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This isn't the first reveal of an electric semi (Bosch/Nikola, Cummins). So nothing terribly new on the design front but different approaches. Bosch is using a fuel cell for a 1200 mile range semi while Cummins is focused on a shorter and presumably cheaper cab with a shorter range. On balance I'm thinking Cummins knows the market and the potential customers better.

One big problem with the Tesla reveal was that it focused too much on acceleration. Do you really want a semi accelerating that fast? I sure don't. Makes my hair stand on end. The power on grades on the other hand would be welcome. Having big trucks slow down on interstates, especially when passing each other with 2 MPH difference in speeds, is maddening.

The big advantage, and it should be big, is that maintenance and operational costs should really come down. This isn't a big deal for passenger vehicles since maintenance costs in modern cars and gas prices are low. But for trucks putting on all those miles it's a big deal. Making it more possible, and something which I didn't know, is that most long haul routes are less than 300 miles.

That said, still think for trucks moving to natural gas makes more sense. The refueling issues are just much easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
One big problem with the Tesla reveal was that it focused too much on acceleration. Do you really want a semi accelerating that fast? I sure don't. r.
I think that's just marketing hype because it's catchy. In reality they'd likely throttle that capability, to save range if nothing else.
 

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now Telsa made it a reality
Well... they made it a goal. Will be interesting to see what competitors do in response to this announcement.
 

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Long-haul rubber-tired autonomous freight hauling doesn't pair well with pure EV technology. The energy efficiency losses are high and the concept of autonomously caravaning multiple trucks on the same road carrying private passenger vehicles is scary. I freak out whenever I'm passing or being passed by one of those triple-trailer rigs.

Our long-term overland long-haul freight shipping solution will likely be autonomous electric railroad systems integrated with autonomous short-haul electric urban haulers, all using containers that can be auto-transferred from the rail cars to the local haulers. If each rail-car is self-powered and has a small battery bank so it can self-drive itself when off the main line, it can auto-switch itself to just the right siding for both loading and unloading. This would dramatically speed the rail/truck interface and reduce the issue of slow pickup/delivery via rail. Steel rail on dedicated right of ways is the way to go for freight. Leave the autonomous freeways to the passenger/local haul vehicles.

I think Cummins has it right.
 

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Tesla really hasn't done traditional concepts before, and tend to do things they announce. Sometimes cost might be off or time frame might be delayed, but they have an excellent track record so far.

I think all the other electric truck concepts and prototypes have come up far short relatively.
 

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Well, Wal-Mart says it's going to test using Tesla electric trucks as part of a strategy to consider alternative fuel options...and if Tesla is in a contractual relationship with Wal-Mart, Tesla better deliver or they will find themselves in court...because Wal-Mart does not like being lied to on contractual deliveries...:rolleyes:
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/wal-mart-stores-inc-wmt-165307103.html
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Long-haul rubber-tired autonomous freight hauling doesn't pair well with pure EV technology. The energy efficiency losses are high and the concept of autonomously caravaning multiple trucks on the same road carrying private passenger vehicles is scary. I freak out whenever I'm passing or being passed by one of those triple-trailer rigs.

Our long-term overland long-haul freight shipping solution will likely be autonomous electric railroad systems integrated with autonomous short-haul electric urban haulers, all using containers that can be auto-transferred from the rail cars to the local haulers. If each rail-car is self-powered and has a small battery bank so it can self-drive itself when off the main line, it can auto-switch itself to just the right siding for both loading and unloading. This would dramatically speed the rail/truck interface and reduce the issue of slow pickup/delivery via rail. Steel rail on dedicated right of ways is the way to go for freight. Leave the autonomous freeways to the passenger/local haul vehicles.

I think Cummins has it right.
This is a great concept, but a complete shift in logistics that may take some time to implement. In the meantime traditional trucking will remain.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Nothing Tesla "unveils" is ever a reality until they finally figure out how to actually make what they dreamed up even possible.

More big claims not backed up by any facts.
I can't think of any particular hurdles to this concept. The trailer is large enough to carry a significant battery pack, and the motors would be in the tractor.

The only real issue I see is not the concept, but Tesla itself. They have lots of trouble ramping up anything. If they do a deal with someone like Volvo Trucks, or Kenworth, this could be reality very fast.

And this concept might first take over local semis that never go more than 500 miles/day before being parked overnight for loading the next day's shipments. Then the logistical issues disappear.
 

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Yeah I see this as an intercity application rather than a interstate one. I think this platform would be more useful as a bus (school and city), and garbage truck. Trucks that see a lot of stop and go situations. Maybe some box trucks to take the cargo from the distribution locations to the stores.
 

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...And this concept might first take over local semis that never go more than 500 miles/day before being parked overnight for loading the next day's shipments. Then the logistical issues disappear.
I wondered how long the Tesla semi would take to recharge? A conventional diesel powered truck can fuel up and go on another long haul while the electric truck sits and charges. This might be a good application for a rapid-change battery. Truck stops could have charged battery packs waiting. Of course if the truck is going to sit overnight while being loaded then it could be charged at the same time.
 

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I wondered how long the Tesla semi would take to recharge? A conventional diesel powered truck can fuel up and go on another long haul while the electric truck sits and charges.
Elon said about 400 miles in 30 minutes and that a traditional long haul truck takes about 15 minutes to refuel all tanks. 400 miles is past the time limit a driver MUST stop for a break so recharging isn't that big of an issue. Also, many companies like Walmart, UPS, etc have long haul internal shipping to their own docks where the tractor could recharge while the trailer is loaded/unloaded.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Elon said about 400 miles in 30 minutes and that a traditional long haul truck takes about 15 minutes to refuel all tanks. 400 miles is past the time limit a driver MUST stop for a break so recharging isn't that big of an issue. Also, many companies like Walmart, UPS, etc have long haul internal shipping to their own docks where the tractor could recharge while the trailer is loaded/unloaded.
UPS and Fedex are basically logistics companies. As a TV commercial once said: they live and breath this stuff. If they see a cost benefit from a fleet of electric trucks, they have the cash, and will have no problem revamping their infrastructure and logistics to integrate a cost effective measure.
 

