back to article Tesla launches electric truck it guarantees won't break for a million miles

Elon Musk has launched the “Tesla Semi”, complete with a guarantee that it will not break down for one million miles of driving. Speaking at a launch event in Los Angeles, Musk said the truck will be 20 per cent cheaper to operate than a diesel truck, in part because it will be faster. “We designed the truck to be like a …

  1. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Boffin

    Tesla semi?

    Fnar, fnar. But it is a cool looking truck.

    Joking aside I've been talking to a few owners of electric cars (I was thinking about taking the plunge) and I'm hearing worrying tales of range under realistic driving conditions. It seems that the claimed 200-300 mile ranges for "pure" electric models (not just Tesla) can dwindle rapidly if you're not "feather-footing" it, leaving you with 2 or 3 recharging sessions on longer trips.

    Can any commentards here add to this?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Tesla semi?

      Given that electric motors do operate more efficiently at constant speed, this isn't unreasonable. Quick acceleration, speed changes, etc. will suck up amps just like it would on a gas powered vehicle. So yes, for best efficiency and mileage, a light foot, constant speed (if possible) is required.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Tesla semi?

        I would include a 4 cyl diesel engine anyway, to charge batteries while driving [or while sitting at a truck stop].

        Just worth pointing out, the worst problem to solve in trucking is ADEQUATE AIR CONDITIONING.

        As a truck driver, you're sitting on top of a high horsepower engine, constantly. Even good insulation isn't enough to block that heat on a hot day. You're gonna ROAST without proper air conditioning. And air conditioning uses power. It gets worse on hills during the summer, like the 'Grapevine' north of L.A., where drivers basically have to go slow in the 'special truck lane' and suffer through the heat. And so on. And the downlhill speed is limited to 15mph as I recall... (for safety). And uphill speed might be slower, depending. So not a lot of wind to help, yeah.

        I suppose if you plan your trip properly, you use energy giong up hill, and try to restore it going down with dynamic braking. But what if the batteries are already fully charged? You'll need a way to dissipate the extra power, maybe a resistor bank with a cooling system [like trains have].

        I have a strong, sneaky suspicion that this electric truck was designed by people who've never driven one on a long haul. So maybe my uncle (who owns a trucking business, though he's close to retiring now) could consult for them. Or any OTHER experienced driver that understands electricity and mechanical engineering, for that matter.

        I think they'll need that. Otherwise, it's like the proverbial "Superiority" (by Arthur C. Clarke) problem.

        New, Shiny not always "superior", yeah.

        1. Arisia

          Re: Tesla semi?

          Air con only takes a few hundred Watts. The power usage will be lost in the noise. As electric motors are far more efficient that diesel there won't be the heat source in the first place.

          The truck stops will have the mega-chargers so no engine required. I expect initial sales will be point to point though. General purpose will come later when the charging network has expanded out.

          Finally, it'll still have normal brakes. They just won't, normally, be used much.

          1. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Tesla semi?

            " As electric motors are far more efficient that diesel there won't be the heat source in the first place."

            There is still all of that surface area soaking up IR from the sun and in a area like the southern US where temp and humidity are way up there in the summer, AC is still required.

          2. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Tesla semi?

            "Finally, it'll still have normal brakes. They just won't, normally, be used much."

            I guess you don't drive a truck. The friction brakes will still get used. Every time you leave a proper gap between the truck and the car in front, somebody moves into the space and hits their brakes causing you to hit the brakes too. I pity the armatures in the motors and still think that it won't be enough.

        2. Terry Barnes

          Re: Tesla semi?

          It won’t have a high horsepower engine so your comment about air con seems misplaced. It will have air con, just like the Tesla cars do. There’s no need for resistor banks as it will have a standard air brake system, just like a normal truck.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Tesla semi?

          > I have a strong, sneaky suspicion that this electric truck was designed by people who've never driven one on a long haul.

          You have a strong, sneaky suspicion that of all engineering companies, Tesla does not know how to do engineering? On the basis that your uncle drives a truck?

          That is an interesting point of view.

          1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

            Re: Tesla semi?

            You have a strong, sneaky suspicion that of all engineering companies, Tesla does not know how to do engineering? On the basis that your uncle drives a truck?

            That is an interesting point of view.

            I'll say that having driven a truck both long haul and locally that the design is not going to be enjoyed by many drivers. I don't doubt the engineering is at least reasonable but there is a reason that cabover/forward control horses aren't very popular in the US even though they provide great visibility and it has everything to do with the relative locations of the front wheels and the driver's seat. While this truck appears to have the seat at least a bit behind the front wheels it isn't likely to be anywhere near a nice ride unless you happen to be a big fan of jerk and jounce. Hopefully the weight of the thing will keep it tolerable.

          2. Chris 155

            Re: Tesla semi?

            There's a very big difference between knowing how to solve a problem and knowing which problem to solve.

            Smarter people than Tesla's engineers have built an amazing product that solves the wrong problem before

        4. Nifty

          Re: Tesla semi?

          ref worries about heavy aircon use in the sunny climes while crawling through slow traffic cutting the range

          Surely the solar panels on that big flat truck trailer roof will entirely power the aircon and infotainment? And have spare to top up the batteries?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Tesla semi?

            > Surely the solar panels on that big flat truck trailer roof will entirely power the aircon and infotainment? And have spare to top up the batteries?

            Good thing that truck drivers own their own personal trailer and never tow anyone else's. Or a flat bed.

            1. Stoneshop Silver badge

              Re: Tesla semi?

              Good thing that truck drivers own their own personal trailer and never tow anyone else's. Or a flat bed.

              If this really takes off I can see solar roof panels being retrofitted to trailers, or panel modules that can be attached on top of a shipping container in case the trailer is towed by an electric truck. And if shipping companies have a mixed fleet of solar and non-solar trailers, they can load the solar one if it's Jones The Electric Trucker who's coming to take the trailer to its destination.

            2. Dave Bell

              Re: Tesla semi?

              And that's a big assumption there.

              Tesco does deliveries to supermarkets with its own trucks. OK, might be some leasing and other ownership elements, but they're in Tesco markings, They could run a fleet with solar-boost on the trailers. I don't know what they use in urban areas, these could be too big to be practical, and you might not get enough sunlight in England, but there are relatively short-range urban delivery runs.

              And that sort of haulage operation could even swap from a long-range diesel to a Tesla for the urban leg. That does point to something Tesla may have missed. Low-speed urban maybe doesn't care so much about streamlining, but how well will this handle a standard trailer?

        5. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

          Re: Tesla semi?

          I suspect for charging only, a turbine would be more efficient. Also very, very cool.

          1. AnonFairBinary

            Re: Tesla semi?

            you mean like http://www.wrightspeed.com

        6. BitDr

          Re: Tesla semi?

          Good points about the hot engine but there is no engine in this rig, there are electric motors, four of them, on the rear axles between the frame rails behind the cab. Heat generated by the motors is well away from the cab so the AC will not have to work as hard as it would when a diesel engine is the primary means of motivation and sitting in front of or directly under (in the case of a cab-over) you

          Agree 100% that shiny (and new) is not always superior, just as old and rusty isn't necessarily inferior.

        7. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          Re: Tesla semi?

          "So maybe my uncle (who owns a trucking business, though he's close to retiring now) could consult for them. Or any OTHER experienced driver that understands electricity and mechanical engineering, for that matter."

          Do you actually, seriously, believe that Tesla have developed this without input from the trucking community?

          1. Windrose

            Re: Tesla semi?

            One word: "assistant driver". So yes.

            Let's see what the professionals (Daimler, Scania, Volvo et al) come up with.

        8. Stuart21551

          Re: Tesla semi?

          "As a truck driver, you're sitting on top of a high horsepower engine, constantly"

          Not any more - MuskTruck motors are well behind the driver, and MUCH more efficient than ICEs - typically, 95% or more - no heating problem.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tesla semi?

        In other words - normal driving conditions for the UK where traffic on the motorways is stop/start fast/slow.

        I'd also be very interested to see real range in UK conditions (different road surfaces, driving patterns, temperature, and weather) compared to the ideal based on wide open US freeways.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Tesla semi?

          wide open US freeways.

          Which ones would they be?

          1. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Tesla semi?

            wide open US freeways.

            Which ones would they be?

            Wyoming on the 80…. in the middle of winter.

            Seriously, when you get away from major cities on the interstate system, speeds are pretty good.

    2. Chris Miller

      @Zog

      I drive a plug-in hybrid with a claimed electric only range of 30 miles. On a sunny summer's day on pan-flat terrain, given a light foot and driven at a constant 56 mph, that could well be achievable. But I live in the Chiltern hills, with lots of 15% inclines, and I've never seen better than 24 miles. In winter, when batteries are less efficient and there's extra demand for lighting, heating, wipers etc, I often see less than 20 miles. Manufacturers' range figures should be treated like mpg claims for internal combustion vehicles: a good standard comparator, but not likely to be achieved in real-world use.

      As an aside, my car gets around 3 miles/kWh. Tesla claims for its Semi "< 2 kWh/mile" and a range of 300 miles (or 500 with a bigger battery option). So there must be at least 600 kWh of battery, and recharging that to 80% full in 30 minutes is going to need a 1MW supply. Connecting that safely and dealing with the waste heat is a non-trivial engineering challenge in itself. Dealing with 10 or 20 electric trucks simultaneously ...

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: @Zog

        recharging that to 80% full in 30 minutes is going to need a 1MW supply.

        Exactly.

        Of course, recharging it over the 12+ hours of mandatory rest (with only one seat you can't have two drivers working shifts) would only take ~50kW, and a 50kW diesel genset could be tucked in the back of the trailer along with a 100 gallon tank without sacrificing too much cargo space. Diesel-electric: no range problems, and much more efficient than a straight diesel.

        1. Ledswinger Silver badge

          Re: @Zog

          Diesel-electric: no range problems, and much more efficient than a straight diesel.

          And most of the reliability, safety, service, complexity problems of a diesel, plus the loss of around 2.5 tonnes of cargo capacity due to the genset, fuel and systems weight. The net efficiency of a diesel charging a battery electric vehicle, would be appalling. And I can't see any urban area letting truckers run a genset at 50 kW full tilt for 12 hours.

          This is more Muskery - self promotion, rather than a practical solution.

          1. rh587

            Re: @Zog

            The net efficiency of a diesel charging a battery electric vehicle, would be appalling. And I can't see any urban area letting truckers run a genset at 50 kW full tilt for 12 hours.

            It would be, which is why you'd never do it. But a Diesel-Electric is entirely viable and done on large scale for mining trucks. A Diesel-Electric road truck could offer diesel range with better fuel efficiency and the superior driving characteristics of electric.

            1. Ledswinger Silver badge

              Re: @Zog

              But a Diesel-Electric is entirely viable and done on large scale for mining trucks.

