Tesla Semi Truck — better in every way for short haul trucking

Could be 2x cheaper per mile than diesel

I know nothing about the economics of trucking, but what Tesla announced tonight feels incredible cool.

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Some background. There are nearly 2 million semi trucks in operation in the U.S., and around 5.6 million semi trailers. Semi trucks and semi trailers are also known as tractors and tractor trailers, respectively.

Truck drivers drive an estimated 140 billion miles every year, and a single semi drives about 45,000 miles a year on average. According to the Federal Highway Administration, long-distance trucks travel upwards of 100,000 miles a year. 42% of all miles driven by commercial vehicles are driven by semi trucks.

Jerome Guillen, VP, Truck and Programs, kicked it off, conforming there are already reservations for Tesla Semi.

Tesla Semi will go 0–60 in 5 seconds, 20 seconds with 80,000 pounds. Gets 500 miles on a single charge, even with max load. Tesla Semi can add 400 miles of range in 30 minutes of charging

Can go uphill at 65MPH versus 45MPH for other semis. Super aerodynamic. The Tesla semi is a Class 8, the largest heavy duty freight trucks. Uses 4 motors. Guaranteed not to break down for 1 million miles because even if 2 of the motors goes out, you can still drive.

Windshield guaranteed to survive a thermo-nuclear blast or your money back. A funny joke but they do have super strong glass because if your windshield is broken on a truck, you can’t drive, and it is hard to get another one shipped out and installed etc.

The trucks interior is large enough for a person to stand in (A journalist who is six-foot three inches tall didn’t hit the ceiling with his head).

The cab also has two touchscreen displays — again a Model 3 screen — positioned on both sides of the driver. The Tesla semi has built-in connectivity that integrates directly with a fleet’s management system to support routing and scheduling, and remote monitoring.

All of the interior room is thanks to Tesla moving the drivetrain to the rear of the Semi behind the cabin. Four Model 3 motors with a slightly modified gearing ratios than what’s found in the passenger car. Each of these is attached to their own wheel. Torque is controlled in each motor to prevent jackknifing. Like other electric vehicles, there’s no need to shift gears.

The truck is very streamlined

Wins on economics

Tesla predicts right now, that a diesel truck will be 20¢ more expensive per mile. That is at a worst case scenario at 60 miles an hour speed, with gas costing $2.50.

Will be charged in a Megachargers network, similar to Tesla’s supercharger network — which will generate the energy required to charge the battery via solar panels. 7¢ kilowatt hour wholesale.

In a convoy arrangement, with multiple trucks drafting off each other, Tesla estimates that the price per miles will beat rail.

They also estimate that the convoy technology 10 x safer than a human driver. With the improved economics of a truck convoy, a diesel truck could be twice as expensive.

They didn’t announce an actual price, but for a $5,000 reservation you can get in line. Production begins in 2019. More info will be added here — https://www.tesla.com/Semi

Ecological Impact

While passenger cars have been the focus for most automakers, electrifying trucks could go a long way.

In 2015, the EPA, noted that medium and heavy-duty trucks accounted for 23 percent of vehicle emissions.

So from an trucking outsiders perspective, it kind of feels like this:

And then at the end of the event this happened…

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Code, design, cook. Make stuff. Cookies. @BYU grad.

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