Tesla’s Jerome Guillen Already Driving/Testing Tesla Semi


Tesla's Guillen Already Testing Tesla Semi

Tesla’s Guillen Already Testing Tesla Semi

Tesla's Jerome Guillen No Longer Heads Sales & Service...He's Now Part Of The Tesla semi Team

Tesla’s Jerome Guillen No Longer Heads Sales & Service…He’s Now Part Of The Tesla semi Team

In a Tweet issued by Tesla CEO Elon Musk following the reveal of Master Plan Part Deux, Musk revealed that the Tesla semi is likely much further along in the development process than we would’ve guessed.

According to Musk, Tesla’s Jerome Guillen is already driving and testing the Tesla semi.

Apparently Guillen leads the team that’s working on the Tesla semi.

Master Plan Part Deux puts the semi unveiling to be sometime next year. No word on when or if it’ll ever go on sale for public consumption. From the plan:

β€œIn addition to consumer vehicles, there are two other types of electric vehicle needed: heavy-duty trucks and high passenger-density urban transport. Both are in the early stages of development at Tesla and should be ready for unveiling next year. We believe the Tesla Semi will deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate.”

Nikola One Electric Semi Truck - Not Linked To Tesla, But This Sure Is One Cool Semi Truck Design

Nikola One Electric Semi Truck – Not Linked To Tesla, But This Sure Is One Cool Semi Truck Design

Guillen’s background includes extensive semi truck work while at Daimler, so he’s definitely fit for the job. Guillen was in charge of development for Daimler’s Cascadia semi truck, which was sold under the Freightliner brand (see image below) and even later offered in autonomous form:

Autonomous Freightliner Cascadia

Autonomous Freightliner Cascadia

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67 Comments on "Tesla’s Jerome Guillen Already Driving/Testing Tesla Semi"

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I took “driving” to just mean that he’s the project lead. It’d be exciting to know there’s already a driving prototype, but I’m doubtful.

Agree. I’m pretty sure driving=leading in this case.

Also, that thing is going to be a real pain to park at the SuperChargers πŸ™‚

Maybe Tesla is going to create a “Kilo-charger”, meaning 1000A charging, for these semi trucks?

I guess they would go for a higher voltage. 1000Amps at 400V doesn’t really make much sense. Better go for 800V and 500A.

Of course its all scalable, maybe its 1000A and 1000V. Would make sense for semi trucks to go above, or close, 1MW.

Or 4 cables plugged in, each pushing 250A.

Thats actually what other anufacturers of heavy busses and trucks do. Byd has a set of what a.ounts to chadwmo sized chargers which are connected. It simplifies everything tremendously actually.

Yes R.S. I do think it will certainly need to be around 1 MW.

Indeed, that’s an embarrassing misread of “drive” by InsideEVs. Good for ad impressions though.

If they manage to produce a heavy duty truck with decent range that doesn’t cost several times more than regular diesel or hybrid trucks they have a winner on their hands.

It really doesn’t matter how much it costs. Fuel/maintenance costs more than the truck itself for big rigs.

What John said.

Upfront cost is only one concern. What will really matter is what the projected lifetime amortization of all costs will be over the projected ownership of the truck. Fuel savings will be a big factor. Much bigger than for passenger cars.

Have you noticed that some of the most aerodynamic Trucks (Cabs) – are still designed with aero in mind while having the trailer behind, but few – if any – consider the empty drive mode, when no trailer is coupled! It would be nice to see an Aero function that is flexible, inflatable, or retractable-extensible, to be used when in the no-tow mode of an empty cab dead heading to another terminal to pick up a load, or that could also be deployed while three cabs are piggy backing on a delivery! “Walmart’s WAVE concept truck is made of carbon fiber and uses a turbine-powered battery-electric hybrid drive-train. It’s all about showcasing new ways of making trucking more fuel efficient.” – https://www.wired.com/2015/06/making-trucks-efficient-isnt-actually-hard/ – And, it still focuses on the whole package while towing the trailer, which for Walmart, might be fine, since they own their trucks, but for others, we still need the consideration of the empty drive and it’s bad Aerodynamic condition as seen today. From that same linked story: “Transportation is responsible for 28 percent of the nation’s carbon emissions, second only to power plants at 31 percent. By nearly any measure, trucks play an outsized role in… Read more »

Why bother?
For a truck to be making money it has to be pulling something!
For it to be running empty, there has been a monumental fuckup!