              I agree, it has been used on railways for many decades. But not for efficiency reasons, simply because making a proper mechanical transmission that is economic to build, compact enough to be practical, and reliable for ultra-high torque drive on vehicles in the 35-700 tonne category is not at all easy, verging into the utterly impossible. Whereas diesel electric is, in relative terms.

              There were many attempts to make mechanical drive 100-tonne locomotives, but the system always ended up being less efficient because they needed transmissions involving hydraulic converters that were a big bit crap in many respects.

            2. Hairy Spod

              Re: @Zog

              dont forget the batteries truck is heavier than a standard one.

              fair enough most trucks max out on volume before max legal mass, but that will be a consideration for some.

              By the time you have added a generator, a fuel tank a transmission, an exhaust and a cooling system you will have

              A added even more weight

              B taken up even more space

              C added even more cost.

              D started to make weight and load space an issue for everyone

              Basically adding an engine to it is a stupid idea, if it wasnt Tesla would have added one.

              1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

                Re: @Hairy Spod

                "By the time you have added a generator, a fuel tank a transmission, an exhaust and a cooling system you will have..."

                Transmission isn't needed. You run the engine as a generator not as a traditional IC engine driving a transmission driving the wheels.

          2. HereIAmJH

            Re: @Zog

            There is no reliability problem with diesel engines. Most of the components on semi truck engines have a B50 rating of 750k miles or more. (B50 is a statistic on when 50% of the components would require a major repair, similar to MTBF on computer equipment) And diesels aren't that complex, until you start incorporating computer systems.

            And you wouldn't drop a genset on an electric truck. That would be ridiculous. What you would create is a serial hybrid. It would have just enough battery to boost the available power for accelerating and steep grades. The diesel engine would produce enough power to drive the electric motors at highway cruise speeds. So the weight you gain with the diesel engine, generator, and fuel, you lose by leaving some of those heavy batteries behind. Diesel hybrids need to use some of the decades of experience of the train industry.

            As far as safety is concerned, you'd have the worst of both worlds. BEVs are actually more dangerous that diesel fuel. Between battery charging, dangers from damaged batteries, and hazards to emergency service crews. Diesel, OTOH, is a known component and difficult (compared to gasoline) to ignite.

            Some issues I see with the Tesla truck are that there appears to be no sleeper. So no team drive and the driver has to end their shift at some kind of facility. 60 mph cruise speed is too slow for the United States. 65 or 70 will be required, or you'll lose all your drivers. (drivers get paid by the mile) And it's going to need more than a 500 mile range. 10hrs x 70mph puts you at 700 miles minimum. I'm also curious how they are going to handle the un-sprung weight of having a motor at each wheel.

          3. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: @Zog

            "This is more Muskery - self promotion, rather than a practical solution."

            Not self promotion so much as diverting attention away from record losses and lack of delivered Model 3's outside of employees and investors.

          4. Jonathan Schwatrz

            Re: @Zog

            "....And I can't see any urban area letting truckers run a genset at 50 kW full tilt for 12 hours...." Refrigerated trailers already have a separate diesel tank and a diesel-powered refrigeration unit that are very noisy. But they add a lot to the cost of the trailer and put 2000Lb of weight high on the headboard, which affects stability.

            The bigger problem I see is that typical over-the-road haulage requires two drivers who drive in shifts so that the truck can run for thousands of miles with only ten minute breaks to switch driver and refuel (fifteen minutes in the USA for pre- and post-trip inspections). An electric truck that has to stop every eight hours (or less) and stand for hours to recharge simply won't compete.

      2. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: @Zog

        Confirmed for a Mitsubishi Phev - 30miles reported range - usually get 23-24 in the summer not using the AC.

        Winter? 18 miles if lucky, and even then the 2 litre generator kicks in until the batteries have warmed up (if temp below 10C).

        But you can pre-heat the cabin by remote before unplugging it from the mains in the morning!

      3. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: @Zog

        and recharging that to 80% full in 30 minutes is going to need a 1MW supply.

        It's fine. Musk also said that the truck's Arc-Chargers will be powered by solar. So say, 5,000m^2+ of panels per charge point. Batteries not included. But I guess trucking is an application where careful planning could combine charging with mandatory rest breaks. If it can't, then the economics will be tricky, especially with just-in-time deliveries and contract penalties. ISTR a number of freight customers insist on specific and narrow time windows for deliveries, or penalties are applied.

        I'm also curious about the Roadster's performance and range claims as those seem to suggest significant advances in batteries, drive train, aerodynamics or all three.. Which could be easily challenged on any race track.

        1. Ledswinger Silver badge

          Re: @Zog

          I'm also curious about the Roadster's performance and range claims

          On Tesla's previous record, I'd expect the peak performance to be exactly as claimed. The peak range, I'd accept as being true under absolutely optimised conditions that don't represent the real world at all. Give it to any normal driver and they'll struggle to achieve that.

          And the range if you're making maximum use of the performance, well, halve it? The same is true for ICE vehicles, but if you've got a maximum potential range of 600 miles in your tank, then even if you're driving like you stole it, there's a lot more leeway to refuel than if your maximum battery range is 300 miles, and you're driving in the same manner.

        2. inmypjs Silver badge

          Re: @Zog

          "combine charging with mandatory rest breaks"

          Mandatory breaks from say October till March?

          3/4 of a solar panel's annual output is generated during the summer half of the year.

          1. Jonathan Schwatrz

            Re: @Zog

            In the US, a CDL driver can be on-duty for 14 hours, of which then can drive 11 hours, before they have to take a break of 10 hours minimum (that's ignoring the 30 min break after the first 8 hours on-duty and such games as 8-3 shifts with teams). So, for solo routes, the Tesla truck could make sense if it can charge 100% in ten hours. But for long haul OTR, when the trucks run 2000+ miles day and night from say California to Pennsylvania, with two drivers working in shifts, the Tesla truck is a non-starter.

      4. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: @Zog

        We have petrol stations with several thousands of litres of highly flammable petrol in tanks, used to fill up dozens of cars with 60 litres each every few minutes. We solved that problem pretty well, so I doubt some electrical charging can't be solved safely.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Zog

          We have petrol stations with several thousands of litres of highly flammable petrol in tanks, used to fill up dozens of cars with 60 litres each every few minutes. We solved that problem pretty well, so I doubt some electrical charging can't be solved safely.

          Flammable it may be, but it won't ignite spontaneously.

          Work out the energy flow for 60litres in 5 minutes, in electrical terms that's well into the special-clothing-and-training range, and one poor connection means an explosion that will kill anyone within a few metres.

          1. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: @Zog

            "Work out the energy flow for 60litres in 5 minutes, in electrical terms that's well into the special-clothing-and-training range, and one poor connection means an explosion that will kill anyone within a few metres."

            Let's see 60L rounds off to 16 US gallons with an energy of about 32kWh/Gallon which is ….. 512kWh. Or, 8.5 Chevy Bolts all topped up.

            Yep, I'd want a face shield and would be measuring the contact resistance first on that one.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @Zog

              Let's see 60L rounds off to 16 US gallons with an energy of about 32kWh/Gallon which is ….. 512kWh

              Delivered in 5 minutes, so a 6MW connection, say 500A at 12kV? I'd add decent long gloves to the face mask.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @Zog

                I still think the solution is to replace the battery pack rather charge on the fly. The depleted pack slides out, the charged pack slides in and the depleted pack is charged for the next vehicle. If the battery packs were designed sensibly they'd be interchangeable between cars and trucks. Where a car would require one or two while a truck might require 10 or 20(?).

      5. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: @Zog

        "recharging that to 80% full in 30 minutes is going to need a 1MW supply. Connecting that safely and dealing with the waste heat is a non-trivial engineering challenge in itself. Dealing with 10 or 20 electric trucks simultaneously …"

        Exactly. What's the electric company going to charge to bring in 20MW of capability to an ET truck stop? That's about 167,000 square meters of solar panels (600W/sqm @ 20% efficiency) to be "green". I'm also disregarding other losses in the system or I'd be typing and doing sums all day. 600W/sqm is a very rough UK insolation yearly average in those years when there IS sunlight hitting the ground.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Zog

        If you're looking at claimed range of 30 miles NEDC, it makes sense you've never seen it, because the NEDC is a joke. Unfortunately the "fix" is to use the WLTP, which seems to have been designed to unify all the joke systems into a single joke system that eliminates the _really_ bad jokes.

        Anyway, back to the trucks ...

        At an individual level "megacharging" on such a large pack won't be a big deal since the 85kWh packs are already charged at up to 120kW. In bunches it's just a matter of scaling up. . As long as the use were steady the economics would be good.

        In terms of "burden" on the grid:

        2014 freight miles by truck were 1,996,165 million. (1)

        2016 US utility-scale electricity generation was 4.08 trillion kilowatthours (2)

        Using those numbers and wildly guessing at an average load of 20 tons, at 2 kWh/mile making all US truck freight electric would add 4.89% to US electricity demand. Not too bad.

        As with all plug-in vehicle technology the success will ultimately come down to whether the costs will fall enough. Fingers crossed.

        (1) https://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_01_50.html

        (2) https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tesla semi?

      > Can any commentards here add to this?

      Switzerland to central-southern England using (only) 2 charges France in a Model X..?

      1. steelpillow Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Tesla semi?

        Regenerative braking is essential if the economics of electric power are to be realised in everyday stop-go driving on real roads.

        Basically, when braking the motor acts in reverse as a dynamo and charges a supercapacitor. When accelerating, you drain the supercapacitor before drawing on the battery. In F1 racing the system is called CURS.

        Also, you won't even need to use the brake pads unless braking sharply, as the dynamo exerts its own very effective braking force, so you greatly reduce copper and/or asbestos pollution of the roadside.

        How good the Tesla toys are at that depends on how good their designers are, but if F1 can do it routinely I don't see why Tesla can't.

        1. theModge

          Re: Tesla semi?

          The issue with regenerative breaking we have found is that you need really, really big super capacitors, which are physical big and expensive. Batteries can't take charge as fast as breaking produces it and a fully laden truck will produce a great deal of current indeed under breaking. You can then charge the batteries off the super capacitors so as to leave them empty for recharging next time you break, if you're doing this for range (as we were) rather than speed (as F1 does). People generally use big resistors (which need cooling) to dump any current that doesn't fit in the capacitor.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Tesla semi?

            "...a fully laden truck will produce a great deal of current indeed under breaking" & "...recharging next time you break..."

            Umm... if it's broken then it won't be producing any current or doing any recharging.

          2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

            Re: Tesla semi?

            @theModge

            Brake. Not break.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Tesla semi?

          "In F1 racing the system is called CURS."

          KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System).

          But apart from that, I have to wonder how well the batteries would hold up during winter in the northern states.

