Making Sense Out of Tesla’s Semi Truck Economics

Tesla Semi

NOV 21 2017 BY GEORGE BOWER 97

Tesla Semi – revealed with some interesting economic conclusions

During Tesla’s semi truck unveiling they presented some pretty impressive economic numbers. I must admit that I was a bit overwhelmed and could not get the numbers to add up. Once understood the number DO make sense. Here’s why.

Tesla Semi with load

While the electric truck costs more, it is good for one million miles life. Even though the truck costs significantly more than its diesel counterpart, it also lasts longer – so on a cost per mile basis the increased cost is mitigated. Now add in $200,000 of fuel savings, lower maintenance costs, and platooning, and you come up with a set of numbers that agree well with Tesla’s own estimated numbers.

A million miles? How can Tesla get 1 million miles out of a battery? By putting in a huge 1 Mwh battery good for 500 miles range inside. (2000 cycles of life and 500 miles range is 1 million miles!)

Figure 1

Cost of Cab and Trailer

The cost of the electric truck is significantly more than the Diesel. While Tesla did not reveal the cost of its truck, some analysts and journalists have pegged the cost at around $250,000.

With 1 million miles of life, the electric’s cost per mile estimates at $0.32/mile, compared to the Diesel truck at $0.27/mile. More yes, but not that much more on a per mile basis.

Figure 2

Significant Fuel Savings

Tesla said that their truck would save $200,000 in fuel over one million miles. The numbers make sense for an electric truck with a MPGe of 1.9 kwh/mile, and a US average 7 cents/kWh industrial price of electricity (ref 3) alongside a diesel fuel cost of $2.50/gallon, and a 7.5 MPG efficiency for the diesel truck.

Figure 3

Platooning

The savings in fuel for platooning is estimated at 10%. Total fuel costs for the electric truck are some $133,000 ,which puts the savings in fuel at $13,000 over the life of the truck or 1.3 cents per mile, a fairly insignificant number. The biggest savings derived from platooning is in the savings on the drivers salary of 36 cents per mile( ref 1). Tesla said it is based on a 3 truck platoon. It’s assumed at least 2 of the 3 drivers salaries would be eliminated. However, to get anywhere near Tesla’s numbers, all drivers salaries would need to be eliminated. (36 cents/mile is ref 1’s cost for 1 driver).

Figure 4

How it all adds up

Tesla’s estimate of diesel truck costs are $1.51 /mile. Subtracting $0.20/mile for fuel, and .09/mile for savings in maintenance and repair, and then adding in the extra cost of the electric truck, the numbers match Tesla’s numbers of $1.27/mile for the electric— 16% less than the diesel truck.

Platooning accounts for the rest and saves another $0.38/mile, mostly due to the elimination of driver’s salaries. That gets us to a bottom line of $0.89/mile versus Tesla’s number of $0.85/mile.

Figure 5

Apparently the numbers were impressive enough to convince some major companies to put down reservation for Tesla’s electric truck

Ref 1- The Cost of Trucking
Ref 2- Cutaway of Tesla truck
Ref 3- Industrial Price of Electricity
Ref 4- Platooning Fuel Savings

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97 Comments on "Making Sense Out of Tesla’s Semi Truck Economics"

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Tim West
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Tim West

The 1,000,000 mile life expectancy is just the no cost portion. The way I heard it was he promised no maintenance costs for the first million miles. Let’s see how the batteries last after 1,000,000 miles.

Arpe
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Arpe

Nope, there will still be maintenance costs.

Elon talked about an app telling the driver or company when maintenance is getting close.

KumarP
Guest
KumarP

That doesn’t mean it will cost extra

God/Bacardi
Guest
God/Bacardi

That doesn’t mean it will cost zero either…

Tesla charges $600 per annual S/X appts and you receive very little in return…

Pushmi-Pullyu
Guest
Pushmi-Pullyu

Just like most other makers of “premium” or luxury cars, Tesla does charge more for its service than you would pay to service a cheaper car.

This should not be a surprise to anyone.