It may be a slow market to break into, as fleet managers are likely wary of how they would “refuel” an OTR semi with our current charging infrastructure. It would make an awesome yard truck or {relatively} local delivery truck though while the intrastructure gets built out.

Not likely to be a “free charging for life” deal like Tesla cars though. And please, I know the “free” part is a stretch, that charging is prepaid in the purchase whether shown on the invoice as an option or rolled into the price of the car.

“with our current charging infrastructure”

I fully expect Tesla to see that and address it. Think a 500 kW Hypercharger.

“Hypercharger”. I love the sound of that.

ha, just read your post. GMTA

You can make all the hyper-uber-whe-zee superchargers you want. Or just take them from existing battery buses. The problem is who is going to pay for them. As intermittent wind/solar energy sources are getting more widespread, peak power charges are getting higher too. Like $42/kW/month in San Diego. You may get idea about the issue here:
No chance these wheezee chargers will be as cheap and fast as diesel refueling. So you are left with short distance deliveries within truck’s range.

It’s a shame you didn’t have Elon’s ear 10 years ago, you could have told him that everything Tesla has done and will ever do is either impossible, impractical or idiotic, and he could have just retired early.

Rick, indirectly you are minimizing Mr. Musk’s accomplishment.

You are saying that since Musk’s cars can charge (for a few minutes) at 110 kw and then taper to 80 or 60 kw, it therefore must be very easy for everyone to go 500 , 1000, or 2000 kw, since Musk is already going at 110 kw (for a few minutes).

Its obvious you are minimizing his accomplishment, since going 50% faster would be a real accomplishment further still. Going 500%, 1000% or 2000% of this is borderline ridiculous.

That Tesla’s innovative financing is
already paying for the existing system, is impressive enough for me.

About 7 years ago I claimed the largest individual car would charge at around 150 kw. Porsche, with their 800 volt system, will end up proving me wrong, – but then, there aren’t any of these in my neighborhood yet.

Obviously busses will have larger facilities since the cost is spread over more passengers.

Bill —

Meh, you are ignoring the power of modularity.

Tesla could instantly double current Model S charging rates, by simply doubling the number of packs and plugging them in to 2 completely separate chargers.

They would quadruple current speed with 4 parallel charging systems (not just 4 superchargers on the same power, but 4 fully separate superchargers.)

This is only true when there is a bottleneck in the system like the cable can’t carry enough current. The limitation of charging lithium batteries is dependent on the “C-Rate” and your ability to keep the cells cool. If you divide the pack in half, you can only charge it half as fast as the full pack when you are limited to the same C-Rate. My point is that putting a second cable on the existing Model S doesn’t accomplish anything. However, when you have a pack in a Semi that is 2-8X larger, you would probably need to have multiple cables and charger stacks to push that much power.

No, Bill, I was directly minimizing zzzzzzzz’s post.


zzzzzzzzzz said:

“…peak power charges are getting higher too. Like $42/kW/month in San Diego.”

So, Mr. Big Oil shill, you’re here to tell us that “fool cell” cars are the wave of the future, and BEV buses and heavy trucks will be too expensive to recharge, right?

This is typical FUD. Take an extreme outlier figure, and argue as if it’s the average.

If there are certain places today where high power demand costs for electricity are unreasonably high, that’s a sign that such demand is currently so rare that electric utilities aren’t yet set up to deal with them. As the EV revolution advances and such high-power demands become commonplace, and as utilities build their own stationary energy storage systems to stabilize the grid, then such demand charges will shrink radically or simply… disappear.

