SageBrush wrote: GRA wrote:
lorenfb wrote:With Just a 'small' production goal of 100K/per year initially, maybe time to take deposits?
Great, just what the trucking industry needs!
More commercially useful will be the ability to maintain 65 mph on grades, e.g. I-80 east of Sacramento. But as the requirement for that is usually long haul and this tractor doesn't have the range for that (and is a day cab in any case), that's moot barring full autonomy. Local and regional delivery and distribution will be this tractor's metier, always depending on TCO.
Tesla showed the day cab but they intend to build a sleep cab also.
I have no doubt whatsoever that Tesla is targeting the trans-mountain range routes. I expect the first mega-chargers to be at the bases of mountain ranges on each side. Musk spent a fair amount of time emphasizing the Tesla Semi's ability to haul a full cargo up 5% grades at close to 50% faster speeds than diesel. That really only matters on routes that cross mountain ranges. Moreover, mountains let the Tesla Semi regen abilities shine. The cost per mile differential will close to double on these routes, and routine maintenance like brakes will drop to zero.
Is your mind blown ? Mine is. The thought of transitioning commercial transport away from fool's fuel has always struck me as the most difficult part of the clean energy transition and now it just might turn out to be the easiest. Crazy.
The Elon talk also opened my eyes to something else: the cost of truck/fuel related in commercial transport is pretty minor*; the elephant in the room is the driver costs. So while Elon shied away from focusing on multi-truck convoys with only one driver, that is the real promise trucking companies want to come true. Tesla will have quite an edge here from the monster torque and power the trucks can supply to stay in close formation.
By the way, some other crazy numbers for the geeks amongst us:
1000 kWh battery capacity
1.6 MW Mega-charging average throughput
*Somewhere around 2 cents per pound moved 1000 miles for diesel at rates of $2.5 a gallon. Calculated from $1.5 a mile to move 80,000 pounds
The range just isn't there for long haul, and is completely inadequate to justify a sleeper cab, especially when you have to add charging times. I'm also very skeptical of the 500 mile range claim - I figure probably 300 miles no worries over a long enough period to come out ahead on TCO, and I'd like to know just how much more that tractor weighs and will reduce the payload - I didn't see weight mentioned, but didn't watch the reveal, just read reports.
However, the range is fine for distribution, figuring the truck can make a round trip to a radius of 125-150 miles between charges. To take one case in point, Yellow Freight's breakbulk for all of southern California used to be in Barstow, as were and (probably still are) many other distribution terminals owing to cheap land. From Barstow, a tractor like the Tesla could handle distribution or delivery to anywhere in the Greater L.A. and Inland Empire areas crossing Tejon or Cajon passes, and could at least reach a delivery terminal in San Diego or Santa Barbara. There's no reason to try to force this tractor into a job it isn't suited to for now, when there's so much room for improvement in jobs it is suited for.
Personally, the whole semi/roadster reveal struck me as Elon trying to distract attention from the elephant in the room, the Model 3 delay. How about putting the attention on fixing the current problems, instead of yet more visionary stuff that's years away (and undoubtedly will be late, assuming the company survives)? I'm reminded of my own state's chief executive back in the '70s (and now back for a second round as a much more mature individual), Jerry Brown, whose visionary goals combined with a sometimes short attention span led to Mike Royko dubbing him 'Governor Moonbeam', and Gary Trudeau parodying him in Doonesbury. Of course, many of his visions. like Elon's, have come to pass because he popularized and pushed them, but less sizzle and more steak from Tesla would be welcome, at least by me. [Edit]
: Seems like John Voelcker at GCR feels much the same:
Tesla Semi, new Roadster distract from Model 3 production problems