          1. steelpillow Silver badge

            Re: Tesla semi?

            "KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System)."

            Kerse you, Red Baron!

            To reply to another post, of course stopping from speed will soon fill any sane supercapacitor and, if you don't divert the current, you will then get no more regenerative braking. So the system needs to be smart enough to understand that and adjust mechanical braking accordingly. But that is not my point.

            Most braking time is spent easing back gently for corners or other traffic hazards. Not spectacular amounts of energy on any given occasion, but repeated many times during a typical journey. It is this persistent low level of expenditure that regenerative systems can most easily recapture.

            1. ilmari

              Re: Tesla semi?

              The batteries should accept charge at the same rate as the stated acceleration, so 100 to 0 in 20 seconds. That seems like very aggressive braking under normal circumstances.

              Likewise, if it can maintain a specific speed going up a hill, it can maintain the same speed going down the hill without the use of friction braking.

        3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: Tesla semi?

          "Regenerative braking is essential if the economics of electric power are to be realised in everyday stop-go driving on real roads."

          Regenerative braking is essential in all vehicles if we are to stop pissing away precious and increasingly scarce power no matter how it was derived.

          FTFY

        4. JimboSmith Silver badge

          Re: Tesla semi?

          In F1 racing the system is called CURS.

          Sorry to busrt your bubble but it's actually it's called K.E.R.S. the Kinetic Energy Recovery System

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Tesla semi?

            > Sorry to busrt your bubble but it's actually it's called K.E.R.S. the Kinetic Energy Recovery System

            That's what he said, with 50% spelling accuracy.

          2. Hairy Spod

            Re: Tesla semi?

            Sorry to burst your bubble but it hasnt been KERS for sometime now.

            Its now a two part system MGU-K and MGU-H

            the most interesting part is the MGUH which actually recovers energy from the heat of the turbo

            https://www.formula1.com/en/championship/inside-f1/understanding-f1-racing/Energy_Recovery_Systems.html

          3. breakfast

            Re: K.E.R.S

            So we need to create a Wide Area Network of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems? Got it.

        5. inmypjs Silver badge

          Re: Tesla semi?

          "Regenerative braking is essential"

          Bollocks - most of the time brakes barely get warm which is an indication of how much energy there is to be recovered.

          "In F1 racing the system is called CURS."

          F1 KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System - you moron) is just pandering to eco green fuckwittery with the benefit of additional spurts of power so they can actually manage to overtake now and then and make F1 racing slightly less fucking boring.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. steelpillow Silver badge

            Re: Tesla semi?

            "most of the time brakes barely get warm which is an indication of how much energy there is to be recovered."

            More an indication of how effective the air cooling is.

            Like I said, moderate braking isn't massive amounts at any one time but it all adds up, which is more than some folks' comments do around here. ;p

          3. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Tesla semi?

            Yes, F1 can be very tedious as the order doesn't change very much and if Lewis Hamilton doesn't win he throws his helmet and acts like a spoiled little brat. I'll put on an audiobook and go work in the garden instead.

            1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

              Re: Tesla semi?

              " if Lewis Hamilton doesn't win he throws his helmet and acts like a spoiled little brat"

              No he doesn't. Once or twice 8-9 years ago it may have happened.

          4. Jonathan Schwatrz

            Re: Tesla semi?

            "....Bollocks - most of the time brakes barely get warm which is an indication of how much energy there is to be recovered...." Er, no. A lot of truck fires are started by the brakes getting so hot that they set light to trailer. This is why truck drivers are trained on "stab" braking and the use of Jacobs brakes (engine braking through making a number of the engine's cylinders act as air compressors to slow the truck). Big hint - a loaded semi is 40 tons!

        6. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. Aqua Marina Silver badge

      Re: Tesla semi?

      ...and we could run them on special tracks so they could be much longer with a whole series of trailers. They would need to be more powerful for the long train of trailers. But, instead of batteries, they could take power from overhead lines.

      1. 2+2=5 Silver badge

        Re: Tesla semi?

        >...and we could run them on special tracks so they could be much longer with a whole series of trailers. They would need to be more powerful for the long train of trailers. But, instead of batteries, they could take power from overhead lines.

        You mean like this?

        https://electrek.co/2017/08/11/electric-truck-charging-overhead-contact-charging-autobahn-germany/

      2. Fortycoats
        WTF?

        Re: Tesla semi?

        "they could take power from overhead lines."

        Scania have already done this. I kid you not. And it's not a train.

        https://www.scania.com/group/en/2016-worlds-first-electric-road-opens-in-sweden/

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Tesla semi?

          Scania's power from overhead lines.. So, after many years of revolutionising the transport industry, Sweden's built a tram/trolley bus road. Whoever would have thought that bringing the power to the vehicle saves weight & complexity..

        2. Chris Holford
          Facepalm

          first-electric-road?

          -it's a trolly lorry! (Trolly buses operating like this were common until the 60s in large towns.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: first-electric-road?

            "-it's a trolly lorry! (Trolly buses operating like this were common until the 60s in large towns."

            Although I didn't read the entire site, I suspect the primary difference is that the truck doesn't require the overhead wires, it uses them where installed and possibly also charges it's own batteries from it at the same time. I wonder what the load capacity would need to be for a line of lorries as often happens? Maybe they need the smarts to stay away from each so there's never too many on one segment? I can see how this might appeal (barring any other obvious drawbacks) but I suspect any change to this sort of electrification would also require a change in attitudes across the entire haulage industry and a lot of co-operation between hauliers and their customers. JIT deliveries would have to be very, very carefully scheduled.

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Tesla semi?

          "Scania have already done this. I kid you not. And it's not a train.

          https://www.scania.com/group/en/2016-worlds-first-electric-road-opens-in-sweden/"

          Interesting. I wonder how the economics pan out when scaled up? That's a lot of copper.

        4. Mage Silver badge

          Re: Tesla semi?

          In the 1940s(?) to late 1960s there were electric buses with overhead wires in the UK. Trolley buses.

      3. GBE

        Re: Tesla semi?

        ...and we could run them on special tracks so they could be much longer with a whole series of trailers.

        And you could probably reduce rolling resistance by matching the materials of the tracks and wheels!

        Steel comes to mind...

      4. moonrakin

        Re: Tesla semi?

        don't fancy putting it all in a tube mebbe p and sucking the air out in front to even further reduce wind resistance?

      5. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Tesla semi?

        "...and we could run them on special tracks so they could be much longer with a whole series of trailers. They would need to be more powerful for the long train of trailers. But, instead of batteries, they could take power from overhead lines."

        Or, they can have batteries And a diesel engine And work from overhead lines depending on where they are while running on special tracks for less rolling resistance. I bet that those would be much easier to automate.

      6. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Tesla semi?

        But, instead of batteries, they could take power from overhead lines.

        The overhead power lines are there so that you can firstly avoid the cost of having to transport the batteries and secondly avoid the energy losses associated with charging and discharging batteries, because once you 'fix' the location of the batteries, it is relatively simple to remove them totally from the energy supply chain.

      7. hoola

        Re: Tesla semi?

        Just how the hell do you put overhead lines on motorways or any road? This is completely arse about face, the challenge to solve is getting the high-mileage done on rail with the distribution point in one of these huge warehouse estates that keep being built. You are already splitting the load at this point, so there is limited additional handling.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tesla semi?

      My Tesla (a model X) is frequently driven from Edinburgh to Bristol and back (one recharge about 150 miles out). If it is carefully driven then I have no problems achieving 320 miles - but if I put my foot down then 270 is more realistic. Having said that, the normal driving is still pretty quick - no dawdling (where I don't have to) at 60mph on the motorway.

    6. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Re: Fnar, fnar

      Instead of picking of on childish innuendo associated with the word "semi", people should focus on the fact that Mr. Musk is trying to sell an innovative concept. Grow up, and don't be too hard on him.

      1. Ledswinger Silver badge

        Re: Fnar, fnar

        people should focus on the fact that Mr. Musk is trying to sell an innovative concept

        Why? Innovative != clever, sensible, practical, cheap

        1. BitDr

          Re: Fnar, fnar

          You're right about innovative not necessarily equating to practical, sensible or cheap; but it does equate to clever; as well as ingenious and inventive.

      2. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Fnar, fnar

        @Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese

        Er, this is El Reg.

        You'll be accusing me of having a silly username next.

        1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

          Re: @Zog

          Did you hear a whooshing sound when you read the last bit of my comment?

      3. PNGuinn Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Fnar, fnar

        I wonder if there's any market for electric bridges?

        >> He'd like one.

        1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Fnar, fnar

          @PNGuinn - Wheatstone bridges, yes.

      4. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: Fnar, fnar

        I'm laughing at the innuendo for a different reason, it's funny because Musk only 'semi' delivers on his promises.

        Let's see if he can get this thing made in any volume, and at a decent price point, shall we, before we all get little Tesla Semis of our own?

      5. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Fnar, fnar

        'semi' innuendo? I'm at a loss here..

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Fnar, fnar

          'semi' innuendo? I'm at a loss here..

          US pronunciation would be "see my", not the British one of "semmy"

          1. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

            Re: Fnar, fnar

            "US pronunciation would be "see my", not the British one of "semmy""

            Nope, I can assure you in the US "semi" is pronounced the funny way, either "semmy" or "semm-eye" just as I've heard people pronounce "semi-deatched" on the few UK shows I've seen that term used.. But it strictly means lorry here -- I don't actually know if us US'ians actually have a word for a semi; as far as I know you've either got wood or you don't here.

      6. Daniel Bower

        Re: Fnar, fnar

        'Grow up, and don't be too hard on him.'

        Semi and you said hard on...

        More fnar fnar

    7. PNGuinn Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Tesla semi?

      Zog, this is a truck. Plenty of room in the back for all those batteries.

      Freight, who mentioned freight?

    8. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Tesla semi?

      Stuff the battery where does the driver sleep?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tesla semi?

        "Stuff the battery where does the driver sleep?"

        At the wheel - it's got autopilot. ;)

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Tesla semi?

        "Stuff the battery where does the driver sleep?"

        At home. This version is only good for regional deliveries.

    9. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: Tesla semi?

      Of course the claimed range of the cars is optimistic.

      Musk is talking shit - again. His cars need to be 1/3rd battery to (not really) get the 300 mile range. How much battery does a truck hauling 40 tons need to really get 500 miles and how much is it going to cost?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I read somewhere...

        ...a study that said the batteries alone would cost around $250,000. Sorry cannot remember where I read this.

    10. JohnMurray

      Re: Tesla semi?

      Just get used to being cold...the heater is thirsty on current...

    11. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Tesla semi?

      "Can any commentards here add to this?"

      Yeah, keep your foot out of it and you will get better range. Same as with a petrol car.