A Big Oil shill claiming that it will cost more to charge an EV bus than it costs to fuel it with diesel… is the equivalent Big Oil sticking its fingers in its ears and yelling “Not listening! Not listening!” about the economic reality of the EV revolution, and how it’s going to kill off the habit of burning fossil fuels to power vehicles.

Great points. On recharge time. You really must now expect that battery swaps will come into play with long-range OTR transport. Something in the direction of InstaSwap(tm) and MinBattRequired ™. This is because of a number of reasons including: – swapped batteries can be slow recharged, a big advantage, as this eliminates need for heavy-duty +level three charging infrastructure; – battery swap stations are every 4-6 miles which greatly reduces overall battery-pack weight (think 20 kwh versus 1000 kwh), thus adding big efficiency gains; – swap stations may charge at their leisure via renewable energy thus creating ability to move OTR to 100% renewables immediately via closed loop energy system, as well as shed excess load to the outside energy network; – elevation change can be optimized and harvested exactly so that when in regen going downhill charge will never reach 100%, thus making non-regen brakes will be unnecessary in these situations; – fossil fuel now unnecessary including hybrid; – Tesla keeps ownership and oversees an enormous amount of swappable battery packs, thus allowing for battery health optimization, battery stock liquidity, etc.; – when utilizing swappable packs, range anxiety may be easily eliminated by quick ability to provide replacement packs… Read more »

“– battery swap stations are every 4-6 miles which greatly reduces overall battery-pack weight (think 20 kwh versus 1000 kwh), thus adding big efficiency gains;”

Do I understand you right that you are suggesting that truck drivers pull over every 4-6 miles to do a battery swap?

I thought swapping was dead and buried. BetterPlace and Renault among others seemed to prove the problem: you don’t want to swap such a valuable component of the car unless you have some way of being certain you get at least the same condition as the one you let go, and people don’t want To lease the batteries either.

Then I read about the rather ingenious idea of string batteries. Here each cell is packaged with electronics to turn the cell smart, in a short of egg with multiple electrical terminals making up is shell. To make a pack, simply pour a bunch of cells into a tank! They communicate and figure out

Annoyingly the page surely posted! Anyway, string cells solve many problems with packs, including the one of knowing accurately is state. This and the fact no wires are required, just a bunch of “eggs” contacting each other in a tank, makes swapping feasible. It also makes possible inexpensive upgrade paths and temporarily increasing the size of your pack such as for a vacation (rent extra cells only when you need them).

All in all it’s a sufficiently powerful idea that I’m now becoming a believer in battery swapping for a second time!

Good info on egg batteries. Will be interesting to watch for these. On stopping every 4-6 minutes: No, there is no need to stop a the transfer will be made at-speed. In the simplest form a vehicle will drive into a wall of battery; or batteries will be released from an overhang; or the batteries will be shot upward into the undercarriage; and so on. You may imagine a number of methods for swapping at highway and other speeds. On “leasing” battery: A few things. First, batteries are becoming a smaller and smaller part of total vehicle cost. As this plays out sentiment may be that battery is much less important part of the vehicle. Next, not owning the battery means you may now purchase the guarantee of a set amount of battery life rather than a battery that may or may not last and then will degrade and eventually require replacement. On the other hand, the idea of a set amount means you no longer worry about degradation. If the swap station is economical enough it may be placed on every paved highway. Similarly every road may have a thin layer of eggs matting, as you note. In this… Read more »

In addition when cells shortly become ubiquitous there will be no reason to carry batteries that will no longer charge to their full capacity.

In Leaf terms why carry ~2000 lbs in battery when instead you will carry 100 lbs? Similar to vacation battery rental, as you point out.

Doubt it, the grid won’t be an issue as they’ll probably install massive buffer (think several MWh) batteries to support fast charging.

