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The Almighty Buck Transportation

Tesla's Electric Semi Trucks Are Priced To Compete At $150,000 (theverge.com) 189

Last week, Tesla unveiled its new four-motor electric Semi but left out one key detail -- the price. "Now that's changed: the regular versions of the 300-mile and the 500-mile trucks will cost $150,000 and $180,000 each," reports The Verge. "There is also a 'Founders Series' which will cost $200,000 per truck." Tesla does note that the prices are "expected" leaving the company some wiggle room on the final pricing. From the report: If those prices and specs stick then Tesla has a potentially disruptive offering with Semi. Most long-haul diesel trucks are priced around $120,000 and cost tens of thousands of dollars to operate each year. Tesla claims its all-electric Semi will provide more than $200,000 in fuel savings alone over the lifespan of the truck.
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Tesla's Electric Semi Trucks Are Priced To Compete At $150,000

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  • I am waiting to see who the first person is to buy one and turn it into a massively overpowered SUV/truck thing for drag racing.
    • I am waiting to see who the first person is to buy one and turn it into a massively overpowered SUV/truck thing for drag racing.

      If it is like any other Tesla is will be fast for one short spurt. Then it will go into limp mode.

      http://www.thedrive.com/news/5... [thedrive.com]

      • by pezpunk ( 205653 )

        ikf you're talking about drag racing, nope, totally wrong. it can do quarter mile runs all day without going into limp mode.

        it cannot go around the nurburgring. but nobody suggested that.

  • by FrankHaynes ( 467244 ) on Friday November 24, 2017 @08:45PM (#55618121)

    but what is the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership)? Maybe the batteries are ridiculously expensive to maintain?

    • Lets also not forget the setup needed to recharge these things which i doubt a standard EV charge point is gonna cut the mustard without take 20+ hours. Having to wait that long is def expensive issue when companies put miles on these trucks they do. IMO only viable option for electric semi would be hybrid setup like used in trains for many years.
      • I expect the first owners of the Tesla trucks will be fleet owners (Walmart for example). I will bet Tesla will have a mega-charger for the trucks. Then you mount the mega-charger on a boom arm so the truck is charged while the trailer is filled. If it takes an hour to charge the truck, it is no time lost against the loading time.
        • We have numerous truck stops and regular mandatory breaks for the drivers. Until these are self-driving, there's no real need for a quick charge. Once it's self-driving, then sure they'll want to charge fast while loading to shave more hours off the trip.

        • I suspect that Megacharger is going to be massive and expensive. And that the power cables are going to be impressive and kind of scary. They likely aren't going to want to move the charger around their facility or wrestle with the power cables.

          My guess is that they'll cycle their electric tractors through their charger(s) on a schedule. The charged tractors will pick up the loaded trailer(s) after charging.is completed.

          But there are lots of other possibilities. They'll presumably do whatever makes sens

          • vtcodger go look up "Hobart ground power unit". We ran 50-75KW ground generators up to aircraft all the time. This tech is more than 50 years old. The cord wasn't all that bad to deal with. 4 big cables in a bundle. Beside all they have to do is break it up into four separate power cords if all the elderly truck drivers don't want to lug that much copper around. All of a minute to hook all four up. The power was scary, but it was common place. After a while you didn't even think about it. We had t
        • by Charcharodon ( 611187 ) on Saturday November 25, 2017 @01:21PM (#55620717)
          That usually isn't the case in large fleets. My time in UPS the truck was rarely hooked up to a trailer until it was almost ready to leave (full or scheduled time to depart). They'll probably have a charging yard with these things lined up like shopping carts. I can see that as a thing say at a Walmart where an inbound truck might hang around for its trailer to be unloaded. Though there are probably a couple sitting empty that they just swap out and hit the road. Big equipment can't make you money if they are sitting around waiting.

          The one thing everyone seems to be forgetting though is while autopilot may not be legal for use on the highway it is certainly legal for use on private property. Having the trucks move themselves around the yard and self parking will become a thing pretty quick. Truck enters the yard. The driver bounces. Truck parks itself in the loading bay. Ground crew disconnects the trailer. Takes itself over to the charge/maintenance yard. A charged truck hooks up to an outbound trailer. Ground crew makes the connection and hits the go button. Then it goes to the front waiting area to pick up its driver. Driver hops in and off it goes.

      • They already talked about that. The important recharge points won't be on the road, but at the loading/unloading docks. For fast recharge they are talking about 1 hour.

        For a quick charge on long hauls 30 minutes for roughly half the trucks range. Driver could be sleeping/stopping on break etc.

        Pretty sure if the numbers are there companies will figure out a way to make these vehicles work for them.

        Also you are forgetting the big market for early adoption is not the US, but Europe. Most of the maj

        • Priced at $150,000, which is almost free for a truck like this, they can sell them wherever they want.

          Tesla is manufacturing constrained and they can presell their whole production for years. So it doesn't matter where the "early adopters" are. They're not pricing it to tease it out to early adopters, they're pricing it to immediately disrupt the industry, and leave everybody that doesn't pre-order wishing they did.

          Maintenance on trucks is really, really expensive. Electric vehicles cut the maintenance down

      • LOL.
        The major truck is thought to be around 1MWH worth of electricity. These will NOT be plugged into simple 120 or even 240s.
        It will use a single super charger for that 6-8 hr charge.
        And it will take their new mega charger to get that 40 minute recharge.