      On longer trips you (or at least "I") don't get range anxiety, I get bladder anxiety. I also get hungry. After 4-6 hours of driving I HAVE to take a break and often sooner than that to stretch my legs. Having an EV just means making those stops somewhere with a charger on long trips. The other 50 weeks a year you just plug in at home.

      1. Fred Dibnah

        Re: Tesla semi?

        Trying to get an EV charge going from an unreliable app when your bladder is full to bursting involves a lot of arse clenching and hopping from leg to leg, followed by a brisk jog to the toilets or the bushes :-(

    12. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Tesla semi?

      Once they reach the UK then there would not be any charging problems: the Tesla UK network is one of the most thorough in Europe.

      But it is a truck, so I am just waiting for Jeremy Clarkson et al to review it, "What, no hitchhikers seat? Where do you put the prostitute you picked up at the last service station? Why isn't there a special Yorkie bin?"

      (Apologies to truck drivers)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tesla semi?

        "Where do you put the prostitute you picked up at the last service station?"

        It will lay on the floor behind the seat, obviously.

    13. Raj

      Re: Tesla semi?

      I’ve owned a Model S for two years and have covered over 40K miles, and that comment is nonsense . I get within 100-102% of rated range doing 70-75mph on the freeway with the climate control running . Under extremely inclement conditions - heavy rain and wind - I still manage within 110-115% . Under 55mph I get above rated range performance . There’s absolutely no ‘feathering’ involved . Quite the opposite in fact , considering the instantaneous torque on tap.

    14. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tesla semi?

      "That design means it can go from zero to 96kph (60mph) in 20 seconds while hauling a full 80,000 pound load."

      How about using weight measurement units that have actually been taught in most first world schools in the last 40 years?

      And I'm more interested in what the 0-100 is without a load!

  2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Delivery

    But can Musk actually deliver the trunks? Tesla are having enough problems just trying to make their current range of cars, let alone expand production to a new class of vehicle.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Delivery

      Yeah I don't think any trucking company is going to be looking too hard at Tesla given their problems delivering on their promises for their current cars - their production problems are always promised to be solved "next quarter".

      More likely that the electric truck Mercedes has been seen testing, or others that traditional truck firms are no doubt testing with less hype, will be the ones that reinvent the industry, not Tesla's. Maybe they'll end up buying their batteries from Tesla, who knows...

      1. Thoguht Silver badge

        Re: Delivery

        They'll probably all end up just as Tesla car transporters.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Delivery

        > Yeah I don't think any trucking company is going to be looking too hard at Tesla

        https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/17/tesla-shares-pop-after-trucker-jb-hunt-reserves-multiple-tesla-semi-tractor-trailers.html

        In business, we have a series of habits. One of those is called market research.

        1. MooseMonkey

          Re: Delivery

          Cheap publicity for the truck company, order three trucks for $15,000, get $100,000 of advertising...

        2. DougS Silver badge

          Re: Delivery

          Those "multiple" orders could be three. Big trucking companies might want to kick the tires, as it were, but they'll need to sell thousands of these things to even recoup the development and tooling costs.

          They can barely make thousands of the simple model 3, what makes you think they'll ever be able to deliver on the trucks in enough volume to not lose money on the whole thing? Tesla is bleeding cash at an alarming rate, and they have to either figure out their production problems or they'll end up bankrupt before the planned release date of the truck. Preselling model 3s via a deposit scheme to get cash up front was a clever scheme but the jig is up on that one, so they need to either start delivering on promises or some of those model 3 preorders will be canceled and they'll really be in trouble.

        3. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Delivery

          > Yeah I don't think any trucking company is going to be looking too hard at Tesla

          https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/17/tesla-shares-pop-after-trucker-jb-hunt-reserves-multiple-tesla-semi-tractor-trailers.html

          In business, we have a series of habits. One of those is called market research.

          Read those PR reports much more carefully. JB Hunt and the Walmart Division of China Manufacturing haven't written checks or signed agreements. They've "expressed an interest" and other wiggle words.

          I'll bet that those demo trucks were mostly a shell and pretty rough underneath the covers. To have a proper deliverable vehicle in 2019, they need to have a dozen or more trucks on the road being driven hard every day right now. It's going to take a couple of years of all weather driving and breaking things to get it ready for production. They will also have to get premises to build them, make tooling, create testing jigs and on and on. A company such as Navistar already has facilities, experience and legacy components to draw on and Tesla will need to come up with all of that from scratch. There is also the matter of certifications so they will need some pre-production units that can be destroyed and possibly more if the design changes substantially.

        4. inmypjs Silver badge

          Re: Delivery

          "One of those is called market research"

          Like checking out the sales of the 40 ton electric truck BMW/Scherm made in 2015?

          Sadly not being sprinkled with Musk fairy dust it only had 100km range and 3-4 hour charge time.

          Far as I can tell they only made one and kept it.

    2. emmanuel goldstein

      Re: Delivery

      I agree and I'm quite pessimistic when it comes to Tesla's future. The financials are dire - the company is burning around $16 million dollars PER DAY! And the 2025 Tesla Bond price is falling off a cliff - which has repercussions in terms of debt repayment. Not to mention the imminent curtailing of the $7,500 tax credit for buyers. Even if the tax credit is not killed off by the politicians (which The House of Representatives wants to do), it automatically starts to phase out once manufacturers sell 200,000 vehicles.

      1. Ledswinger Silver badge

        Re: Delivery

        I agree and I'm quite pessimistic when it comes to Tesla's future.

        Tesla make a respectable gross profit, they can afford their R&D even. Their real problem is that the Sales, General & Administration costs are way,way too high for what they are doing. If they were part of a real car maker, Tesla could use the existing well established sales and logistics capabilities, and solve some of their immediate problems and reduce the SG&A costs.

        Tesla Corporation is certainly a financial black hole as it operates now, and if investors, Musk or the government don't bail them out, the company would go into Chapter 11 administration, and immediately be bought out. I suspect there would be a huge bun fight to see who would get to buy them, but I don;t think we'd end up there. Realistically, Musk would try and take Tesla private again before that happened, and either finance the continuing losses from his own pocket, or more likely do a quiet refinancing with a suitable private equity investor. The PE investor would take a big stake, but demand the right to take over most aspects of operational management. They'd then de-Musk the business operations, leaving Elon to be CEO in name, but more CTO by nature.

        Maybe Tesla Corporation will go bust, but my expectation is the private equity buy-in. Either way, I'll wager the product and the brand will be with us for a few more decades yet.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Delivery

          "Their real problem is that the Sales, General & Administration costs are way,way too high for what they are doing"

          Hardly, They have about half a million pre-orders for the model 3. All they have to do is announce a new vehicle and open up a website and people were queuing to give cash to product that wasn't even being built or had a full specification.

          The issue they have is that they can't get the car produced quick enough so the cash they are burning through is not being replaced with sales coming in because they don't have a model to sell. If they sort their production issues out smartish and (this is a big and) the price tag allows for enough profit then they'll be sitting pretty. Don't sort the production out or each car becomes a lot more expensive to produce than first thought and they'll have problems.

          However, I wouldn't want to bet against him, he's done so remarkable things so far.

          1. Ledswinger Silver badge

            Re: Delivery

            The issue they have is that they can't get the car produced quick enough so the cash they are burning through is not being replaced with sales coming in because they don't have a model to sell..

            They don't seem to understand how hard it is to be a car maker. As soon as they've got the Model 3 out and working, they will need to revisit the now ageing Model S, which in design terms is now a rather elderly seven years old. That'll need more R&D, more SG&A (but still need expensive logistics and after market support even when they've stopped making it).

            I wouldn't want to bet against him, he's done so remarkable things so far.

            In terms of Musk's madcap technology led ambition across so many different projects, I think the guy's a hero of the first order. But the most remarkable thing he's done commercially is turning high priced sales into huge net losses. Most of us could manage that.

            1. strum Silver badge

              Re: Delivery

              >They don't seem to understand how hard it is to be a car maker.

              To be fair, most of the car makers didn't seem to understand how hard it is.

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Delivery

          " I suspect there would be a huge bun fight to see who would get to buy them, "

          Tesla is currently carrying so much debt that It's doubtful that anybody would see value in buying them out. If the company completely folds, there may be a melee over parts of the business.

          Who wants to inherit billions of dollars of Solar City debt?

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Delivery

        "I agree and I'm quite pessimistic when it comes to Tesla's future."

        Hmmmm...If Tesla goes bust, who will maintain the software? Like all complex software systems, there are likely still bugs in it, potentially serious ones with safety implications. You can't just install UbuntuCar and keep on truckin' when no one is offering fixes for your very expensive car with an EOL OS.

      3. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Delivery

        "Even if the tax credit is not killed off by the politicians (which The House of Representatives wants to do), it automatically starts to phase out once manufacturers sell 200,000 vehicles."

        The real killer is going to be having competition. With other manufacturers releasing they own EVs, Tesla won't be the only fish in the pond and those companies won't have to buy carbon credits from Tesla either and that's been a healthy chunk of Tesla's revenue.

        The real kicker is that Ford, GM and Chrysler can lose money on some of their EVs and the carbon credits they get in return allow them to sell more big phat SUVs with much higher profit margins so the bottom line improves. Gut Tesla's market for the Model 3 and that could kill them.

  3. Louis Schreurs BEng

    waiting for real-life data on Tusk's claims.

  4. Captain DaFt

    I'll bet in the fine print that the "won't break down for a million miles guarantee" only applies to hardware, not software.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > I'll bet in the fine print that the "won't break down for a million miles guarantee"

      > only applies to hardware, not software.

      From the article, drivetrain.

      1. Hairy Spod

        its not even in the small print, in big print it says the battery has a million miles guarantee, no one other than sloppy journo's have said it wont break down for a million miles

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        > I'll bet in the fine print that the "won't break down for a million miles guarantee"

        > only applies to hardware, not software.

        >From the article, drivetrain

        Taking 40 US tons from 0-60 in 20 secs is going to require motors with a BF armature. Any ME's here that want to take shot at estimating the diameter using common materials of those shafts? I've seen modders twist apart drive shafts and dynos pushed over their limits until they break and it's not pretty. The same can go for regen with a fully loaded truck. Can the motors survive a full lock up if the driver stands on the brakes?

        1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

          Of course not. They haven't done any engineering at all, and not tested it either. Nor have they poached any seasoned engineers from the established manufacturers.

  5. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Holmes

    But...

    He still can't answer the question ...

    When all of our jobs are replaced by Robots and we are all out of work, who will have the money to buy the good shipped by your driverless trucks and cars? (apart from the Tax Dodging Super Rich that is)

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: When all of our jobs are replaced by Robots...

      You know I thought there was something familiar looking about the styling.

    2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: But...

      He still can't answer the question ...

      When all of our jobs are replaced by Robots...