What is surprising is the very high marks Tesla gets from its customers about the quality of service they get for the money! That is one of the reasons why Tesla consistently gets the highest marks for customer satisfaction in Consumer Reports surveys.

Bill Howland
Guest
Bill Howland

Nope. Cadillac for instance gave 4 yrs, 50000 miles zero maintenance on all their vehicles. My dealer recently extended that, due to a free deal I made with them of 5 years, 60,000 miles, – which is also how long the bumper-to-bumper warranty is, (this was also extended to me free of charge – but ANYONE gets 48 months/50,000 miles.

Now Chevy on the other hand, only provides 2 tire rotations free during the first 24,000 miles, and the bumper-to-bumper is only 3 years, 36,000 miles – the same as my Roadster was, which incidentally was better than the “S” since all ranger fees and employee costs were included with no deductible.

Pushmi-Pullyu
Guest
Pushmi-Pullyu

What part of “most” do you not understand?

Bill Howland
Guest
Bill Howland

Tesla is classified as a ‘domestic’ manufacturer since most of the ‘value added’ is in the USA.

The other 2 LUXURY BRANDS Cadillac and Lincoln offer similar ‘free’ maintenance and good warranties.

This is most likely why the ‘3’s warranty seems pretty good.

I’m glad Tesla understands things that SAED’s here don’t.

George Wilson
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George Wilson

Will mainly be tyres and bug spray/ wiper spray.

Dan
Guest
Dan

Most truck companies are likely thinking of this purely as a platooning play.

The 7c/kWh is about 100% off what it will cost to retail it unless land and chargers magically fall out of the sky.

The next biggest savings is from platooning and the rest of the costs are likely to be a wash. If I were a trucking exec, I’d want to learn the way platooning impacts performance, safety, cost, etc. on a few Tesla’s even if the numbers don’t make sense. What I would learn can be used with any tech down the road, diesel or otherwise.

Paul Smith
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Paul Smith

Walmart have covered their stores with solar, so $0/KwH. There is also the brand cred in being green, reduced payroll cost for maintenance employees when you have a large fleet.

BenG
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BenG

Solar costs a lot more than $0/kwh. Solar on a roof costs a lot more than 7 cents/kwh.

George Wilson
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George Wilson

Charger costs/ profit most mega chargers will be built on federal reserves as part of the federal/strategic plan so only peppercorn rental.
Cost of roll out less than a truck stop as coencident locations will mean existing infrastructure will benefit and solar with battery pack will create a cost savings to already existing sites.
Setting up is costly but payback is quick and sweet for long term Security.

KumarP
Guest
KumarP

Why do you assume a trailer that costs $30,000 more in the Tesla case? Do we have solid reason to believe the truck won’t accept standard trailers?

Pushmi-Pullyu
Guest
Pushmi-Pullyu

That is a very good point. In the Reveal, it looked to me like Tesla was using standard trailers.

And if Tesla’s BEV Semi Truck requires special trailers… well then, you can pretty much forget about any wide market for them. A requirement for special trailers would relegate the truck to a niche market, and probably a pretty tiny niche at that.

KumarP
Guest
KumarP

In fact, why is the price of the trailer even in these calculations?

bernietx
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bernietx

What do you think of the $0.07/kwh price of electricity? Perhaps that assumes all solar electricity instead of utility company electricity, but I doubt it counts the costs of the superchargers, solar panels, and batteries themselves.

Chris Stork
Guest

If that’s what they’re legally promising (by contract), then that’s what the customer will get, even if they have to eat the cost of local utility electricity while they build out their PV Megacharging stations. The Megacharger network is overhead, just like the Supercharger network.
However, big clients will want their own in-house chargers at each end of a route (hub to branch). And it would behoove them to get some Solar City panels put up.

Pushmi-Pullyu
Guest
Pushmi-Pullyu

Indeed, and thank you.

Whether or not Tesla can actual deliver electricity at an average of 7¢ to its Megachargers without having to eat some of that cost, is a legitimate subject for debate.

