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Old 11-30-2022, 10:13 AM   #1
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Tesla Semi Reality Check

Another great video by Engineering Explained doing a math check on the Tesla Semi, full of a lot of good information with citations. Bottom line the math does work, including well to wheel CO2 emissions even including manufacturing the battery/truck and probably more interesting to commercial business the costs of buying and running the vehicle.



I don't believe this makes sense for long haul trucking mainly due to charging infrastructure and charge times, but for urban and short range delivery it does seems to make a lot of sense right now, same for city buses and other stop/go urban applications. As battery tech slowly and continuously improves along with charging infra long haul will make sense at some point in the future, however diesel is still the obvious choice and will be for a while.

How long who knows, depends on battery prices and energy density along with charging station build out. Its definitely easier to put EV charging stations in compared to gas stations it seems based on how quickly they are going in, much less permitting / environmental issue related to fuel storage and handling while getting 480v 3 phase up to say 2 megawatts is relatively straight forward, but doing very large 10+ megawatt truck stops is more challenging, will need at least 12kV medium service at say 1000 amps.

Relating to large RV's which are mostly a what I would consider a long haul vehicle it will be even longer before EV's make sense as it will need to get established and worked out with commercial heavy vehicles before it trickles down to RV's. I am sure someone with a bunch of money is going to get their hands on a Tesla semi and do a Super C conversion on it, and it will be fun to see what an RV with a megawatt hour battery can do as far as boon-docking and running the A/C's etc.

EE has a lot of great content including videos like these on whether the grid can handle EV's and hydrogen vehicles along with many others about ICE vehicles which is actually his original interest on the channel.



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Old 11-30-2022, 07:39 PM   #2
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Regarding “Can the grid handle it?” and “Can we charge semi’s for XYZ”, FWIW I’ve worked as an engineer and scientist for over 30 years, and have a simple answer; yes, if there’s money in it. We will easily find a solution to “name your problem” if there’s enough money in it. That one equation has played out in my entire career, and indeed for much of human history.

Hell, we pump sticky black crap out of the ground in the middle of a desert, go through a complicated refining process, then ship it around to every street corner on the globe. Anybody think we can’t do some piddlying upgrades to an existing grid infrastructure? Pfffffttttttt …. The economics of EV’s for passenger, short/long haul and public transportation are so incredibly good the answer is categorically yes.

And forget explanations of how it can be done, half the time they’re wrong because we just end up with a solution nobody thought of. For example, renewables and batteries, I never would have believed we could scale grid lithium that much, but it appears that’s the solution, because it’s economical. They make money by arbitrage, frequency stability and low maintenance.
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Old 11-30-2022, 07:48 PM   #3
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Interesting post and videos. Thank you.
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Old 12-01-2022, 08:05 PM   #4
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Just watched the presentation video to the pepsi people.

A few highlights.

They took a new semi right off the line, charged it up, hooked it up to a trailer and went 500 miles one one charge. Just under the legal limit of 82000 lbs. The route included donner pass.

The other benchmark test used is San Diego to the Bay Area via the grape vine. Trip was routed to be just over 500 miles.

Mega chargers to begin installation in 2023.

Mega chargers will be compatible with cyber trucks.

The entire 8 hour test video is available on YouTube. Break stop but no charge stops.

This is the presentation video. https://youtu.be/LtOqU2o81iI
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Old 12-01-2022, 08:48 PM   #5
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The route included dinner pass.

The other benchmark test used is San Diego to the Bay Area via the grape vine. Trip was routed to be just over 500 miles.
Donner Pass I suppose you mean, and the Grape Vine too is very impressive. 1MW charging I heard, and also that the Cybertruck will get the same thing (but unknown what charging rate that actually is for the vehicle.)
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Old 12-01-2022, 08:56 PM   #6
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Donner Pass I suppose you mean, and the Grape Vine too is very impressive. 1MW charging I heard, and also that the Cybertruck will get the same thing (but unknown what charging rate that actually is for the vehicle.)
Yah. Corrected my spelling.

Yah. Just because the Cybertruck is compatible with the 1 MW chargers doesn’t mean it will charge that fast. Our model Y is compatible with 350 kw EA stations but the car BMS limits it to about max 254 kw.

I’m sure it will be faster though as it is suspected that the Cybertruck uses 800 volt architecture. My guess is it will be A LOT faster than the lightning as Tesla like to keep their average charging times to around 15 to 20 minutes.

Jmho. Not an expert.
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Old 12-02-2022, 07:41 AM   #7
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Donner Pass I suppose you mean, and the Grape Vine too is very impressive. 1MW charging I heard, and also that the Cybertruck will get the same thing (but unknown what charging rate that actually is for the vehicle.)
Totally agree. I was very surprised they took grapevine for this demonstration drive. Impressive regen on the downhills basically cancelled out the uphills.

