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posted by janrinok on Wednesday February 08 2017, @02:16AM   Printer-friendly
from the keep-on-truckin' dept.

Submitted via IRC for AndyTheAbsurd

When Elon Musk released his' Master Plan Part 2' for Tesla last year, he surprised a lot of people in the industry when he announced that the automaker will soon venture in the semi-truck business.

[...] Musk announced several new vehicle programs when he released his' Master Plan Part 2': a minibus, a pickup truck, and a semi truck. Those were added to the already known Model 3 and Model Y programs.

Since Tesla already has over 400,000 reservations for the Model 3, Musk is emphasizing that the automaker is focusing its resources on the vehicle before going into those new programs.

When questioned about Tesla losing its focus after the announcement that they are already working on the new vehicles last year, Musk said that "early development work" is not taking a lot of resources away from Model 3. Tooling and getting to production is where things get expensive.

Based on Musk's comment, we would expect Tesla Semi to still be in "early development work" as the company is still working on bringing the Model 3 to production in the coming months.

Source: https://electrek.co/2017/02/05/tesla-semi-electric-truck-elon-musk/


Original Submission

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Tesla Sued Over Alleged Racism; Deliveries Pushed Back; Semi Truck to be Unveiled 28 comments

Tesla has been sued by an employee for alleged racist harassment and termination for complaining:

Tesla Inc.'s production floor is a "hotbed for racist behavior," an African-American employee claimed in a lawsuit in which he alleged black workers at the electric carmaker suffer severe and pervasive harassment. The employee says he's one of more than 100 African-American Tesla workers affected and is seeking permission from a judge to sue on behalf of the group. He's seeking unspecified general and punitive monetary damages as well as an order for Tesla to implement policies to prevent and correct harassment.

[...] The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Marcus Vaughn, who worked in the Fremont factory from April 23 to Oct. 31. Vaughn alleged that employees and supervisors regularly used the "N word" around him and other black colleagues. Vaughn said he complained in writing to human resources and Musk and was terminated in late October for "not having a positive attitude."

Although customers who have reserved a Tesla Model 3 (at a cost of $1000) have seen their delivery dates pushed back, they apparently remain loyal to the company:

Even as the company led by Elon Musk struggles with manufacturing bottlenecks and pushes back production targets by at least a quarter, many reservation holders aren't budging. Bloomberg News contacted 20 consumers who paid deposits for the Model 3 and none had canceled their orders. Regardless of the concerns raised by slower output and an uncertain future for U.S. electric-car tax credits, Nomura analyst Romit Shah predicts the affinity for Tesla Inc. products will prevail. "We believe there is a real passion for the brand," Shah wrote in a report to clients that reiterated a $500 price target for Tesla shares, the highest on Wall Street. "It is bigger than loyalty because much of the enthusiasm comes from people who have never owned a Tesla. The only comparable we see is the iPhone."

Finally, Elon Musk says that the Tesla Semi Truck will be unveiled during a live webcast at 8 PM on Thursday, and that it will "blow your mind clear out of your skull and into an alternate dimension".

Previously: Elon Musk Says Tesla Pickup and Semi-Trucks Are Coming
Time to Bash Tesla Model 3
Tesla Discussing Autonomous Semi Truck Testing in Nevada
Tesla Fires Hundreds of Employees
Tesla Burns More Cash, Fails to Meet Production Targets


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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Appalbarry on Wednesday February 08 2017, @03:07AM

    by Appalbarry (66) on Wednesday February 08 2017, @03:07AM (#464414) Journal

    I spend much of my day in a Ford Ranger, and average about 100 to 150 km each day. The truck is then parked overnight.

    If this isn't the perfect model for electric, I don't know what is. There are literally millions of similar vehicles out there that don't go long distances, travel predictable routes every weekday, and don't have any excessive requirements in terms of heavy payloads or excessive torque.

    If Tesla can get the price within the spitting distance of a gas powered truck I'd be there in a flash.

    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday February 08 2017, @03:23AM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 08 2017, @03:23AM (#464418) Homepage Journal

      Yeah, I was thinking electric pickups make sense for a lot of people. Many people in my area have a pickup that never even leaves the property. Ranchers and farmers often keep a work truck, the MIGHT be driven to town on a rare occassion. Generally, they are diesel powered, heavy duty work trucks. Replacing diesels with electric has a much greater payoff than replacing gas powered vehicles, in regards to pollution.

      I'm not so sure about electric tractor trailers, but local delivery trucks make sense as well. Given a range over 100 miles, many delivery trucks in large cities could work forever. Not to mention, there is lots of room on top of a delivery truck for solar panels, which would extend their range by whatever the sun gives them.

      Wait - over the road electric semi tractors? Maybe I'm not thinking that through. With today's hours of service, truck drivers simply aren't driving 1200 and more miles per day. Truck stops have a history of installing things like wired internet and whatever else truck drivers demand. If enough fleets start moving to electric, the truckstops will install the charging equipment for them. They'll charge a dear price, but that price will be passed on to the customer, as always. Ultimately, you'll pay that cost when you visit Wal-Mart.

      Yeah, the trucking industry is in a better position to build up infrastructure than the general population is. I can see it happening, if government were to push for it. Maybe even without a government push. Electric trucks may be a bigger initial investment, but they may run as cheaply, or even cheaper than diesels. It would all depend on fuel tax, highway tax, etc.

      --
      Through a Glass, Darkly -George Patton
      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 08 2017, @03:40AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 08 2017, @03:40AM (#464421)

        truck drivers simply aren't driving 1200 and more miles per day.