Maybe solar trailer tops.

Imagine the cost when the trailer hits a low bridge.
Jokes aside, that is a great idea as a trailer top could probably host 15-20kw of solar. Still, for a semi battery pack, it might only add a liw number of miles per day so it might be a very slow payoff

Yes, that is an interesting idea, and one that I actually did some figuring on just a couple weeks ago. I don’t think I wrote it down, but as I recall my rough calculations came to 30-40 miles of ranger per day from solar panels on a semi trailer.

Trailer top is ~40 sq meter, so 8 kW with good panels. Not tilted, so maybe 25 kWh average per day. Semi is perhaps 0.3 mile/kWh, so…… 8 miles of added range.

We Always seem to measure the energy from the top of the trailer for Solar Installs, but – what if the two sides were Solar as well? I think Trailers are Taller, than they are wide – which would give more potential space for Solar! Sure – side traffic, hills blocking low angle light, and more would be issues, but it could bump the 8 miles a day up to 10 or 12 miles Range, assuming the above is correct at 0.3 Miles per kWh! Plus – if Empty Trailers are Parked in yards correctly, and they have on-board Battery Storage under the Freight Floor Area, that was able to be connected to the Truck Cab, in parallel, it could extend the Cabs Range, and the Sun could be used to charge these packs while they are not at the loading docks, at which time while loading they could be charged off the grid. Also Most Freight Warehouses have large flat roofs, which could be upgraded with Solar Power Installs, to provide more energy for charging trucks, of grid on-site storage – for reducing their own grid energy usage, and/or boosting the power to charge trucks at dock! Even if… Read more »

Unlike a passenger vehicle, truck trailers would seem to be a viable solar resource. Having on-board battery packs would also make sense, since the cab would not have to carry as much weight if it’s just dead-heading to pick up a load somewhere.

Trailers sit at loading docks, and in rows upon rows waiting to be used. They can charge during that time, ready to roll, when their number is up.

The trailer packs would not need to be swappable, but the cab packs would almost have to be, like the Model S. Both cab and trailer would need charging ports.

Bah. It will be a “Plaid Charger”.

Spaceballs – “Light Speed is too Slow! We are going to go right to Ludicrous Speed!”
“Sir, we’ve never gone that fast before. I don’t know if the Ship can Take it!”
…. Light Speed …. Ridiculous Speed …. Ludicrous Speed!

When Battery Charging – a better ramp up, and cool down would be in order!

Tesla – Sport Mode – Insane Mode – Ludicrous Mode [Plaid Mode is coming].

So – Current Superchargers at 120 – 145 kW = Sport Mode?
Insane Mode – would be what – 500 kW?
Ludicrous Mode then – 1 MW?
Plaid = 5 MW???!!!

Just Spaceballing a bit here!

Why you keep forcing the vapor-track-ware from Nikola to any news related to truck transportation?
Advertisement/sponsored material shall be clearly marked, or not?

Who is forcing what? Are there any pics or anything of a Tesla semi to share?

Personally I think the Nikola seems a lot more promising than some pure EV semi from Tesla but that is just me.

Nicola Motors, knowing it has no infrastructure in place, is pitching this truck as a plain Hybrid, where – if there was infrastructure to charge their truck, could actually be a Plug-in Hybrid! Starting high end like that – takes more money, I would think, than starting with Expensive Roadsters, Sedans, and smaller Cars first – like Tesla has done! If Tesla can deliver to demand on the model 3, and continue to expand demand by expanding Countries, Vehicle Features, and gradual Price Reductions or range extensions, getting to the Trucks and Buses would be great additions! Personally – I think Tesla Should consider School Buses, which improve the air health around kids riding buses; get them appreciating Electric Drive at a much earlier age, and thinking about Tesla for their choice of vehicle in their future, and pushing parents to buy Tesla; and also Stretch Limo’s – that get the attention of high earning 1%’ers, of the type that have their own Corporate Jet Fleets, to get them appreciating the smooth driving, strongly accelerating, and better handling, benefits of Electric Drive! This Same Approach, could lead to Motor Homes (Medium and Large RV’s), Light Freight Trucks (Cube Vans, etc.),… Read more »

If it’s realy going to be a long haul option, I think battery swapping would be the only option.
Very different dynamics from personnal transport bat swapping. Heavy transport routes are much more predictable. Leasing the battery might also work out better for commercial transport companies.