But there is no debate that Tesla is guaranteeing this cost to its customers. So from their viewpoint, it doesn’t matter how much it actually costs Tesla to deliver the electricity.

However, there is one possible fly in the ointment, and that is demand charges for electricity. Will Tesla also eat any of those which occur, or will the fine print in Tesla’s contract say such charges will be passed along to the customer? If it’s the latter, that might have a significant effect on the potential customer’s cost/benefit analysis.

Brandon
Guest

I doubt Tesla would allow or go with also billing customers for demand charges, because that would then change the promised price.

God/Bacardi
Guest
God/Bacardi

How this will most likely go down is the $.07 is for their “mega chargers” only…

Electricity rates vary wildly across the United States, offering a fixed $.07 ensures everyone can understand…They offer fixed pricing right now on superchargers but rates vary by state…

Pushmi-Pullyu
Guest
Pushmi-Pullyu
My assumption — obviously it could be wrong, but it’s my assumption — is that Tesla will install its Megachargers wherever the customer wants them installed, and of course the customer will pay for the installation. If Tesla is guaranteeing that 7¢/kWh price for electricity only at Tesla installed and operated Megacharger stations, like Supercharger stations, then that’s pretty meaningless for most trucking fleets. They are going to want to have those chargers installed on properties they and/or their customers own, and they are going to want them to be proprietary, not accessible by any but their own fleet’s vehicles. Keep in mind that Tesla is aiming sales of its Semi Truck at fleet operators, not at the general public. So I rather doubt Tesla is going to set up a Megacharger network accessible to any Tesla Semi Truck, the way they have set up a Supercharger network available to any Tesla car. Fleet operators have their trucks running on a strict schedule, and having one of their trucks have to wait to access a Megacharger because some other company’s truck got their first, is not going to be acceptable. As I see it, Megachargers are going to have a… Read more »
God/Bacardi
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God/Bacardi

Makes a lot of sense as I don’t see how else you could charge their Semis as L1 and L2 overnight are pointless…Any sort of DCFC will still be pretty expensive…Perhaps the actual Mega Charger is like a supercharger but mated with a ton of super capacitors…

However, other questions remain, can you buy one sole base semi and expect a free mega charger or do you need to buy a “convoy” of 3 or even 15? And is $.07 guaranteed forever?

Pushmi-Pullyu
Guest
Pushmi-Pullyu

Again it’s just my guess, but my guess is that one of the reason Tesla is aiming only at fleet operators is because it doesn’t make economic sense to pay for the installation of a Megacharger if you own only one Tesla Semi Truck. Again, it’s the larger fleets for whom the cost/benefit makes more sense, since they can spread out the costs over multiple trucks.

Or to put it another way: Either way, whether the trucking company pays for Megachargers on an individual basis or if Tesla includes them with the purchase of X number of Tesla Trucks, it doesn’t make economic sense to pay for a Supercharger to serve only a single Tesla Semi Truck.

I don’t think a cost/benefit analysis would favor either the trucking company or Tesla to pay for a Megacharger installation for just one truck.

Jason
Guest
Jason

I hope they have flexibility. If you are an operator who runs during the day and parks at night, then a Super Charger might be all you need, 125kW over a few hours.
I also hope this is a flexible platform they can slot into other chassis. Buses, light trucks, heavy trucks, probably even tractors this solution is applicable for.

John
Guest
John

The industrial rate is always a LOT less than a residential rate. Buying in bulk has its benefits. At home I pay $0.12 At work we pay $0.06.

Pushmi-Pullyu
Guest
Pushmi-Pullyu

Yup. Commercial rate is lower than residential rate for electricity, and industrial rate is lower than commercial rate.

Obviously Tesla will want to get the industrial rate wherever possible.

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.php?t=epmt_5_6_a

Paul Smith
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Paul Smith

If you have diesel trucks do you have to drive them to a diesel truck depot. If you have facilities on site that costs money too. In the time it takes to drive a million miles what are the chances the cost of diesel will go up as opposed to the power from your solar panels?

