TS Booster Posts: 107   +20

    Wouldn't a train be far more efficient and cost effective for such a long journey?
     
  14. senketsu

    senketsu TS Guru Posts: 578   +353

    shipping containers are used, sometimes these are loaded right on the train car or also on the back of a semi. Point was that "240 miles is enough already" is far from enough. Lots of North American routes are much longer.
     
  15. ChrisH1

    ChrisH1 TS Addict Posts: 100   +55

    Are you telling me the trucks do Vancouver to Halifax, 6,160 km in one go and on one tank? I'm sure they don't. With whatever are the mandated stopping times and a reasonable investment in infrastructure I'm sure something can be done.
     
  16. senketsu

    senketsu TS Guru Posts: 578   +353

    no, I'm not telling you that. As mentioned previously the original post was directed to the statement that "240 miles is already enough", it isn't. A long haul trucker drives more than that legally in one go. Then he would have to worry about finding out where to charge when they pull over. Then there is the question of charging time. I could have easily given you other examples. North America is a big place compared to distances in Europe for example. The Tar Sands in Alberta have billions in investment, huge amounts of equipment delivered by semi. 240 miles isn't long enough for Edmonton to Ft. McMurray even and that is driven in one go.
    Investment in infrastructure would help, but Canada has the lowest population density per square kilometer in the world I believe. Second largest country in the world with only 34 million people. That would take a lot of infrastructure and most of it will be little utilized compared to other places.
     
  17. ChrisH1

    ChrisH1 TS Addict Posts: 100   +55

    Well yes everything you say is true, but I think you've read the figures wrong.Tesla is claiming the trucks have a range of 500 miles. The 240 miles (I agree, not enough) comes from talking about a specific trip ("Nevada to California is about 240 miles each way"), that is not the range of the truck. And I would imagine charging time would be around an hour or so, same as for cars - the limiting factor isn't how big the batteries are, within reason - otherwise charging for the cars would be 40 minutes - but that you have to slow down as you approach full. If I was putting infrastructure for this sort of thing together, I'd put the chargers {the distance a long haul trucker drives legally in one go} apart, with a diner, then they don't have to worry about finding where to charge. If there are enough using the route, put them half that distance apart, or quarter etc.
     
    senketsu likes this.

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