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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/


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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.

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  • (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.