Jason
Guest
Jason

Check if Tesla has purchased 1mi square of land. Elon believes that is the amount of land you need to cover with solar panels to provide the whole of US power requirements. Maybe they will build this idea and then be their own power company, guaranteeing their price.
It’s not as if Tesla never has gone it alone with something like this.

Dav8or
Guest
Dav8or

So, basically the profit is derived by eliminating yet another middle class job. The Tesla elite for the win!! Working daily to create more have nots while giving more to the haves. Elon really doesn’t like the lower classes.

Chris Stork
Guest

Yeah! Dey terk er jerbs! And while we’re at it, let’s bring back electric typewriters! Those poor typewriter manufacturers have been out of work for decades now!

scott
Guest
scott

My grandpa was an elevator operator. I’d like that to be my career.

Dav8or
Guest
Dav8or

3.5 million people. That’s how many truck drivers were estimated in America in 2015. Elon Musk is hoping to eliminate all their jobs simply so that trucking companies and their owners, or share holders can make more profit. How much transfer of wealth has to happen for people in this country to understand what has happened, what is happening and what is yet to come.

Lets add to that all the taxi drivers and uber drivers. Millions more. After that Elon and his fellow futurists are working hard to get rid of manufacturing jobs too. More robots, more automation all so they can make more profit.

Rape the middle class and you get even more wealth at the top. Awesome!! Now if only they can move all this unemployed rabble to some remote area and wall it off…

Paul Smith
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Paul Smith

Those drivers can get jobs in the renewable energy business.

ivan
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ivan

Ok, but what about all other people loosing jobs everyday couse of new tech? How is this Elon Musk issue? We should also put back people for example to operate traffic stops or people working in phone centrals (to connect calls) or other million different jobs

Mint
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Mint

Not only that, but consider why Tesla isn’t bathing in profits: they pay people for engineering and research; testing; building chargers, stores, and service centers; programming robots, etc. The money they pay to other companies for equipment pays for workers, too.

GreenMD
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GreenMD

Is this trolling or Russian misinformation?

Pushmi-Pullyu
Guest
Pushmi-Pullyu

Yes. 😉

But seriously, I don’t think the Tesla bashing is coming from Russian troll farms. It’s coming from TSLA short-sellers, Big Oil shills, and perhaps those with an anti-“green” political agenda.

Just look at all the Tesla bashing posts in the Seeking Alpha cesspool. And note that some of the very same screen names from Seeking Alpha posts sometimes pop up here.

Those are almost all motivated by TSLA short-selling; I don’t see that Russia’s interests have anything to do with that… altho I suppose it’s possible Big Oil companies or other organizations are paying Russian troll farms to push their agenda.

Dav8or
Guest
Dav8or

You know, it is possible that some of us actually give a crap about our country, the whole country, not just the comfortable part you live in.

Please explain to me how in your view, elimination of middle class jobs is a good thing and why we absolutely need it.

Dav8or
Guest
Dav8or

Yes, or no. Middle class job loss is a good thing. Please answer.

The Woodster
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The Woodster

Dav8or, your antiquated view of the world is overly simplistic and narrow minded. Yes or no?

I’ll answer that for you. Yes.

Reminds me of someone…

John
Guest
John

Have you noticed the ridiculous number of ads and commercials looking for truck drivers? It’s similar to the airline industry. A LOT more people are retiring than are being hired.

Let the guys who are career truck drivers continue driving their ICE trucks. The newer generation will drive EV trucks, and there will be fewer of them.

Pushmi-Pullyu
Guest
Pushmi-Pullyu

More likely they will be monitoring EV trucks, perhaps remotely like a drone “pilot”, and not so much actually driving them.

Jason
Guest
Jason

As our society moves more towards automation our jobs become redundant. Society shift has to happen, wealth distribution has to change. There are going to be so many more unemployed we will need a mechanism to deal with that, and not the way we do at the moment. It is a real challenge, but our society could become a leisure society where people are freed from the drudgery of working and instead pursue things we really want to do, like travel.

