Reading this article, or a comment on Quora.com the question was; ‘How Does The Tesla Semi Compare To Other Trucks?’

And a high miler trucker replied saying this:  comment and comparing; this is my 2015 Volvo 730. It has two 150 gallon fuel tanks and averages around 6.5 mpg fully loaded at highway speeds of 65 to 75 mph.

1200 words 5-Minute Read

I routinely go 1,000 to 1,400 miles between fill-ups, and it generally takes 15 minutes or less to top off the tanks. That means on a hard week of running, I might spend a total of 45 minutes putting sufficient fuel in the rig to go 4,000+ miles.

On Tesla’s Website, they claim their semi will go 500 miles on a full charge. Then it will need an absolute minimum of 30 minutes on the most powerful Supercharger around to recharge to 80% … At which point the trucker said, it’ll only be good for another 400 miles?

This Was A Truck Drivers Opinion And He Goes On By Saying;

But through all fairness the author’s comment is copyrighted so, I can’t go any further. But here is the LINK to ‘the rest of his interesting opinion..  One final thing in his article that caught my attention was, ‘who’s to say that in the future the truck stops and public charging stations won’t charge several hundred dollars per charge?’  And, in the end, the price could be more than the fuel itself. https://qr.ae/pvLXSl

I’m a conspiracy nut because all roomers have an element of truth. He very well could have a point. A cashless society is coming sooner than later and it will end up the same way he was worried about. Credit card companies or whatever system they will have in place after cash is gone will or could charge any interest rate they want. The kicker is, it’s your money. Sorry folks, I’m swaying a little from the original intent, but this trucker must have thought the same way given that comment.

But back to the battery-powered Tesla Semi.

As a truck mechanic I think the mechanics sound feasible. Lose the transmission and all the gears, lose the drive shaft parts for the energy to flow through; there is no loss of horse-power through a direct drive system and that makes total sense.

Here Is A Website, ‘Everything We Know About The Tesla Semi’ If You Are So Inclined To Read More.  October 8, 2022

This website also claimed Tesla Semi was initially going to have four independent motors; however, that’s now three. Nevertheless, the author said, it doesn’t seem to have slowed the vehicle down. “We wanted a vehicle that feels incredible, that accelerates like nothing else,” said Musk while showing a video of the Tesla Semi reaching 60 miles per hour in five seconds without a load. It can also reach 60 miles per hour fully loaded with the maximum 80,000 pounds gross vehicle weight in 20 seconds. That to me is impressive.

Tesla Interior Creative Commons Image

But a common question amongst electric car buyers is; can electric car batteries handle ice, snow, and freezing temperatures without losing any properties? And that also should be a big concern for electric-powered truck owners. But nowhere did I find an easy answer. We all know unless you specifically ask the right question on the web you’ll never get an answer, ‘what about the cold in the north affecting the batteries and the electronics.’ I never found any information on the Tesla Semi, but on electric cars, there is some information.

But here is my take. For many years dealing with batteries of all shapes and sizes, that’s a legitimate question to ask. The average truck or car battery does lose energy/charge in the colder weather and, the colder it is, the more it loses. There’s even a formula to calculate the ambient temperature to the energy loss in a battery. That’s a well-known fact. But are these batteries in electric vehicles any different?

This Website On Batteries Gives A Little Insight;

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?3469817-New-test-reveals-electric-cars-are-practically-unusable-in-winter

A comparative test shows that electric cars massively lose range in winter. In frosty temperatures, the range of four out of five test candidates dropped to under 70 kilometers, and that of the Renault Zoe to under 60 kilometers. Due to its enormous batteries, only the Tesla Model S was able to reach a range of over 200 kilometers even in winter temperatures,

So, Battery Condition Or Strength Is A Real Concern In The Winter For Electric Vehicles, That Part They Must Have Left Out From Their Brochure.

Point Of Interest. A gas power vehicle will use the battery to start the vehicle whether it’s a Mach truck or car. Then once started the alternator starts charging and produces electric charge/energy back in its original battery voltage state. That causes heat, not a lot, but heat no less.. An electric vehicle does not have the option of charging the battery while driving or creating heat per-se’. There was a roomer of battery heaters in electric cars, why? Because cold is the enemy with the chemical makeup of batteries.  Let’s see if I read that right, the heater takes power from the battery to heat that same battery so it performs well in the cold. I think I got that one!

There Will Be Nothing Cheap About Repairing These Trucks If You Go By The Price Of The Batteries.

There you have it folks. I would think for highway applications it could be a few years in making that work, especially in our area of the cold country. But in town, short commutes, that could be a maybe and a good alternative.

This Article Is Seen Through The Eyes Of A Truck Mechanic.

But after saying all this up till now, I have not had the pleasure of working with any electric vehicles so research. I recommended at one point to design these all-electric big trucks for a quick batteries swap. Ten-minute battery swap and you’re now rocking and rolling down the road. One coffee break later! I have no idea whether changing battery packs would be feasible, even if you were driving from one terminal to the next terminal. But one person commented the batteries in these babies could run you 50 k ‘Just for the batteries?’

At that rate, you would have to think twice about having a couple of spares kicking around.

Creative Commons Photo
https://youtu.be/Ael2nTAraXs

One more concerning fact among truck drivers is weight. So here’s another area where EV semis are drastically inferior. If I know I’m heading to pick up a really heavy (legal) load, I can show up at the shipper with my tanks 3/4 empty. This lightens my rig by 1,300 to 1,400 pounds, increasing my payload capacity. Sure, I have to stop every 400 miles or so to splash a bit of fuel … makes me feel like an EV semi-driver! EV rigs won’t have that option – can’t take out half your batteries to lighten you up a bit.

Comment from Peter

I’m all in since most trucks are doing local distributions. Their run for a day would not exceed 400 miles. Tesla will probably use some themselves to haul batteries from Sparks Nevada to Fremont California. That is 250 miles in each direction. About 4 hour drive each way. The SEMI could theoretically do three a day with 3 different drivers.  All these are well within the range. So there are places these will work. PepsiCo is the first to get delivery in December to deliver potato chips and Sugared water.

For ICE road truckers or road trains (three trailers) in Australia, not a chance. Each model needs their own solution.

Comment

A significant percentage of the commenters seemed upset, carrying on about how the Tesla semi isn’t intended for OTR long-haul routes but will do great in the local delivery sector.

I KNOW! I AGREE! I just want to say that I answered the question as asked: How does the range compare?

280 useable gallons x 6.5 average mpg = 1820 miles. Tesla claims full battery = 500 miles. That is how the range compares!

If you don’t like my 100% factual answer, ask a different question.

Woman Truck Drivers wanted.

My Final Opinion

For ICE road truckers or road trains (three trailers) in Australia, ‘I think the one trucker was right,’ not a chance. Each model needs their own solution.

But I would be concerned with the charging rates. Once all these trucks are converted, what would the cost of charging batteries be tomorrow? What’s stopping these public charging stations to charge whatever they like? A taxi operator commented, it cost me 23 dollars to charge his little batteries at a public charging station.

The trucker’s concerns are right, everything has its place.

But to fully implement electric trucks on our highways could take a decade to see that happen. The concept is right from a mechanical point of view. For environmental air quality concerns, this is the ultimate solution. Except for the chemicals and acids to make the batteries should be a concern,

You Fix One Environmental Challenging Problem And Then, — We Create Another.


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