BTW... On charge time: Drivers are required to take a 30 minute break after 8 hours. During that time, on the new chargers, they should be able to get enough charge to go another 200 or so miles, which would get them to the allowed maximum hours on the road in a day. In other words: They can drive this the maximum allowed time without extra delays. While the charging infrastructure isn't in place yet, Tesla has a proven ability to do that. It's going to be interesting to watch.

Oh, in case no one noticed: The cab driving position has a single seat in the center. There's a jumpseat behind the driver for a passenger. This allows for a much more aerodynamic cab. They apparently plan other variations that are roomier, but probably would be less aerodynamic.
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Old 12-02-2022, 07:55 AM   #8
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Totally agree. I was very surprised they took grapevine for this demonstration drive. Impressive regen on the downhills basically cancelled out the uphills.

BTW... On charge time: Drivers are required to take a 30 minute break after 8 hours. During that time, on the new chargers, they should be able to get enough charge to go another 200 or so miles, which would get them to the allowed maximum hours on the road in a day. In other words: They can drive this the maximum allowed time without extra delays. While the charging infrastructure isn't in place yet, Tesla has a proven ability to do that. It's going to be interesting to watch.

Oh, in case no one noticed: The cab driving position has a single seat in the center. There's a jumpseat behind the driver for a passenger. This allows for a much more aerodynamic cab. They apparently plan other variations that are roomier, but probably would be less aerodynamic.
Yah. I have seen 70 percent and 80 percent recharge in 30 minutes. Apparently both are correct but the mega chargers installed at the Pepsi depot are 70 percent. Must be a technical difference there.

They did their tests at 82000 pounds of which the load was made up of concrete curbs, but I wonder what a load of Doritos weighs? 😊
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Old 12-02-2022, 08:07 AM   #9
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Telsa's large truck is all talk. It's a marking thing to keep stocks high. Telesa it's all about stock like when the company bought bitcoin.

It may be out there, but I don't think it is? Telsa pickup truck that was to be available in 2021 for 39K. But other manufactures have taken a lot less time and have ev pickup in the market. Telsea all smoke and mirrors for stock prices.
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Old 12-02-2022, 08:19 AM   #10
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Telsa's large truck is all talk. It's a marking thing to keep stocks high. Telesa it's all about stock like when the company bought bitcoin.

It may be out there, but I don't think it is? Telsa pickup truck that was to be available in 2021 for 39K. But other manufactures have taken a lot less time and have ev pickup in the market. Telsea all smoke and mirrors for stock prices.
Well, it seems it isn't *ALL* talk, the vids above are proof.

Tesla lost their hiney on Bitcoin and dumped most of it.
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Old 12-02-2022, 09:52 AM   #11
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Good video. I can’t recall if he included the cost and impact of mining all the precious materials required for the batteries. Other videos have said that that basically makes EV vehicles unsustainable long term.
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Old 12-02-2022, 09:58 AM   #12
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Good video. I can’t recall if he included the cost and impact of mining all the precious materials required for the batteries. Other videos have said that that basically makes EV vehicles unsustainable long term.
Hard to say. But the known reserves of all these minerals is being continually revised up every month as more deposits are found, many in North America. Time will tell.
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Old 12-02-2022, 10:04 AM   #13
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What’s the truck’s empty weight? I see the BEV gets to weigh 2,000 pounds more than an ICE to account for all the batteries.

I do like the center seating, should make it harder for the driver to launch trucker bombs.

One thing I find interesting: Several members here mention driving on the top half of their fuel tank. That’s using a commonly available and quick to fill fuel source. But when this truck uses 96% to cover 500 miles, that is glossed over. Following the top half “rule” that’s stopping every 250 miles. For the record, I don’t follow that rule but fill when needed AND the price is lowest. That could be in 500 miles or 1,000 miles.
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Old 12-02-2022, 10:10 AM   #14
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I can’t recall if he included the cost and impact of mining all the precious materials required for the batteries. Other videos have said that that basically makes EV vehicles unsustainable long term.
He covered that and even split the emissions of the creating the battery from the truck itself. Bottom line the bulk of the emissions are from energy to move the vehicle a million miles and diesel is much worse, a minor part is the production of the vehicle and battery. Same with the costs vehicle vs fuel/energy.:

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That little light blue bar is the total emissions for creating the truck and battery, while dark purple is electricity for a million miles, and the red diesel, diesel has 2X the lifetime emissions and that with the US's current energy mix, not even thinking about the grid moving more toward zero emissions through solar, wind hydro and nuclear.

It saves over $500k in fuel costs you could by a couple of full replacement trucks for that easily.

Cobalt and and Nickel supplies for batteries could be an issue long term, which is why there is a lot of movement to Lithium-Iron batteries, the same ones every one uses in RV's currently, including mine. Tesla already has LFP versions of their cars and they are advancing to steadily close the 15-20% capacity penalty. Lithium and Iron are everywhere and the batteries are more stable having a much longer life span than cobalt chemistry.
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