Kdawg
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Kdawg

Great, now I have to wait for a platoon of semi trucks to pass something. 😀

Patrick Linsley
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Patrick Linsley

….Cause we got a Tesla convoy rockin thru the night yeah we got a Tesla convoy ain’t she a beautiful sight?….

ziv
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ziv

I think just about everyone under the age of 50 is wondering what the he** you are talking about.

ffbj
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ffbj

Let’s hope so.

floodzone
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floodzone

you wont have to wait long,its a tesla convoy

Kdawg
Guest
Kdawg

Unless what they’re passing is going 1mph slower, which is usually the case.

ffbj
Guest
ffbj
Jackson
Guest
Jackson

That’s why the roadster II was revealed at the same time featuring 0 – 60 times of under 2 seconds.

Null
Guest
Null

Guess you need the roadster!

vdiv
Guest
vdiv

The only thing the Tesla Semi is currently capable of hauling is, ahem… bean counters 😉

God/Bacardi
Guest
God/Bacardi

The most interesting aspect is the exposure…People will see this semi and will take notice…All of a sudden a Tesla semi with a WalMart decal makes WalMart a little bit more cooler…

Kdawg
Guest
Kdawg

Yep, paying for cachet.

Kdawg
Guest
Kdawg

cash for cachet. heh

Pushmi-Pullyu
Guest
Pushmi-Pullyu

How nice to see a comment from someone who knows it’s cachet and not cache!
??

Kdawg
Guest
Kdawg

One of the few French words I can pronounce, lol

Chris O
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Chris O

That massive 1MWh battery has got to be a $150-200K item. I wonder how that wears over 10 years and 2000 charging cycles. Will it still run for another 10 years at maybe 70% residual capacity? Should be some considerable value left in it if that were the case.

jpo234
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jpo234

Why is platooning something that only benefits the Tesla truck?

Hauer
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Hauer

Volvo has been testing this since forever.

Pushmi-Pullyu
Guest
Pushmi-Pullyu

Well, platooning would be easier with semi-autonomous vehicles, because in theory you could just put one human driver in the lead truck and let the others follow using semi-autonomous driving software.

But yes, that is one of the questions that I had, too. If the argument here is that platooning will save money, then why would any trucking company need to buy Tesla Semi Trucks to do that?

And ditto with saving money by getting rid of the driver. All car and truck makers will be moving towards autonomous driving; what advantage does Tesla offer other than being more bold in putting their semi-autonomous system into production vehicles before other vehicle manufacturers?

Bunny
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Bunny

It doesn’t
Feightliner platoons trucks

wavelet
Guest
wavelet
Sorry, this is a silly analysis, because the assumptions are not known. 1) The cost of the truck is unknown; 2) Whether the truck can last a million miles remains to be seen… Under what assumption of maintenance costs/frequency? Recall that the drivetrain isn’t the major portion of truck cost. It still has systems for steering, suspension, wheel, tires, bearing, braking, chassis… Which will need frequent inspection/service (due to the high mileage), just like Diesels. 3) Maintenance cost is unknown, and given Tesla’s current practice of not allowing 3d-party servicing, is a big question. Many large fleets do their own servicing, and even if they’re willing to outsource it, Tesla isn’t set up for quick servicing rather than early adopters who are OK with having their cars weeks/months in the shop. 4) Electricity cost is also unknown. Even if Tesla manages to keep the cost down to the guaranteed $0.07, how quickly will they be able to set up a large network? It’s likely many operators will need to set up their own charging solutions. As a fleet operator, I would not be willing to rely on a single source of “fuel”, and would require that Tesla allow competing 3d-party… Read more »
Pushmi-Pullyu
Guest
Pushmi-Pullyu

You certainly have a point about the cost of trailers being irrelevant to the subject, and it is strange this article would suggest there’s going to be a difference in cost there.

