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Tesla's new Semi-Truck for the trucking industry

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  • Liberal Democrat
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    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Tesla has just unveiled it's new all electric truck good for 500 miles on a charge. I suppose it has applications for deliveries in a smaller geographical urban area where there are lots of opportunities for recharging, but perhaps not yet for the long hauls.

    Anyway, it looks impressive to me. I hope it takes off.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Tesla has just unveiled it's new all electric truck good for 500 miles on a charge. I suppose it has applications for deliveries in a smaller geographical urban area where there are lots of opportunities for recharging, but perhaps not yet for the long hauls.

    Anyway, it looks impressive to me. I hope it takes off.

    Yes would be nice; however don't get shocked by the "price". In Europe they have been smarter and are using LPG powered trucks already for more than 40 years, but yeah the US is backwards in all area's. Even Russia has better trains.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Actually, it can be a jump past the LPG powered vehicles. All they need is more recharging stations along the interstates. Maybe the many truck stops along the highways will adapt and include recharging stations. They could be recharging while the driver is having lunch or taking a shower.

    Otherwise short haul trips look like a winner. The cost/benefits will have to be worked out but I don't think Elon Musk would be building them if he didn't think he had a market.

  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    I remain hopeful that far more progress is made. Electric equals cleaner air to breathe and that helps every man woman and child on the planet. Your damned dog would breath more easily without as much pollution. To many, the standard folks making traditional wealth on the well worn path is just fine. Not in my opinion.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Kenosha, WI
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    Brewer Anheuser-Busch — which owns Budweiser and other brands — has placed an order for 40 all-electric Tesla Semis.

    denverpost.com/2017/12/07/anheuser-busc...

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Dockadams Wrote:

    Brewer Anheuser-Busch — which owns Budweiser and other brands — has placed an order for 40 all-electric Tesla Semis.

    denverpost.com/2017/12/07/anheuser-busc...

    Yes; it is not here; but in Europe (Stella Artois (Belgian) who owns Bud) At Schiphol Airport just about all taxi cabs are Tesla. But yeah in the "country" side (thus most of the US) they will maintain old school buses as well pickup trucks with huge tires for a while.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    Slow progress is better than what we had. No progress.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Kenosha, WI
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    Well, there's several types or classes of delivery by semi tractor trailer/s. There's the loads that pick up a truck load from point A and taken to point B, like OTR or over the road trucking, a truckload of merchandise going to one location. Then there's LTL, that's usually local or Less Than Truckload, in this scenario, the driver makes delivery and pickup at differing locations. Then, there's the real truck type, where 2 or 3 trailers are coupled together at a pick up point, and as the driver goes along, a trailer is disconnected at a warehouse or a terminal, then the other two loaded trailers are taken to their delivery points, or, all three or two trailers are taken to a trucking hub where they're disconnected and three or two more loaded trailers are reconnected and taken either back to where the original trip started from, or to another hub or location, this is what they call logistics in the trucking industry.

    In the cases of over the road tractor trailer combinations, most are at least 28 feet in length.

    A LTL truck can be 53 feet in length, but a 28 foot pup trailer is more desirable in tight city traffic.

    Fact is, a Tesla semi tractor wouldn't have much of a whole day's life in city driving because it's battery power, like being still or crawling along in bumper to bumper traffic. I believe the Tesla truck would be a good fit for the open road, from terminal to terminal pulling doubles and triples. It wouldn't necessarily negate the use of fossil fuels that much.

    Automobiles and SUVs probably burn the greatest amounts of diesel and gas fuels.

    In the Landstar youtube video, they illustrate how trailers are coupled together.

    youtube.com/watch?v=CmdJPyBCb7I

    and triples

    youtube.com/watch?v=EFbooSwEim8

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Related to emissions, I think school buses and dump trucks are the worst. However the "owners" of those will be the last one's to use "clean" energy. Let alone any Caterpillar product.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Kenosha, WI
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    Dutch Wrote: Related to emissions, I think school buses and dump trucks are the worst. However the "owners" of those will be the last one's to use "clean" energy. Let alone any Caterpillar product.

    Well, fleet owners look at affordability, most probably won't go electric until pushed toward it by higher fuel prices, or higher initial purchase costs and operating costs. What I alluded to before, was that electric rigs probably aren't feasible presently, which is why I suggested some might be used for line hauling or over the road trucking. I cannot see batteries lasting all day long in traffic jams. When America went to truck hauling instead of using railroads, that was a huge mistake, not that I'm in love with railroads.