      He did in fact answer that a few days ago - he said it will be up to people like him to pay for the Universal Basic Income.

  6. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Interesting

    If there are chargers at truck service areas, truck is a good candidate for electric. It has a pre-defined range which is ~ 500 miles per day. 60 miles per hour (speed limiter), mandatory limits per day and mandatory rest periods which end up with ~ 500 miles per day with one driver.

    Finally proper aerodynamics on a truck though. Applause. It is about time someone built something that does not look like (and has the air resistance) of a brick privy.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Interesting

      Who needs drivers for these things? Sounds like they'll be limited to plugging and unplugging at charging stations.

      What's the load of these standard units?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Interesting

        "Who needs drivers for these things? Sounds like they'll be limited to plugging and unplugging at charging stations."

        They also open doors, side curtains, then shunt the stuff around on pallet trunks to make it easier get to, rebalance the load, move the lorry so the fork lift driver can get to the other side where needed, shut doors, side curtains.

        Not exactly hard work, but nothing that automation can currently do.

      2. Ralph B

        Re: Interesting

        > Who needs drivers for these things?

        They won't be drivers, as such, more like on-board security guards for a self-driving truck, to protect truck from non-Tesla drivers. Once all the drivers have retired or been put out of business, they'll remove the seating area.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Interesting

      The problem is that trucking companies need to get a good return on their investment which can, and very often does, mean two drivers and the truck running all day.

      The problem then becomes how do they charge the batteries in the time it would normally take to fill the diesel tanks?

      Electric delivery vans might be OK, after all we had them in the 60s delivering milk but I just don't see how electric long haul trucks can be economically viable.

      1. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: Interesting

        The obvious solution is to make batteries easily swappable.

        That way an electric equivalent of a "petrol station" would just be offload your nearly empty batteries, take onboard some fully charged ones.

        Could have the whole recharging of batteries going on at specialized power plants allowing high throughput charging (limited by batteries safe charging limits), and just a bit of logistics collecting "empties" and distributing "fulls" (in much the same way petrol tankers service "petrol station"s).

        That would need joined up thinking and (range of different) predefined battery dimensions and connections between competitors, so not imminent): But there is a need for "instant" power top up (where "instant" = not much different than "petrol station" fill up duration) to avoid irritated delayed people.

        ("Petrol station" in my usage (common UK slang) refers to outlet that sells both Petrol and Diesel (and sometimes LPG) - not implying HGVs using petrol instead of diesel)

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Could have the whole recharging of batteries going on at specialized power plants

          One could put a nuclear generating plant on board.

          1. Rob Daglish

            Re: Could have the whole recharging of batteries going on at specialized power plants

            Yeah, but all those flags you have to carry to slow down...

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Interesting

          The obvious solution is to make batteries easily swappable.

          Not really. Electricity itself is far more fungible than battery packs. Not only do you have to devise simple, safe and quick ways of doing the swap, you're going to have non-trivial infrastructure for charging and storing them – protected from theft – and probably the need to ship them around. I think the company that wanted to do this for cars folded, but I could be mistaken. Much easier to build charging points even with dedicated MW lines.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Interesting

            I think it's a con. That trailer... it's just an extra, swappable battery pack.

            1. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: Interesting

              "I think it's a con. That trailer... it's just an extra, swappable battery pack."

              What? Like the Puppeteer second quantum hyperdrive that took up all of the room in a General Products #4 hull and only had enough space left over for the pilot?

          2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

            Re: Interesting

            " Much easier to build charging points even with dedicated MW lines."

            I dont know why they cant electrify the bigger roads - just put wires overhead , Tram Style , for cars and trucks to attach to.

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: Interesting

              I dont know why they cant electrify the bigger roads - just put wires overhead , Tram Style , for cars and trucks to attach to.

              Imagine the cost! And a maintenance nightmare. What is already being trialled is induction charging for buses and taxis.

        3. PNGuinn Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Interesting

          Stick the batteries into a container and swap it out at the "petrol station" for a fully charged one.

          Stick the freight under the driver's seat.

          See, driverless trucks - room for more freight. You know it makes sense.

          And you read it on el Reg first.

      2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: Interesting

        The problem then becomes how do they charge the batteries in the time it would normally take to fill the diesel tanks?

        How about a mini trailer for the batteries , just unhitch and plug in the new charged up trailer?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Interesting

      "Finally proper aerodynamics on a truck though. Applause. It is about time someone built something that does not look like (and has the air resistance) of a brick privy."

      Unfortunately this is a side effect of a well intentioned, badly thought out EU law.

      EU trunks have a maximum TOTAL length of vehicle, so Cab+ Trailer. The idea is that you would get stupid long trucks suitable for some countries, but useless in others. The knock on effect of course, was small, flat cabs, and long trailers.

      There is work going on this to change it to maximum trailer length, to allow longer, more aero-dynamic cabs, within reason.

    4. Wade Burchette

      Re: Interesting

      The safest speed is slightly above the posted speed limit. A maximum speed of 60 MPH is not safe on a 70, 75, 80 MPH highway. Driving slow makes people behind you impatient and angry and thus you will do things you might not usually do in your rush to pass. These vehicles need to be able to drive highway speeds.

      Other than that, I like this. If enough recharging stations are available, then the 30 minute wait for trucks isn't a big deal like it is for passenger vehicles. Truckers need 30 minute breaks to stretch the legs and to help prevent drowsiness.

    5. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Interesting

      If there are chargers at truck service areas, truck is a good candidate for electric. It has a pre-defined range which is ~ 500 miles per day. 60 miles per hour (speed limiter), mandatory limits per day and mandatory rest periods which end up with ~ 500 miles per day with one driver.

      Funny you should say that I was helping set up two different retail shops (for the same parent company) situated about 200 yards apart on the same road. I was waiting at the second shop for the truck to come from outside the first but there was no movement. Walked up there given I had equipment, cabling etc. in the back and asked why he wasn't moving. He said he had to have a rest period as mandated in the law and this was it. Asked whether he could have taken the rest period after driving the 200 yards to the other store but not he couldn't. So I told people to take their lunch immediately because he even wouldn't open the back of the vehicle to allow us to move stuff ourselves. At another store they were waiting for a truck that was held up because of driver rest periods. He hadn't got in to the rest stop until 9pm (11 hours rest) and therefore hadn't started driving again until 8:30am after breakfast. He was supposed to be there at 9am and had actually arrived an hour and a half late. delaying the start of fitting out. Therefore 11 hours should be plenty to recharge the batteries of both Tesla Truck and Driver.

    6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Rebel Science

    Impressive

    I hope to live long enough to see the end of all gasoline powered vehicles.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Impressive

      Sorry to burst your bubble, but you won't see it. Not until somebody comes up with a breakthrough that allows batteries to store energy at approximately the same density as essence of treefern ... AND they beef up the national grid to handle the added load required to charge them. The first might happen, someday. When isn't predictable. The second? Probably not in my granddaughter's lifetime.

      1. Ledswinger Silver badge

        Re: Impressive

        Probably not in my granddaughter's lifetime.

        Maybe that was Rebel Science' point - he wants to have a lifespan of a few hundred years.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Impressive

        "AND they beef up the national grid to handle the added load required to charge them..... Probably not in my granddaughter's lifetime."

        Of course it will. You are overestimating the requirements of the grid. Firstly the amount of electricity to produce petroleum is quite high, varying figures are mentioned but it is between 50 and 90% of that required to run an electric car in the same distance.

        Then you have the fact that many electric cars can charge overnight when little electricity is in use (cheap night tariffs, timer switches or smart electrical networks).

        Then small gas powered, nuclear or even large scale renewables could cover the rest.

        So you have the power sources sorted, the actual infrastructure can gradually be upgraded as required. It isn't that difficult to upgraded a substation or increase the UHV cable capacity. As long as it is gradual and not required in 5 years time. It's only a bit more difficult than getting FTTH for everyone.

        However with vehicles able to do 300 miles per charge and the average (UK) mileage of 7,900 miles p/a this would mean that a car would only need to charge on average twice a month. So the simultaneous charging will be spread out. Many cars will also be charged at service stations as well, with high speed charging and dedicated substations and electric supplies.

        I'm pretty confident that there will not be an electricity problem (in the UK at least ) with the gradual introduction of EVs up to 2040 (when no more petrol/diesel can be sold).

        1. David Roberts Silver badge

          Re: Impressive

          "So you have the power sources sorted, the actual infrastructure can gradually be upgraded as required. It isn't that difficult to upgraded a substation or increase the UHV cable capacity. As long as it is gradual and not required in 5 years time. It's only a bit more difficult than getting FTTH for everyone."

          Some unquantified caveats there. Having watched the progress of the build of an additonal feed from an offshore wind farm into the National Grid the progress is very slow. Infrastructure seems to be (quite sensibly) underground these days and a new link has to go through/past existing infrastructure which all takes time and planning. A lot of time seems to be taken up by archeology along the chosen route. You could of course just cover the whole country is a massive web of pylons and overhead cables.

          I don't think it is fair to compare the issues of running very high power lines all over the country to running fibre down urban streets and out to country villages.

      3. strum Silver badge

        Re: Impressive

        > Not until somebody comes up with a breakthrough

        That 'breakthrough' would be when fossil fuel simply isn't a permissable option, or when its price includes the cost of removing the equivalent CO2 (and other pollutants) from the atmosphere.

        Just because we've got into the habit of behaving badly, doesn't mean we have a right to.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Impressive

          Conversion of energy from one form to another - if we can convert renewables into energy rich hydrocarbon fuels in an efficient and sustainable manner whilst spreading our energy needs across an array of different sources - each the most appropriate for the use case - then we might, MIGHT, just be able to continue as a species without choking our own life support system.

      4. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Impressive

        AND they beef up the national grid to handle the added load required to charge them.

        Petrol takes 7.46kWh/gallon (US) of leccy to refine from crude. A 60kWh battery pack stores the electricity it takes to refine 8 gallons (~30L) of petrol. If you have an EV and own your home, fitting solar panels is a no brainer. There is even a company that is coming out with a kit to turn a previously loved vehicle battery into a mini DC fast charger for the home. Forget net metering. If it isn't sunny you could recharge the stationary battery off-peak or just plug the car in if you aren't in such a big hurry.

        1. Ledswinger Silver badge

          Re: Impressive

          There is even a company that is coming out with a kit to turn a previously loved vehicle battery into a mini DC fast charger for the home.

          Yesterday's news, I'm afriad. Eaton announced an alliance with Nissan at least eighteen months ago to repurpose end of life EV batteries as static storage, and they aren't the only ones.