As for the rest of your comment: While everything you say is true, at the same time there is something to be said for starting discussion on this topic, even if it’s just speculation at this point. It’s true that we don’t have all the info we need for a truly conclusive cost/benefit analysis, but what fun is it if we are not allowed to speculate and guess? 🙂

Pushmi-Pullyu
Guest
Pushmi-Pullyu
@George Bower: Hey, thanks for taking this on! I had planned to do a similar essay/analysis to post on the InsideEVs Forum, so it’s great that you’ve saved me some work. Of course, this is only the beginning of the discussion about the economics of BEV trucking, and the cost/benefit of using Tesla’s Semi Trucks… not the end! * * * * * While it’s possible the numbers given here will turn out to be true, it’s not going to be possible to verify them with real-world data for quite some time. Even semi trucks dedicated to long-range routes only average about 100,000 miles per year. So to get data on a million miles for a truck in real working conditions, the trucking company will have to use it for 10 years. And that’s not 10 years from today; that’s 10 years from when the trucking company buys the truck, which at best won’t be for another 2-3 years. Tesla has not established a reputation for durability for its vehicles. In fact, it has a reputation for their vehicles needing service more often than those from longer-established companies. I think Tesla is going to have a hard time making an… Read more »
georgeS Bower
Guest
georgeS Bower

@PMPU,
Thx.

I notice a lot of comments on including the trail cost. I included it because ref 1 “the cost of trucking” included it but mostly because I figured perhaps Tesla would offer a custom trailer that would be more expensive. Also I think not including the trailer would just swing the numbers more in Tesla’s direction anyway so it really wouldn’t change the overall conclusion.

Also noted some objections to the 7 cent/kwh assumption. That was one of my biggest concerns as well since it looked wayyy to low…. but believe it or not that’s what the industrial wholesale US national average is according to ref 3.

Also some objections to including platooning in the cost reduction for Tesla. It’s a good point. However, Whoever is first with an autonomous platooning truck wins the game. I’m betting on Tesla.

Not that it matters but as a guest writer here I don’t receive any monetary compensation. Most of the articles I write require a fair amount of time to research and then write……but I do it because it is my passion, plus I’m retired and my brain enjoys the exercise:)

Cheers!

G2
Guest
G2

Thanks for your time and effort (hat tip).

Mikael
Guest
Mikael

Now take the European diesel price which is about 3 times as high on average and do the calculations again….

Can you say ka-ching?

silversod
Guest
silversod

Exactly, with diesel over $7 a UK gallon here at the moment the savings would be huge.

Kdawg
Guest
Kdawg

Assuming no platooning, and a human driver is still needed, is there still savings, and what’s the payback period?

georgeS Bower
Guest
georgeS Bower

@kdawg,
“Assuming no platooning, and a human driver is still needed, is there still savings,”

yes, 1.27 vs 1.51$= 16% (Tesla’s numbers)

Kdawg
Guest
Kdawg

OK so 1 million miles = $240K savings

HVACman
Guest
HVACman

Here is why I hope that EV semi’s do catch-on and that they have human drivers.

Because how better to sell the benefits and fun of driving an EV to the vast center of the US than to put the ultimate every-man – the commercial truck driver – in the driver’s seat of the world’s biggest and coolest EV every day, all day?

You think after driving a silent, clean, torquey, smooth-no-shifting Tesla (or Cummins or ….) EV-based big-rig for work they’ll want to hop into their noisy, smelly, sloppy-shifting diesel pickup to drive home and then tow their bass boat with it to the lake? No! They’ll want to drive an EV rig just like their big-rig.

When blue-collar red-state commercial truck drivers think EV’s are cool, the EV culture war is over. EV’s win.

Kdawg
Guest
Kdawg

Someone should start an EV-only car rental company. I believe there’s an EV-only auto store in the UK already.

Bill Howland
Guest
Bill Howland

“Someone should start an EV-Only rent-a-car company”.

Good Idea – Go to the Enterprise Managers in my area and tell them they need to trade in all their ICE’s for economical, reliable Nissan Leafs.

Then you’ll find out why a year ago they ripped out all their wallboxes from all their stores around here.