Yeah, there’s definitely something much bigger missing in the equation. It’s one thing to put a small fleet out there, it’s a very different ball game to actually put such trucks to work and have someone pay for them.

More question than answers, whether Jerome is doing a great job or not …

They could use string batteries! Lowers the cost, increases capacity, makes swapping fast and simple, and provides flexible upgrade paths as battery chemistry and price continue to evolve.

I wonder if Tesla got the Ok from Cosumer Report for this plan.?

Glad I wasn’t drinking coffee when I read that, good one! πŸ˜€

Consumer Reports – They Cover Semi-Trucks’s too???

I guess, so long as they don’t add Autopilot, CR would be OK with this! (Or – for Trucks, they could just call the Autopilot system – “Trucker Support System 1” (in it’s first Generation, where the Autopilot corrected the Drivers mistakes!).

The Question comes to mind, in 10 years, or so when many vehicles are still not Autopilot of any kind or brand equipped, because they are older vehicles, will laws be implemented to keep them off public roads? [It might be 20 years down the road when such laws are considered, but when Tesla is thinking of Full Autonomous capability coming in just 2 years, even if we go pessimistic and double that – to 4 years, things are definitely changing fast in this avenue!]

I hope the thing has falcon wing doors!! πŸ™‚

I think folding stairway doors like a jet would be cool

Thinking “Flight of the Navigator” door and liquid steps. We’re overdue.

These are the kind of doors Tesla should have put on the Model X. These are true zero clearance after market doors from Jatech. Very cool concept. I have no idea how expensive these doors would be if they were designed into the car from the outset.


I think this is even less practical that the current design. Nice though.

No room because that’s where the battery pack goes.

A fully autonomous electric truck would save a trucking company probably at least 200,000 dollars/year. They would also complete most deliveries much faster and safer. Drive 4 hours recharge 1 hour 24/7/365 no overtime no health coverage much lower insurance costs. Probably see them in less than ten years.

Fully Autonomous Trucks still need direct interface as to which Dock to deliver to, which person signs to receive the goods, and making sure – in partial delivery drops, only the correct pallets are removed from the trailers, so – even though the driving may be autonomous, freight handling – might take a bit longer to work that out!

Probably the first use would be as a yard truck. Trucks that move trailers around in a yard.

Those already exist…at trucking terminals, ports, etc. I don’t know what the market penetration is, nor how well they work, but they do exist. Possibly another autonomous driving application.

Yes, here you can read about the first electric container port, driven by wind power and all kind of different forms of energy saving:

That Link lead to a Paid Website – this might be a better choice:

Or this one:

And – a Video of Automated activity, gives a quick walk though of how it goes down:

Automated Ports, Container Automation

-essentially 2 or more batteries with 2 or more separate charge/dicharge paths
-One motor per “battery”, each geared optimally for different conditions
-Superchargers at Truck stops like Pilot, etc and rest stops
-Heavy emphasis on aero impprovements
-With good aero and regen, economy about 30–40% better than conventional semi, giving about 350 miles range for @400kwh
-Gov regs require breaks and limit drive time so that net distance traveled is not affected for single driver transport

I’m not so sure that 400kwh can haul 80,000lbs 350 miles. Unless I’m mis-reading you.

400 kWh isn’t even in the ballpark.

Semis do about 0.3 mile/kWh. Ultra-aero CAD models made of unobtanium get a bit over 0.5 miles/kWh.


Do you honestly think that’s enough for a semi-truck by any measure??