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......now Telsa made it a reality:
Getting a little ahead of ourselves are we?

Long-haul rubber-tired autonomous freight hauling doesn't pair well with pure EV technology. The energy efficiency losses are high and the concept of autonomously caravaning multiple trucks on the same road carrying private passenger vehicles is scary. I freak out whenever I'm passing or being passed by one of those triple-trailer rigs.

Our long-term overland long-haul freight shipping solution will likely be autonomous electric railroad systems integrated with autonomous short-haul electric urban haulers, all using containers that can be auto-transferred from the rail cars to the local haulers. If each rail-car is self-powered and has a small battery bank so it can self-drive itself when off the main line, it can auto-switch itself to just the right siding for both loading and unloading. This would dramatically speed the rail/truck interface and reduce the issue of slow pickup/delivery via rail. Steel rail on dedicated right of ways is the way to go for freight. Leave the autonomous freeways to the passenger/local haul vehicles.

I think Cummins has it right.
Sounds a lot like what we have now, sans the automagical stuff which will be a bit expensive and will require development of standards.

The trailer is large enough to carry a significant battery pack......
The batteries should be in the tractor. Think about coupling issues. Then you have weight limits. You may have noticed weigh stations. Those guys are real buggers about weight and will make you dump part of your load, or you don't go anywhere.

Heavier truck = less cargo.

From what I see of most comments on this, most folks have no trucking experience (relative or actual). I've been on hauls with trucker friends, and at least know this much (which isn't much).
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Getting a little ahead of ourselves are we?

Sounds a lot like what we have now, sans the automagical stuff which will be a bit expensive and will require development of standards.

The batteries should be in the tractor. Think about coupling issues. Then you have weight limits. You may have noticed weigh stations. Those guys are real buggers about weight and will make you dump part of your load, or you don't go anywhere.

Heavier truck = less cargo.

From what I see of most comments on this, most folks have no trucking experience (relative or actual). I've been on hauls with trucker friends, and at least know this much (which isn't much).
Mister Dave, I knew this was your post even before I read the heading :)

Considering we already have electric cars, rolling out an electric truck is not a heavy engineering lift.

A close friend of mine went from engineering into long haul trucking for 3 years. Thank goodness that phase is over. Weight is an issue whether it's in the tractor or trailer. They weigh the entire rig. And while the batteries will always be there, what you won't have is all that diesel weight. Better to have most of it in the trailer because then when the tractor is moved around the weight is much less. And with the battery on the bed of the trailer frame, you can have lots and lots of range, and reduce the center of gravity for stability.
 

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Considering we already have electric cars, rolling out an electric truck is not a heavy engineering lift.
We already have electric trucks - yes tractor-trailer trucks. This is not a new concept.

Well, Wal-Mart says it's going to test using Tesla electric trucks as part of a strategy to consider alternative fuel options...and if Tesla is in a contractual relationship with Wal-Mart, Tesla better deliver or they will find themselves in court...because Wal-Mart does not like being lied to on contractual deliveries...:rolleyes:
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/wal-mart-stores-inc-wmt-165307103.html
Oh my, Walmart stock just took a swan dive. Odd timing.
 

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But the big question for commercial drivers is about range. Musk claims that the Tesla Semi will have a 500 mile range at max vehicle weight travelling at highway speeds. And claims that that’s the worst-case scenario.

To achieve that, Tesla designed the semi to reduce drag as much as possible.

Instead of side mirrors, the semi makes use of cameras, and even the door handles push in instead of out to minimize drag. Side flaps extend from the back of the tractor to fit around any trailer size.

Because we know that tractor trailers NEVER drive in icy storms...:rolleyes:

Will the side flap retract to allow tight backing situations?


While a 500-mile range is likely enough for some drivers, it won’t be sufficient for OTR drivers if it takes hours to recharge the batteries. But according to Musk, it will only take 30 minutes to recharge to 400 miles of range using a Tesla Supercharger. “By the time you are done with your break, the truck is ready to go. You will not be waiting for your truck to charge,” he said.

Does this mean the next round of Superchargers are going to be at Truckstops??...Or does that mean a Tesla Tractor Trailer will just block ALL the other chargers while it is being charged...OR does that mean the driver will have to DROP the trailer to charge and then rehook???

Currently Tesla has a little over 2,000 Supercharger stations in the country, so expecting a 30-minute recharge time everywhere you drive might not be reasonable just yet.

Here, the details were a bit fuzzy. Not once in the presentation did Musk announce a price for the Tesla Semi. He did give a per-mile “fully-accounted for price” which he claims includes cost of maintenance, payments on the trucks, etc of $1.26/mile. He compared that to what he claims is the $1.51/mile cost of running diesel.

Using what he calls “convoy technology,” Musk says that the cost of operating the truck will drop to $.85/mile, and that using the technology that is currently available, moving freight this way would already be 10 times safer than a human driver.

Despite all of the claims however, there’s still a lot of information we don’t have. We know very little about the battery, don’t have hard figures on torque, didn’t hear anything about a sleeper berth, and we don’t even know the exact price or release date. And those are just a few of the big question marks.

Tesla is also notorious for falling behind on its production dates, so even though production is set to begin in 2019, it’s not certain that you’ll be able to do what Musk claims: “Order now, get the truck in 2 years.”

“We guarantee that the truck will not break down for a million miles,” said Musk.
This is pure snake oil...:mad:
 
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