Kdawg
Guest
Kdawg

Not Enterprise, EV only. And not just a Leaf. Think Bolts, Teslas, i3s, etc.

Also location is important, and timing. I don’t know if the market is ripe yet.. but soon.

Bill Howland
Guest
Bill Howland

You’re right of course. Besides the Leafs they should also rent used Roadsters. They only took 3 months out of the year to get fixed rather than the six months and counting as related on TMC lately, regarding the “X” and “S”.

Kdawg
Guest
Kdawg

There are already companies doing just hi-end stuff & Tesla’s, but I’m talking about a more everyday man’s plugin, relatively speaking

KumarP
Guest
KumarP

I also love how it may virtually eliminate the rollover possibility with the low center of gravity.

Pushmi-Pullyu
Guest
Pushmi-Pullyu

It’s not going to help any at all in cases where the trailer tips over, and pulls the tractor with it.

However, Tesla claims that its tech makes jack-knifing impossible. While I don’t believe that is fully true — if the truck hits a patch of ice or hydroplanes, no traction control in the world is going to save it — if it really will significantly reduce the occurrences of jack-knifing in tractor-trailer rigs, then that should significantly reduce accidents.

Tom
Guest
Tom

Jack-knifing impossible? I’ll be living on Mars before that one comes true. ‘improbable’ perhaps. Perhaps a promise too far.

Bill Howland
Guest
Bill Howland
Mr. Bower’s “Pie in the Sky” analysis leaves the plain old truck at only a slight disadvantage. That means the EV Semi is going to be at a REAL disadvantage when compared with, for instance, Volvo’s new 12-13 MPG hybrid models. As far as platooning goes – since VOLVO is ahead in Autonomous driving technology, Tesla will have no particular advantage here either, nor completely driverless trucking also is at no disadvantage since manufacturers have convinced trucking companies that the added expense of an automatic transmission is worth it since they can prove that compared to most drivers, the automatic can actually get BETTER fuel economy. Having an employee of the truck-stop to ‘meet’ the truck at the diesel pump to refill it is a zero-expense no brainer. The reason I say ‘PITS’ is that 7 cents per kwh for industrial electricity presumes ZERO heat dissipation at the charging equipment, and ZERO battery heating. If these things are to be quick charged in 30 minutes, I’d seriously doubt that – as anyone who has walked in back of a SuperCharger Corral and felt the heat Billowing out of the BAY, not to mention the necessary heat removal from the vehicles… Read more »
Ron M
Guest
Ron M

Walmart’s CEO is pretty excited about the semi truck and going from distribution centers to stores would seem like a great fit. Apparently about 190,000 semi’s are sold in the U.S. Also Hawaii where diesel costs are probably highest would find these semi’s to be a good fit.

Bill Howland
Guest
Bill Howland

If Tesla wants $0.07/kwh electricity in Hawaii, they better start their own electric utility.

Ron M
Guest
Ron M

Yeah Hawaii is more expensive, but Tesla built a solar farm and battery storage on Kauai. It was completed earlier this year and there selling the power to the utility for 0.139 a kwh.
I guess what I am wondering about how is how many Semi:s are in Hawaii seems like with small islands maybe they don’t even use them

Bill Howland
Guest
Bill Howland

Maybe my math skills are lacking, but isn’t 14 cents/kwh harder to afford than 7?

Of course the utility will deliver the electricity, losses and all, to the recharging point on a voluntary basis and won’t charge a delivery charge.

BenG
Guest
BenG

Price of diesel is also a lot higher in Hawaii.

BIll Howland
Guest
BIll Howland

Yeah, average in the $646,000 electric commercial fuel cost – and that’s assuming George’s Pie in the Sky analysis. (Hawaians pay on average 37 cents/kwh as of 2014 – and that figure is rising rapidly (34 cents/kwh for commercial – which is what trucking would be).

To expand on this PITS analysis, one Tesla owner (Model S)on Tesla Motors Club recently compared his electric usage on his Car Touch Screen, with actual usage at the plug.