        Depends on the driving model the drivers are using. Team drivers could probably easily do that. Typical long haul is 500-700 depending on the truck and laws. Before the rule changes it was not uncommon to see 1400+ hours on trucks per day.

        Charging station locations are probably not a big issue. The problem will be getting the things charged in 4-8 hours to do another leg. Those lots fill up every night. Some of the big ones have 200+ trucks in one yard. The smaller ones have a couple to a few dozen. Another issue will be getting the amount of electricity this would take out to these place. Many are basically 'in the middle of nowhere' and have little to no infrastructure other than a few tanker trucks that swing by to fill up the tanks. This is not a 220v plug and call it a day. They will need some heavy duty plugs and switching stations to handle peak usage which funny enough would end up in the middle of the night.

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday February 08 2017, @03:52AM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 08 2017, @03:52AM (#464426) Homepage Journal

          "Before the rule changes"

          Exactly. I've mentioned a couple times that I drove truck, myself. I didn't exactly observe the hours of service rules, and often exceeded "legal" limits. But, today, the trucks are all computerized, and they tattle on you. If you're legal, you often get waved by the weigh stations. If you're over hours or speeding or whatever, you get the red light, go through the station, get ticketed and shut down. Onboard tattletales have put an end to most of the outlawry that I took for granted.

          I think it safe to say that the majority of truck drivers today seldom drive more than 500 miles in a day - many of them drive considerably less. Local drivers may well drive more miles than over-the-road drivers today, because they aren't monitored so closely.

          --
          Through a Glass, Darkly -George Patton
        • (Score: 2) by Aiwendil on Wednesday February 08 2017, @09:34PM

          by Aiwendil (531) on Wednesday February 08 2017, @09:34PM (#464776) Journal

          Many are basically 'in the middle of nowhere' and have little to no infrastructure other than a few tanker trucks that swing by to fill up the tanks. This is not a 220v plug and call it a day. They will need some heavy duty plugs and switching stations to handle peak usage which funny enough would end up in the middle of the night.

          Sounds like a perfect case for SMRs (small modular reactors, 2MWe-200MWe) combined with either RO (make freshwater), hydrogen-splitter, synfuel-producer or just plain charging swappable packs to eat the off-peak loads. Or maybe also low-cost-land place for datacentres.

          Would however feel weird to see tank trucks going to the reststop to _pick_up_ fuel and fresh water and leave waste :)

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by richtopia on Wednesday February 08 2017, @04:55AM

      by richtopia (3160) on Wednesday February 08 2017, @04:55AM (#464443) Homepage Journal

      It already existed:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Ranger_EV [wikipedia.org]

      I seem to remember it being relatively popular, particularly with commercial operators who use the truck for local transport.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 08 2017, @03:48AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 08 2017, @03:48AM (#464424)

    I need a truck to carry an honest ton of hauled mass, not marketing numbers, over rough terrain (mud, slopes well over 20 degrees, holes big enough for a sleeping mastiff, ice, rocks) as well as take them to and from town with a 300 mile round trip, while giving me heat and/or air conditioning, and on-the-job electricity in the form of a three prong plug. I need space inside for things I want to keep out of the rain (so, at least an extended cab) as well as a rugged interior. 4WD, ABS and selectable traction control.

    If you can't offer that, don't call me, I'll call you. Maybe. Eventually.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 08 2017, @04:19AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 08 2017, @04:19AM (#464438)

      > ... to and from town with a 300 mile round trip, ...

      OK, where do you live, where all these requirements are combined?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 08 2017, @04:27AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 08 2017, @04:27AM (#464439)

        Duh!... obviously, next door to Big Foot!

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Scruffy Beard 2 on Wednesday February 08 2017, @05:48AM

        by Scruffy Beard 2 (6030) on Wednesday February 08 2017, @05:48AM (#464453)

        Sounds like a farm truck that never leaves the property (except on rare occasions like the poster above mentioned).

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 09 2017, @08:40AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 09 2017, @08:40AM (#464919)

          Correct. Farm truck also used for hauling products to distributors and bulk supplies back.

          But honestly, it could fit a lot of contractors' needs as well.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 08 2017, @03:10PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 08 2017, @03:10PM (#464549)

      > ... electricity in the form of a three prong plug.

      Don't think you are going to get this from any light truck or car. They ride on rubber tires with little or no conductivity (just enough to dissipate some static charge) so I don't see how you expect to get a proper ground (earth in UK) for the third prong. The old dangling chain must be pretty intermittent(grin). Maybe through special motorhome leveling jacks?

      Sorry to disappoint but you may have to settle for double-insulated, two prong tools.

      • (Score: 1) by Scruffy Beard 2 on Wednesday February 08 2017, @09:04PM

        by Scruffy Beard 2 (6030) on Wednesday February 08 2017, @09:04PM (#464765)

        A floating supply can serve the same safety function as a grounded supply.

        What is important is that if the case gets energized, no current will flow through your body if you accidentally touch it.

  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday February 08 2017, @06:52PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Wednesday February 08 2017, @06:52PM (#464673) Journal

    I saw electric delivery vans at the Bronx Zoo 5 years ago, but have not seen them since. Perhaps they haven't worked out the kinks yet. In theory it seems like a natural fit. Fuel costs have a significant effect on the bottom line of a shipping outfit. From the perspective of municipalities it makes sense, too. Air quality is no laughing matter. NYC alone has asthma rates that are many times higher than the national average.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.