          Unfortunately the problem is that all the static battery system design, case, control gear, packaging, certifications, QC, assembly, warranty, installation, sales and marketing costs are the same when using second hand cells as using new cells. So you end up with a modest cost saving on the cells, that in a typical domestic storage system would be about 30% of the total cost, saving you perhaps 3-7% of the net cost on a competing brand new system. That is so small that there's no real merit in putting up with some cells that (even with a warranty) have been given a good thrashing in automotive applications. You call it previously loved, but that's a fine euphemism - traction applications are brutal on batteries, because they demand very high current.

          In larger commercial arrays the downsides and small cost savings might make more sense, but realistically it will be preferrable to recycle end of life batteries for the lithium rather than try and eke out their use for a modest cost saving. Also, although most grid arrays are currently lithium,. the chances are that as grid scale battery technology matures, other chemistries will prove preferrable.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Impressive

      Petrol or LPG are great ways of storing energy. If we ever get a way of making them from renewable power, water and air (CO2) that is cheaper than digging them out of the ground then we solve a lot of the problems associated with batteries.

      Electric vehicles are currently popular because they are effectively subsidised by not having fuel duty.

      1. Ledswinger Silver badge

        Re: Impressive

        Petrol or LPG are great ways of storing energy. If we ever get a way of making them from renewable power, water and air (CO2) that is cheaper than digging them out of the ground.....

        The cost of fossil fuels will need to treble at least before that happens, even though the cost of wind and solar has essentially bottomed out thanks to subsidies encouraging build out. The problem is the chained inefficiencies of renewable power to gas are very low, particularly because in the most obvious form, of dissociation of water into hydrogen, there's very low value in the oxygen, so it is released, and immediately you lose about a third of the energy of the molecular bonds you've just broken. Then you've got compression losses (for storage and transport) and decompression losses - individually not huge, but the chaining of inefficiencies is a real killer. There's further small losses if you are practical and decide not to fart around with H2, and methanate it to give you CH4 (obviously that's a whole lot easier to handle and use). If you can distribute by gas pipeline you lose about 1.5% in transit losses and system use, and then you'd have the modest efficiency of a spark ignition gas engine, similar to a modern ICE engine. You'd be lucky to see 15% end to end efficiency.

        All of which amounts to saying that you'd need a vast number of wind turbines to power any fraction of your road fleet. I did some fag packet maths, and an artic uses about 50 MWh of energy a year, and so the 120k artic tractor units on UK roads are going to need about 5 TWh (allowing for 20k truck out of the active fleet but registered). At 15% end to end efficiency, that gives you a need for 33 TWh of generation. That would mean that merely to power articulated HGV tractors via wind power to gas, you'd need all of the existing UK wind power fleet, and you'd then need to double it.

        You could perhaps use desert locations for truly vast PV arrays (with certain practical problems), but you'd then factor in either further losses - electricity transmission to Europe of around 10%, or 25% if shipping liquified gas via tankers. ICBA to do the maths, but I suspect that a desert array to power Europe's vehicles would be big enough for the albedo of the panels to be climate altering.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Impressive

          The cost of fossil fuels will need to treble at least before that happens, or some process to be invented or discovered that makes the production much more efficient.

          In some situations it's possible to imagine closed loop systems that produce CH4 from excess power and use it as storage instead of batteries. In this case it's competing with the inefficiency of the battery charge / discharge cycle. But it has to be closed loop to prevent arbitrage or downright illegal profiteering.

          1. Ledswinger Silver badge

            Re: Impressive

            In some situations it's possible to imagine closed loop systems that produce CH4 from excess power and use it as storage instead of batteries

            I suspect you are aware of the grid scale experiment that informed my comment (Falkenhagen): I used to work for the company concerned. Technically it works a treat, as long as you don't mind the losses.

            The system problem is that while the excess power from renewables is sufficient to drive wholesale prices briefly negative, the actual volume of energy concerned that we might regard as excess is pitiful compared to aggregate demand. So "power-to-gas" becomes an expensive way of storing fairly small amounts of energy. I can see that it could work (and may have to work) for high value applications like synthetic aviation fuels, but keeping people's Xboxes and TVs running, I really don't see that being commercially viable.

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: Impressive

              I suspect you are aware of the grid scale experiment that informed my comment (Falkenhagen): I used to work for the company concerned. Technically it works a treat, as long as you don't mind the losses.

              Actually, no so thanks for the tip.

              Lossy closed-loop systems make more sense where you can take producer/consumers off the grid. This would have the advantage of helping to reduce gross base load and insulating the wholesale market from the the problems associated with excess renewables.

              Who knows what continued research will come up with? Got to be better than pouring more billions into things like carbon sequestration.

          2. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Impressive

            "In some situations it's possible to imagine closed loop systems that produce CH4 from excess power and use it as storage instead of batteries"

            There are other large scale storage systems that can do much better. "Power Mountain" in Wales is a good example of gravity storage. Water is pumped up to a high reservoir when there is surplus power (from wind mostly) and let out through a power plant when needed. Batteries convert electrical energy to chemical energy and back. Phase changing materials can be very efficient at storing thermal energy derived from renewable sources. sunamp.co.uk

            1. Ledswinger Silver badge

              Re: Impressive

              Water is pumped up to a high reservoir when there is surplus power (from wind mostly)

              Wow? You believe that rubbish? Overall system losses on pumped storage are dreadful, as are the economics. And because it HAS to be available for despatch on schedule, it uses whatever mix of generation happens to be offered to the grid when it needs to pump.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Impressive

          "ICBA to do the maths, but I suspect that a desert array to power Europe's vehicles would be big enough for the albedo of the panels to be climate altering."

          You mean by reflecting heat back into space? Wow! Air Con to combat "climate change"!

          1. Ledswinger Silver badge

            Re: Impressive

            You mean by reflecting heat back into space?

            No, the other way round. The Sahara is for the most part a very light beige that already reflects high amounts of light back into space. If you cover a few million hectares with black PV panels, it will make sure that very little of the energy is reflected.

    3. TRT Silver badge

      Re: I hope to live long enough to see the end of all gasoline powered vehicles

      Bradawl and a night-light. Should give you enough time to get away BEFORE you're caught in the explosion.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Impressive

      Donald's got that covered, but probably not in the way you mean

  8. Arisia

    Sport truck! 0-60 in 5 seconds

    From https://electrek.co/2017/11/16/tesla-semi-live-blog/

    - Tesla Semi will go 0-60 in 5 seconds, 20 seconds with 80,000 pounds

    Ye Gods! When lightly loaded they'd give sports cars a hard time!

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Sport truck! 0-60 in 5 seconds

      Yeah, doing that will really suck the juice from your battery especially if you are loaded.

      I would not want to be the first driver to run out of electrons a few miles from a charger because they'd used too much power taking off from traffic lights which can be almost every block in US cities.

      I don't think (given US employment laws) that you'd have that job for very long.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Sport truck! 0-60 in 5 seconds

        I would not want to be the first driver to run out of electrons a few miles from a charger because they'd used too much power taking off from traffic lights which can be almost every block in US cities.

        Ever heard of regenerative breaking? The biggest difference between a leccy and an a gasoline vehicle is that a leccy vehicle recoups >60% of the stop/stop cycle.

        1. Nial

          Re: Sport truck! 0-60 in 5 seconds

          "Ever heard of regenerative breaking? The biggest difference between a leccy and an a gasoline vehicle is that a leccy vehicle recoups >60% of the stop/stop cycle."

          How much of a 500 mile trip across America or Australia is going to be "stop/stop"?

          1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

            Re: Sport truck! 0-60 in 5 seconds

            Truw - but the comment referred to driving in a city - not the open road.

          2. Denarius Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: Sport truck! 0-60 in 5 seconds

            In Oz these are a yeah right item outside of cities.

            SA to WA 2000 km of SFA, especially grid for recharging even if the roads are mostly straight and flat.

            Down the Hume between Sydney and Melbourne they might make it. Pity Victoria will be cold and dark as they switch off the coal fired power stations...

            1. David Roberts Silver badge

              Re: Sport truck! 0-60 in 5 seconds SA to WA

              That is not such a big issue.

              Think back to the early days of the railroads (especially in the USA). Railroad stops were built at regular intervals, usually in the middle of nowhere, so the steam engines could take on more fuel and water.

              Retro, but regular truck stops surrounded by massive solar farms could solve that problem and also provide facilities for other travellers including tourists.

              Just look back to when locomotive fuel was less energy dense.

              1. Dave Bell

                Re: Sport truck! 0-60 in 5 seconds SA to WA

                There's a similar infrastructure problem in the UK. The old-style transport caffs maybe don't have room for solar panels, and electricity supply could need a big upgrade, but they were all over the place. Many have closed. Most of the time, all you see are places similar to a caravan in a lay-by. There were operations of the "Little Chef" sort that have mostly gone. Part of it is the motorway network, and in the years when I was doing long-distance driving, that sometimes felt like the only practical choice to be sure of a break.

                It's not as if you can pack sandwiches to recharge a truck. And I know of many petrol stations that have gone.

                General use of electric vehicles is going to depend on changes to the infrastructure. When "Top Gear" did a challenge on electric vehicles, it was hard finding places to recharge, and they maybe made a bit too much of a joke out of it. That's something to think about, something that maybe needs a new report. But I hope it has become too boring for "Top Gear"

                A lot of what I am seeing suggests this Tesla truck will struggle to cope with the long-distance trucking in America, but it might work a lot better in Europe, and in parts of the USA with high population-density. And there is an American Myth of the open road trucker which feeds into the criticisms.

                And have a look at the delivery trucks in cities, not the long-range semi-trailer rigs.

          3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Sport truck! 0-60 in 5 seconds

            "How much of a 500 mile trip across America or Australia is going to be "stop/stop"?"

            Not much, obviously, so the "wasteful" 0-60 high acceleration rate isn't going to be used much and therefore neither is the 40% lossy regenerative braking.

        2. Adam 1 Silver badge

          Re: Sport truck! 0-60 in 5 seconds

          > Ever heard of regenerative breaking?

          No. I have only seen working ones, but it should still be under warranty.

        3. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          Re: Sport truck! 0-60 in 5 seconds

          "Ever heard of regenerative breaking?"

          I'm letting you off a bit because your nick leads me to assume you're Russian, but please! It's brakes and braking when it comes to vehicles, breaks and breaking when it comes to dropping phones onto concrete.

          Unlike loose/lose, which at least have a common origin, the words are quite distinct.

    2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Sport truck! 0-60 in 5 seconds

      >> Ye Gods! When lightly loaded they'd give sports cars a hard time!

      Try a normal tractor unit in a straight line, some time. 600BHP or more, in a three tonne tractor... they can shift.

      1. Hairy Spod

        Re: Sport truck! 0-60 in 5 seconds

        5 seconds is without a trailer.

        Fully loaded its 20 seconds

  9. jake Silver badge

    Initial comments from a guy with a Class A.

    How much of that 80,000 lb load is taken up by batteries?