As expected, the car only gave the usage coming FROM the car’s battery, but not what the user has to pay from the revenue billing meter on the back of the house. He found out that, charging it at the most efficient rate (around 9 kw overnight), the car was only relating 82% of the kwh actually billable, and so its obvious that anything faster than an overnight charge would generate more heat and expense.

john doe
Guest
john doe
I don’t know of any diesel trucks that does not last 1 million miles. One of the companies I work for does long hawl with large diesel trucks (Volvo, Scania and Mercedes). To be profitable they must drive at least 200 000km a year. They usually drive the trucks about 2 million km (over 6-7 years, which ever comes first)internationally, and then it runs for the rest of it’s life with domestic transportation. Often converted with a crane, and then used for another 10+ years. Maybe all the environmental additions will shorten the practical life of the engine due to repair/maintenance costs. Normally a diesel truck lasts a long time. I think number of miles/km and how long it can be used, is not where electric trucks can compete at the moment. When batteries are much cheaper, easier to change modules/cells and when motors are easy to maintain – then things will change. Noise, pollution, “fuel” economy is where electric will dominate. Money rules for companies. No emission transportation can be an advantage. There will be room for fuel cell trucks for long hawl, and for some special applications. I just hope Tesla has understood custom add ons for special… Read more »
George Bower
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George Bower

@john doe
“I don’t know of any diesel trucks that does not last 1 million miles.”

Tesla’s power train has a 1 million mile warranty.
https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-semi-event-live-tweet-behind-the-scenes/

Diesel trucks have a 250,000 mile warranty and can be extended to 500,000 miles.

Miles between overhaul for diesel are between 700,000 and 100,000 miles by this source:

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-life-of-an-average-long-haul-truck-What-truck-has-clocked-the-highest-mileage

and here:
http://www.overdriveonline.com/time-for-an-overhaul/

600,000 was picked as a compromise between warranty and overhaul miles for the diesel

Mike Jacobs
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Mike Jacobs

I don’t think a real o/o will be able to buy one of the rigs might be good for Wal Mart door to door , And after its used up what is the trade in value.Or does the scrap yard get it

Bunny
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Bunny
The jack knife scenario that most experienced drivers still want manual transmission with a clutch is basically empty or very light loaded trailer that the wind catches the trailer and unloads the drives, so the drive tires start sliding sideways out from the trailer. This is a doable save for experienced driver with a clutch but literally impossible with automatic trans because you can’t disengage the auto quick enough there is too much lag time, not sure how fast EV motors can go from applied to COAST, not slowing not braking but disengaged coasting, that’s only way you ever save jack knife . It take less than second for experienced driver to feel drives sliding less than another second to press in the clutch pick a point in space forward and aim to that point coasting, lt has been proven a hundreds of times at this point anything but coasting will still result in jackknife. Any tire braking or applied power would come forward at this point still jackknifed. All the anti roll thechno in the world isn’t going to save this. Would like to see Tesla Semi on some of the old iced over skid pads the large trucking… Read more »
G2
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G2

All true, but don’t you think those same tests were done by Tesla to understand the problem and engineer the solution to support the claim?

John Doe
Guest
John Doe

ESP would take care of this.

Bunny
Guest
Bunny

Simply put, no.
Because when tires break loose on ice or oily water sideways. It’s not same as ABS nor roll control. Once the adhesion of the contact of the tire is broken, there’s is nothing left to control.
If you try and counter steer the cab like you would a car, you are actually going in wrong direction to save it, you’ll straighten out cab but trailer would still be coming around and no OEM is purposely going to take the amount of real estate across lanes it might take to save it from jackknife.
I could see where they might be able to control individual drive tire but once all four break loose you are kind of done except for coasting it out. This is much harder than it sounds because you gotta be Johnny on the spot quick like.
The old ram jam 5th wheel air cylinder idea from back in the 70’s was good idea but still didn’t give enough control but definitely worked if activated quick enough. The problem was once cylinder down extended it was like driving 85′ long box truck, lol