Tesla Semi Shows Up In Iowa At Ruan HQ

SEP 2 2018 BY MARK KANE 17

Tesla demonstrated the Semi to Ruan

Tesla continues its Semi tractor-trailer tour through the U.S. using the Supercharger network and one of the most recent stops was at Ruan, the transportation company that reserved five Semis.

Tesla Semi at Ruan in Iowa (source: Ruan)

This week, representatives from Tesla Motors visited with Ruan team members and several customers for a viewing of the new, wholly electrically powered tractor-trailer.

Ruan would like to purchase the Tesla Semi as part of its sustainability efforts, but also notes Tesla’s promise of a payback period of just two years (the price to be $180,000 vs about $100,000 for the diesel) because of low energy costs and high reliability. Not less important is its ability to recharge in 30 minutes for another 400 miles (in case of the 500-mile versions) at Tesla Megacharger stations.

Visiting customers as far as in Iowa, which is not that Supercharger dense, shows that the Semi runs just fine. Hopefully, we will not wait long for the second, redesigned version that is expected to enter production within two years.

James Cade, vice president of fleet services said:

Ruan CEO Ben McLean with Tesla’s wholly electrically powered tractor (Tesla Semi). (Source: Ruan)

“We are excited to have an opportunity to experience the new electric semis. The reservation of these vehicles is part of Ruan’s sustainability efforts and commitment to providing our customers and professional drivers with the best technology available,”.

“We will continue to be involved with the team at Tesla Motors as they introduce the trucks to the market. We will work with them directly to ensure the vehicles will serve us and our customers to the level we both expect.”

Categories: Tesla, Trucks


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17 Comments on "Tesla Semi Shows Up In Iowa At Ruan HQ"

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Read an article that stated Tesla uses water to cool the semi while charging on these trips. What’s that all about?
Found that pretty indicative of not ready for prime time. Wish there was more factual non fluff info on the semi reporting.

Can only hope they are as far along as they claim, I want them to succeed on the semi project. I also don’t expect them to embrace the newest effort on global charging standards for trucks. I see Penske and BYD just joined that effort.

They sprayed the radiators to increase the cooling efficiency. Keep in mind these aren’t production intent mules. These are very early prototypes and not the final design.

Spraying the radiators? That’s news to me. Thanks for the info!

And yes, that’s certainly one of several indications that this is only an early prototype or technology demonstrator, not a production-intent prototype.

It would help if you posted the article. This is also a prototype so development is still on going. If it was a radiator leak that is common in all vehicles including diesel semis. Not a fundamental flaw with the electric powertrain

If they need to spray the radiators to increase cooling (not a leak), that suggests to me Tesla needs to either increase the size of the radiator, or increase the coolant flow, or both. And this is only using Superchargers. In theory at least, the proposed Megachargers for the Tesla Semi Truck would charge even faster, requiring even more cooling.

Maybe having the radiators entirely enclosed, with no grille at the front of the truck, wasn’t such a good idea after all?

I’m starting to wonder how much battery this prototype is actually carrying, seeing now it’s up to six cables when charging.

Probably some 500-600 kWh. It’s the 300 mile variant, according to someone who talked to the engineers at a charging stop recently.

Tesla hasn’t said, but I think your 500-600 kWh estimate is probably in the right ballpark for the 300 mile range version.

400 kWh for 300 miles.

There is a grille the full width of the semi in the front underneath the license plate

Much as I’m a fan of Tesla, I seriously doubt they are going to be mass producing this truck in less than two years. They haven’t shown a production-intent prototype, they’re not even talking yet about where the truck will be built, and there’s no indication of how they’ll service them. The trucks are too big to fit into the bays at Tesla service shops.

Nobody shows production-intent prototypes two years in advance. In the case of the Model 3, they actually never officially showed one at all; though some did finally start appearing on the streets a few months before (early) production started… The only (early) prototype of the Model 3 that was officially shown at all, was quite a bit less than two years before production started.

Reality check: Tesla did the Model S “Reveal” in late March 2009; production apparently began in late May or early June of 2012.

You cited the the Model 3 timeline, but that’s an outlier, since Tesla rushed that into production.



” In the case of the Model 3, they actually never officially showed one at all;”

The Model 3s they sold in July 2017 WERE the production-intent prototypes 🙂

After they manage to have a profitable 3rd and 4th quarters, they will go back to markets to raise money for Semi production line next year. They will squeeze out about 10 Semis by next year end from Gigafactory to deliver to the customers.
The real deal will come in 2020 when they would deliver around a thousand Semis.

The production line will be much simpler as they share components with M3. Including big ones like Motors and Battery pack.

If it is the 300 mile version then they are definitely using a couple different drivers to reach the distances they have. At least they are keeping it running which is good to see, Its just that it seems to leave questions how well it’s working so far.