    Somebody else touched on Air Conditioning. This is California. Look at that greenhouse. Do the Math(s).

    Seats one. Where does the lovely Mrs. jake sit? Steerage? Show stopper.

    Only 4 wheels. Not a lot of traction when hauling 80,000 lbs at 60MPH+ ... or driving from Reno to Sacramento in the rain ... serious safety issue, probable show stopper.

    Battery tech has reached the point where they'll last 1,000,000 miles with no degradation in performance? I really doubt it, even by 2019. Probable show stopper.

    Finally, only a 500 mile round trip on a "tankfull"? Total show stopper.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Initial comments from a guy with a Class A.

      Finally, only a 500 mile round trip on a "tankfull"? Total show stopper.

      Not in some other places (not California). That is what you are ALLOWED to do with one driver in 24h in order not to endanger the others. 500 miles at 55mph is 9h. If you are caught driving more than 10h per day in this country (based on your tachograph reading) you can kiss your class A goodbye. Straight away.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Initial comments from a guy with a Class A.

        I have a co-driver. Her name in Mrs. jake. I'm not the only one ... I know one guy who does long-haul with his wife and two sons. Sometimes they drive all four trucks, sometimes two, sometimes one.

    2. Ol'Peculier

      Re: Initial comments from a guy with a Class A.

      Only 4 wheels. Not a lot of traction when hauling 80,000 lbs at 60MPH+ ... or driving from Reno to Sacramento in the rain ... serious safety issue, probable show stopper.

      The video shows it having six wheels, just hidden by the cushion.

      1. Commswonk Silver badge

        Re: Initial comments from a guy with a Class A.

        80,000 lbs is about 35 Tons if my maths is correct, and that implies 5 axles in the UK/Europe, unless things have changed since I had to think about such things. And double wheels other than on the steering.

        Quite a lot of rolling resistance to cope with.

    3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Initial comments from a guy with a Class A.

      Seats one. Where does the lovely Mrs. jake sit?

      I just realized - the bloody thing has no left-right wheel drive bias. There is a LOT of truckers in Europe which will be very interested in that.

    4. rh587

      Re: Initial comments from a guy with a Class A.

      Seats one. Where does the lovely Mrs. jake sit? Steerage? Show stopper.

      There's space and an option for a second seat behind and to the right of the driver. It just isn't fitted in the press photos.

      Battery tech has reached the point where they'll last 1,000,000 miles with no degradation in performance?

      Your engine and tranny last 1,000,000 miles without a rebuild or replacement? Pull the other one. Remind us all what a new gearbox for a Class 8 costs.

      Finally, only a 500 mile round trip on a "tankfull"? Total show stopper.

      ...

      I have a co-driver. Her name in Mrs. jake. I'm not the only one ... I know one guy who does long-haul with his wife and two sons. Sometimes they drive all four trucks, sometimes two, sometimes one.

      You'll also note the lack of sleeper-cab option. The Tesla isn't designed for people who want to do 1,000miles on a tank cross-country or Trans-America. It's designed for taking 80,000lb from a factory, port or distribution unit to an Amazon fulfilment depot.

      Given that most of the US population live within 500miles of the coast, it follows that the majority of freight is travelling less than 500miles from port to destination (or from factory to port). And that doesn't count on the fact that maybe Tesla don't actually care about the US. European routes will lap this up. Trucking containers from Rotterdam to Paris? Trolling containers around Paris from a railhead? There is lots of inter- and intra-city work that this truck can do emissions free.

      If the TCO works out as Musk predicts then this will be a roaring success (and it shouldn't be hard, because TCO on a diesel is a total pig - Fuel, regular oil changes, clutches, wear and tear on mechanicals).

      Amazon will love these for transfers between logistics hubs, as will the USPS and the likes of UPS/FedEx for moving freight from an airport to local/regional distribution hubs.

      The target market for these doesn't call for more than 500miles between stops, and users will install megachargers at their depots/warehouses so you charge whilst you (un)load.

      The initial users are going to be fleet buyers who can also install the appropriate infrastructure at their end-points. Not owner-operators.

      We've got a major agri-feed business down the road from us. They run their own fleet of 25+ Class8s hauling tonnes of feed to farms. At night, every one of those trucks is back in the yard. You think they need a second driver or do more than 500miles a day? Plenty of people need heavy or bulky stuff moving short distances.

      The long-haul crowd saying "This is useless, I can't team-drive across America in it" are being deliberately obsequious. Most people don't need or want to do 1,000 miles on a tank.

      1. AnonFairBinary

        Re: Initial comments from a guy with a Class A.

        obsequious? maybe obstreperous? or do you really think the guy is beeing overly polite and subservient?

    5. Christoph Silver badge

      Re: Initial comments from a guy with a Class A.

      "Where does the lovely Mrs. jake sit?"

      Or Bobby McGee?

    6. Stuart21551

      Re: Initial comments from a guy with a Class A.

      "Only 4 wheels. Not a lot of traction when hauling 80,000 lbs at 60MPH+ ... or driving from Reno to Sacramento in the rain ... serious safety issue, probable show stopper."

      Traction comes from mass, not the number of wheels -

      But nevvermine, make them duals.

  10. Lee D Silver badge

    Yawn.

    Call me in TWO YEARS when one of them actually exists for commercial purchase by absolutely anyone outside of Tesla.

    Until then, it's just more Musk hyperbole.

    (And the million-miles thing? Yeah, I don't think so...)

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      And the million-miles thing? Yeah, I don't think so.

      There is no technical reason for everything except the battery to last much more than a million miles. That is the long term killer advantage of properly done electric and properly not hybrid (Not Pri(ck)us abominations). The wear, tear and servicables are an order of magnitude less than on a normal internal combustion.

      Now the battery lasting 1M - different story. I have to see that to believe that.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        @Voland don't forget the tyres.

      2. rh587

        Now the battery lasting 1M - different story. I have to see that to believe that.

        Probably a significant exaggeration, but it doesn't need to last a million miles, it just needs to last longer than a diesel drivetrain. Engines, transmissions and clutches don't do a million miles, and even a refurbished tranny for a Class8 is not a cheap thing.

  11. Guillermo Lo Coco

    Where do I fix the Girls Calendar in the coockpit ?

    1. Thoguht Silver badge

      You'll have the calendar on your iPad, of course.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It comes with self driving and pornhub on the dash for all your mastabatory needs.

  13. Andy 73
    Alert

    Hey! Don't look at the Model 3 delays, look at THIS!!!

    This is definitely not a distraction, oh no....

  14. tiggity Silver badge

    Amber Heard

    Heart broken thinking of her, but remembering the good times might be why he called it a semi

    Interested in Musk, read the recent Rolling Stone interview and see if emotional wreck springs to mind.

  15. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Orphans?

    I'd be interested to know how the convoy idea would deal with mundane things like slip-road roundabouts, junctions and traffic lights?

    Get two or three semi trailers in a row, and then have to make sure you can get them all through said obstacle before the lights change or someone else with right of way comes along and splits up the convoy? Then all the fun and games of the leader having to slow down or stop to let the trailing drones catch up again and reform the convoy, around a busy area? What could possibly go wrong? It's hard enough to do that sometimes with a meatsack-driven convoy of cars, let alone autonomous lorries.

    Not to mention the far end fun when multiple lorries arrive at once in convoy and the loading docks of the destination have to deal with them all at once?

    1. mosw

      Re: Orphans?

      The convoy idea is intended for roads like the US Interstate highways where you can drive for 10 hours without stopping if your bladder is big enough. They would also be ad-hoc in that any Tesla semi could join or leave the convey at any time. The trucks in the convoy do not have to have a common destination. The advantage of a convoy is lower aerodynamic drag and less stress on the driver.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Orphans?

        "US Interstate highways where you can drive for 10 hours without stopping if your bladder is big enough. "

        There are "appliances" used to overcome that problem. It's the other waste product that needs stopping for. It's too expensive to stop just to have a pee.

  16. unwarranted triumphalism

    I see everyone else has covered this already

    So I won't bother explaining why this idea is a total failure and Tesla are wrong - as they have been about everything.

  17. Christoph Silver badge

    Safety?

    A whole lot of stuff about how the this increases safety.

    And then he announces an updated Roadster that has a top speed of 250mph.

    There is absolutely no possible way that can be done safely on a public road. Even by a highly trained driver, let alone the kind of idiot who would buy something like that.

  18. beast666

    The shell game continues...

    How much more taxpayer money is he after?

  19. wallo

    Tesla Semi? Optimusk Prime surely.

  20. x 7 Silver badge

    Oz roadtrains?

    I'd have thought the obvious candidate for this is the Australian roadtrain market

    Long distance multi-day journeys, heavy loads, plenty of sun. You'd just have to program the software not to stop for 'roos on the road

  21. wolfetone Silver badge

    It has to be built before it can break down.

  22. Valerion
    Joke

    Single seat?

    This is going to really annoy the truckers. How are they going to pick up and murder hitch-hikers now?

  23. Haku

    Silent (but deadly) trucks on the roads?

    I like the idea of quieter roads through the use of electric vehicles, but as a friend once said to me when he saw a silent electric motorcycle in town for the first time "Now there's an accident waiting to happen".

    So will it have to generate an artificial engine noise or will the motors, wheels on the road and its load jostling about be loud enough to alert other road users and pedestrians of its existance & speed?

    1. Ledswinger Silver badge

      Re: Silent (but deadly) trucks on the roads?

      Certainly in the EU, I believe that regulators are working to address this issue.

      Personally, I'd rather we enjoyed the (almost) silence, and worked to mitigate the risk in other ways, instead of actually working hard re-inventing an ICE downside that happened to have a modest beneficial side effect.

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Silent (but deadly) trucks on the roads?

      "So will it have to generate an artificial engine noise or will the motors, wheels on the road and its load jostling about be loud enough to alert other road users and pedestrians of its existance & speed?"

      It's going to weed out all of the people that walk around looking at their phones. Yea! Even if they are great fun at conventions for a little "hockey" practice.

    3. MonkeyCee Silver badge

      Re: Silent (but deadly) trucks on the roads?

      My local electric bus does a "ding" sound like a tram, which seems to work well in a "less than horn" situation. It seems to do it on proximity by the cameras, as it regularly dings at cyclists coming past.

      A number of youths around my town have also fitted their petrol cars with a warning devices, that makes a "unst unst unst" noise that is apparently a combination warning and mating call. I hope our trucking brethren can pick something equally appealing :)

  24. 2+2=5 Silver badge

    It's not about the range

    Aaaaaarrrgrghhhh! Will you lot PLEASE stop focusing on the range. Hauliers don't buy trucks based on range they buy trucks based on lifetime cost per mile.

    Yes, some are long-distance hauliers and range is important.They can continue to buy diesels.