    If electric takes off, sure, it'll hurt Caterpillar unless they adapt and begin making electric themselves. Other diesel engine manufacturers like Detroit Diesel, Cummins, Ford and some other might feel the pinch too if they allow Tesla to take the sole lead in electric.

  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    40 in town start / stop. Deliveries would be taxing on maintaining a charge. Over weight loads also not uncommon. Progress with electric for over the road and natural gas for a large segment as well would a giant step ahead of fossil fuels.

    Having a president who cared about clean air and water would be essential.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Kenosha, WI
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    TJ Wrote:

    40 in town start / stop. Deliveries would be taxing on maintaining a charge. Over weight loads also not uncommon. Progress with electric for over the road and natural gas for a large segment as well would a giant step ahead of fossil fuels.

    Having a president who cared about clean air and water would be essential.

    We don't need a president to lead, the private sector will take the lead, thankfully, at least some of them care about the earth, because as we think, there's just one for now.

    I'd like to see Elon Musk put his semi on a dynamometer and simulate an 80,000 pound load just to see how many hours and what speeds and endurance are obtainable. He has made some pretty big claims to his invention.

    You right about those overloads, it probably happens more than we know. I believe some states allow 100,000 pound loads too.

    ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/sw/reports/me_...

    I don't believe the roads as they are can withstand 100,000 pound loads, let alone our bridges, because as we know, about 80% of our bridges are not 100% safe. Our crumbling infrastructure.

    washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/02...

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Dockadams -- Thanks for sharing your knowledge and insight of the trucking industry. Hopefully Elon Musk has someone like you on his advisory team. I expect that the technology will progress perhaps at a slower pace until some critical mass is reached and then it could take off in a bigger way. I suppose it really depends on the cost/benefit of fossil fuels versus electric in all driving conditions.

    As the technology develops and the highway infrastructure adapts to the increased volume, resources will become more quickly available. For example, if a truck runs out of battery charge on a highway somewhere, instead of a single function tow truck, there may be some multi-purpose built tow trucks that have recharge capability.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Kenosha, WI
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Dockadams -- Thanks for sharing your knowledge and insight of the trucking industry. Hopefully Elon Musk has someone like you on his advisory team. I expect that the technology will progress perhaps at a slower pace until some critical mass is reached and then it could take off in a bigger way. I suppose it really depends on the cost/benefit of fossil fuels versus electric in all driving conditions.

    As the technology develops and the highway infrastructure adapts to the increased volume, resources will become more quickly available. For example, if a truck runs out of battery charge on a highway somewhere, instead of a single function tow truck, there may be some multi-purpose built tow trucks that have recharge capability.

    Well, after military service, I used that experience as a highway worker-maintainer, and later on in the mid 80's, I got into trucking. I cut my teeth on trucks like the cabover Mack, which attained about 5-6 m.p.g. #2 diesel fuel, and those types of trucks belched heavy black smoke, and they stunk of diesel fuel and exhaust. You almost couldn't stand near one, let alone drive one, which were very uncomfortable and tough to operate.

    I happened to notice that Musk's tractor design is of the cabover type, in the old days, those attained inherently poor mileage because of the flat front, in Musk's design, the front is more streamlined.

    I think more rigorous testing of a rig like that would be essential to find out what kind of quirks it might have, and time to work out the bugs to make it road ready.

    Cost of course is a big factor, Musk claims the semi tractor/s he wishes to mass produce will cost between $150,000 and $200,000, most tractors cost that much already, depending on the drive train chosen for a trucking company application. Most tractors that are used locally have 7 speed transmissions, but road tractors have about twice as many. The Mack cabover I drove over the road years ago had a 9 speed split, or 18 speed total, 2 reverse.

    In this youtube video, a driver is demonstrating shifting a 9 speed transmission

    youtube.com/watch?v=MruqL1CiZik

    truckdrivetrainsupply.com/rebuilt-mack-...

    I would be interested in Musk's design of the type of transmission adapted to long haulers. It's probably something an every day diesel or heavy duty mechanic has never seen before, which raises other questions about possible breakdowns, who might be qualified to service such a truck?

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Thanks Dockadams -- According to the website above, there is no transmission and no clutch and no big motor. Rather each wheel has its own electric motor that can act independently of each other. Maybe I am misunderstanding the article.

    On maintenance, I read an article on electric cars and the view is that they will put a lot of traditional service technicians out of jobs because there is no need for oil changes or transmission fluid changes. There will always be a need for tire changers though. So I suppose that extends to big trucks as well although it's hard to see that there will be reduced maintenance...it will just be of a different kind.