    But there are many others who have trucks that are used all day every day on multi-drop deliveries that get nowhere near the proposed range limit of the Tesla. RHA figures for 2016 gave fuel costs for a 44-tonner at 48-54 pence per mile. The cost of a battery recharge will be half that. They'll sell like hot cakes.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: It's not about the range

      Depends on definition of 'truck' I guess. I'd have thought there'd have been a far bigger, and possibly more practical market in making a Tesla van to deal with all those start/stop home deliveries. Could call it the 'Musk Float' or something..

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: It's not about the range

      "Aaaaaarrrgrghhhh! Will you lot PLEASE stop focusing on the range. Hauliers don't buy trucks based on range they buy trucks based on lifetime cost per mile."

      The upfront price will be a huge factor too. These will not be cheap and there is a cost to service the financing. A more expensive truck will be more expensive to insure. All of the proposed safety tech won't mean a thing to insurance companies until they can look at real data and it proves itself to be true. Service costs will also be a factor for insurance. Tesla is very expensive when it comes to parts and service outside of warranty. If a comparable repair is 3x more for a Tesla than a Kenworth, that will just raise the cost of the insurance. Little things will still go wrong on a vehicle that is driven all day every day that aren't covered under warranty. Can a company get those parts quickly or will there always be a long wait. Will there be unreasonable entanglements that require that a factory technician does certain repairs to be able to get the replacement parts?

      TCO is a valid argument, but ROI over time is as well. If it takes 10 years to break even with costs compared to an equivalent diesel truck, why would a company buy a Tesla and have to possibly spend another large sum of money to install charging infrastructure? Will Tesla still be around 10 years after the purchase and still supporting ten year old trucks? It's a big gamble that they will unless things change radically over the next couple of years.

  25. Jason Hindle

    That'll look cool

    With a henchman at the wheel, driving around Musk's hollowed out volcano.

  26. Chunes

    A Million Miles?

    Not for this guy:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wanr0LThvkM

  27. c1ue

    Notice how there's no price mentioned.

    Given that a used IC semi costs $80K used - which is roughly the price of your Tesla sedan, how much would the Tesla semi cost? $500K?

    As for 20% more efficient - it would be interesting to see just how much difference that makes vs the operating cost. 10 MPG is considered good for a semi (fully loaded). Assuming 60 hours/week, 50 weeks a year, 60 mph average, $3.50/gallon - the operating cost for an IC semi might be around $18K a year. 20% savings on that would be $3.6K. Triple that for maintenance and what not - $10K.

    $10K savings per year if the vehicle costs 4x or more the price? Non-starter.

    1. mosw

      Doing your math, I get:

      60 hr/wk * 50 wk/yr * 60 mi/hr * $3.5/gal * 0.1 gal/mi = $63,000 /yr

      $63,000 /yr * 0.2 * 3 = $37,800 /yr in savings

      1. c1ue

        The tripling was to represent likely maintenance and other costs which are roughly $8k/year for a normal truck, so I've been told.

        So the savings would be 20% of ($63k+$8k) rather than 20% of $63k * 3.

        Or about $14k.

        Even if the savings *were* $37k, it still would not help since the interest on an enormous $500k loan would eat it up.

        1. baspax

          You are wrong. The truck will cost $1m. No, it will be $10m. Wait wait, it will be only available for rent for A MEEELLION DOLLARS A MONTH.

  28. scrubber
    Joke

    Range options

    It'll go further if you stick it in the Hyperloop.

  29. flingback

    Model S

    My Model S claims 250 miles on a full charge, and will do 210 all day, every day. Beyond that it really is down to luck, temperature and traffic.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Model S

      My Model S....

      F*** off, rich bastard. I'm undoubtedly earning a fraction of what you do, but thanks to government policies I'm paying for you to use the road.

    2. GoE

      Re: Model S

      Electric motors are designed to run at constant rates. If you change speed a lot (not including braking which recharges the battery a bit) the engine has to do more work, so the battery won't last as long.

  30. JLV Silver badge
    Meh

    Meanwhile if you're waiting for your humble, pre-ordered, Model 3...

    Still wishing them the best of luck, but certainly hoping that they know what they are doing wrt volumes.

  31. Dr_N Silver badge
    Coat

    Who needs batteries?

    Just string overhead HT cables and take the electricity from them.

    Physically link multiple "trucks" for greater efficiency.

    Maybe later they can lay some steel guide rails to obtain greater speeds, safety and efficiency.

    Ahh. Errr.....

  32. JLV Silver badge

    we totally need

    a remake of Duel with this

    1. GoE

      Re: we totally need

      So instead of driving off the cliff it just comes to a stop and calls emergency services?

  33. Big Al 23

    Besides the truck being FUGLY...

    ...Wall Street is starting to understand that Tesla is just burning thru a billion in cash each quarter without being able to deliver Model 3, while dealing with lawsuits over Model S defects and the deaths that occurred from the use of "Autopilot". Wall Street types do not believe that Tesla can continue much longer without going back to the (sucker) well to get more cash to continue NOT making a dime in profit since they began operations using U.S. tax payer funds provided by the U.S. Federal gov'ment. The impractical truck for long hauls and the cutesy new Roadster will just sap more cash from Tesla who is losing money faster than it can be printed.

    Elon continues to dupe the gullible with sideshows that may never even come to fruition as they can't even deliver the Model 3 which they have banked on to make them profitable. Musk claimed they would be producing 30,000 Model 3 vehicles by Dec. 2017 though he can't explain who would actually buy these vehicles as they have trivial vehicle deposits. GM has projected sales of it's Bolt EV at 35,000 annually. Even though the Bolt is priced around $35K in the U.S. sales are poor as there simply aren't many people foolish enough to buy into the meritless delusions of EVs which are impractical for 99+ % of the world.

    Some folks seem to believe that electricity is free but I haven't found any place where that is true. In addition the EV batteries are not lasting 10+ years as predicted. They are needing to be replaced in as early as 5-6 years with a cost of ~$14,000 U.S. When do the math EVs simply don't add up for most of the world. Anywhere that sees very hot or cold weather makes the range on these EVs drop close to 50% when heating or A/C is used. Hydrogen fuel cell tech is the only practical solution for an EV but refilling stations would need to be added. You can fill the tank of a fuel cell vehicle in about 5 minutes and get 300+ miles without issue from all current fuel cell cars.

  34. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Coat

    Is it just me...

    Or does that front end look like an upside down T?

    No doubt all about streamlining for wind resistance.

  35. joea

    Hydro-gen

    Stuff the batteries and the overhead lines. Generate the power on board via Hydrogen Fuel Cell tech.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chris Eubank's gonna love this

    I can see the appeal, riding high above mere SUVs and tanks... imagine all that electrical torque goodness without the heavy bodywork and wheelbase, replaced with a light sporty shell, sports gearing.

  37. rmullen0

    Internal combustion morons will be proven wrong

    Wait and see people, vehicle electrification is on it's way. Ranges are getting better. Soon there will be no good reason to be driving an internal combustion engine piece of crap. Tesla has already proved how outdated and outmoded it is. I have a LEAF that only has a 80 mile range and it's working for me. The Bolt is around the same price point now and has a 240 mile range. I love the way people are starting to wake up now. There are still naysayers. Everyone is an expert engineer and know better. Too bad they are getting proved wrong. Or, maybe the oil company shills have just been shamed and gave up. I also think it's funny that even companies like GM are talking up their electric vehicles now. Now that China has said that they are banning ICE vehicles. As always, it's all about the $$$$.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Internal combustion morons will be proven wrong

      Soon there will be no good reason to be driving an internal combustion engine ... . Tesla has already proved how outdated and outmoded it is.

      Tesla et al have yet to demonstrate anything that can convert 50 litres of fossil fuel into something more capable than a Ford Focus for example.

      I suspect, given the electricity supply math's and logistics, truck stops will be running massive diesel generators to create the electricity needed to recharge the batteries. Which raises the question: is it better to burn fuel directly in a vehicle or burn it remotely and incur all the conversion and supply losses.

      Interestingly, once you take into account the energy conversion equations and costs, you will see that economically the cost of recharging your vehicle has to increase to better reflect the cost of the fossil fuels used to generate the electricity...

  38. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Colani_Truck

  39. TedF
    Happy

    Stainless Hero?

    Is it just me, or has Elon Musk started to look like John DeLorean?

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is one problem I see..

    .. if they allow the driver to charge his or her phone it'll take miles off its range ..

    :)

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: There is one problem I see..

      Good one! More like decimeters.

  41. MonkeyCee Silver badge

    People will buy a Semi EV - won't be Tesla

    I've had to write a number of rather dull papers on competition in trucking, and have had the pleasure of knowing a few people who drove and owned semis for a living.

    About 40% of truck sales go to people running one or two vehicles. They buy from a particular supplier almost entirely based on service for their particular area. Most drove Scania if they where picking up the tab and when (with my economist hat on) I asked what would be a substitute, they all responded with some variant of "I'd do something else other than drive a truck".

    Unless Tesla can offer something that can beat a Scania (or equivalent, eyeball your local truck park) for loyalty and service, they won't find many people willing to lease them. If they are suited to a hybrid or an EV, then they will wait until Scania brings it one out.

    Tesla isn't the only one with the ear of governments. I would have also hope Musk was a good enough engineer to recognise a great piece of pre-existing art and re-use it. Trolley trucks for the future :)

  42. Stuart21551

    Wow, all that unsprung -

  43. Jonathan Schwatrz

    Checked with a pro, got a "No!"

    Decided to ask a contact who actually runs a truck fleet, would he buy the Tesla truck? Surprisingly, he didn't have a problem with the short range, they run many "day cab" routes which are under 500 miles, but he said he wouldn't buy a truck with a central seat as it was dangerous. He explained that half his fleet's accidents are backing accidents, and the way they train their drivers is to back with the cab at an angle to the trailer, to the left (US), so they can see where the trailer wheels are. A central seat would make this impossible. He said to look on YouTube for "45-45 backing" to see what he meant. It seems Musk really didn't check with a trucking pro.

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: Checked with a pro, got a "No!"

      Cameras and monitors...

      1. Jonathan Schwatrz

        Re: anonymous boring coward Re: Checked with a pro, got a "No!"

        "Cameras and monitors..." Pro still said no. Actually, first he just laughed at that idea, then he said an emphatic no. He explained that, when a driver is looking over his shoulder to judge where his "tandems" (trailer wheels) are, he is actually doing a complex 3D problem involving looking where the tandems are in relation to the "reference point" (the point he has to turn round to get into the spot, usually about ten feet out from the closest side of the parking space), where the tandems are in relation to each side of the "gate" (the entry to the parking space), the angle of the trailer direction relative to the sides of the parking space, and the angle of the cab to the trailer (and probably also forward and down to check which way his front wheels are pointed). That's not going to work on cameras.

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