        Now, if you look a who is ponying up for these trucks, it is obvious that they are counting on going distribution point to distribution point. In general, it will be some 300-400 miles. But it is 1000 miles from Denver to Chicago. If needed, they ca
    • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Friday November 24, 2017 @09:42PM (#55618347) Homepage

      Typical degradation for Tesla batteries is about 4% in the first year, then 1/2 to 1% in each subsequent year. See the raw data and charts here [electrek.co]. And that's for Model S, which uses NCA packs. Semi using NMC cells, which are even more durable.

    • They already announced that the TCO is roughly 20% lower than that of a diesel truck when electricity is priced at $0.07 (which is the price they intend to charge at mega charger stations).

    • Considering that a number of major companies have ordered these, I would say that TCO of these are being taken seriously.
  • by RhettLivingston ( 544140 ) on Friday November 24, 2017 @08:53PM (#55618145) Journal

    wow. Between fuel and maintenance savings, the 500-mile range version will probably pay back double its cost! If that holds true, it will become a "must purchase to stay in business" type of item.

    I have long thought it insane that the EV business did not start with RVs first, then big trucks and buses, then commercial vans, then SUVs, and finally cars. The torque and maintenance benefits of electric over diesel should allow it to dominate the big vehicle applications. Anyone who has passed an RV struggling through the Rockies or pulled over to the side with steam hissing out of the engine compartment should know that the big vehicles beg for this tech.

    • by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <mashiki@@@gmail...com> on Friday November 24, 2017 @09:29PM (#55618287) Homepage

      This is from a NA perspective, but first problem, the average driving day is 10h-12hrs. That makes the vehicles already less then the average driving range. Some places allow up to 14hr days, you can even get waives for up to 16hrs/day which require 18hrs off after that single trip.. On top of that long hauling is usually a trip in one direction, so they need place to charge up. They don't exist at all right now. Even companies with massive fleets don't have places in their depots for this. Which is why "truck stops" are so common for fueling. Look at Schnider trucking for example or TST-Overland. The average range between two depots is usually 800 miles or more.

      What you should expect is to see a 2-phase system coming into existence, where the battery system is used during initial startup and getting to highway speed, and then used in creep/low gear areas.

      • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

        This is from a NA perspective, but first problem, the average driving day is 10h-12hrs. That makes the vehicles already less then the average driving range.

        Which is easily taken care of if the driver takes their legally required breaks at a charging station. But even if they didn't....what's with the "one-size-must-fit-all" meme when it comes to EV's? Do you call a Prius worthless because it can't haul fifteen passengers while at the same time towing an 8,000 lbs trailer? Do you call an E-350 worthless b

        • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

          Which is easily taken care of if the driver takes their legally required breaks at a charging station.

          You mean at the end of their shift? You can drive on the road non-stop for 10-12 hours in most places in north america, that's 100% legal. You're not even required to take 30 minutes off half-way through your shift if you want, you can just keep driving. You have no idea exactly what happens in that industry do you.

          • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

            You mean it's legal to shoot at random truckers? Or is reckless endangerment something only truckers get a pass on?

            • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

              You mean it's legal to shoot at random truckers? Or is reckless endangerment something only truckers get a pass on?

              You should go drive for a year, or become friends with a trucker. Because the industry is currently a shitshow, it got worse in the US under Obama. Regs were pushed down hard, because US trucking companies need more drivers, more trucks on the road and so on. It's going to get far worse before it gets better as well, and most of the really big problems come from fly-by-night schools and shady companies that use them to hire directly and are basically imported people from poor countries where driving regu

          • You can drive on the road non-stop for 10-12 hours in most places in north america, that's 100% legal. You're not even required to take 30 minutes off half-way through your shift if you want, you can just keep driving.

            This seems contradicted by the FMCSA regulations here [dot.gov]. I quote: May drive only if 8 hours or less have passed since end of driver's last off-duty or sleeper berth period of at least 30 minutes. Are you saying those regulations don't apply?

            • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

              Are you saying those regulations don't apply?

              No. Because they're effectively guidelines because every state(and every province) has their own effective trucking guidelines. Don't forget this part: Does not apply to drivers using either of the short-haul exceptions in 395.1(e). [49 CFR 397.5 mandatory âoein attendanceâ time may be included in break if no other duties performed.

              You can get around mandatory breaks by filing "long haul" and making into multiple "short hauls" as well. It's shady as fuck, and it happens a lot, there was a big

          • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

            You mean at the end of their shift? You can drive on the road non-stop for 10-12 hours in most places in north america, that's 100% legal. You're not even required to take 30 minutes off half-way through your shift if you want, you can just keep driving. You have no idea exactly what happens in that industry do you.

            California - which accounts for many of Tesla's preorders - isn't "most places" and requires breaks for truck drivers. Now, since you were so busy being an ignorant, arrogant know-it-all that yo

            • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

              California - which accounts for many of Tesla's preorders - isn't "most places" and requires breaks for truck drivers. Now, since you were so busy being an ignorant, arrogant know-it-all that you skipped over the point on range-wankery (most likely on purpose) I'll copy and paste:

              Except the part where Telsa isn't pushing just for California. So I'll bring you up to speed that EV's have serious problems hauling "different types" of cargo as well. For example, they're much better at liquid freight with regenerative braking but terrible for standard run of the mill durable goods.

              If you're going to be a complete idiot, you can do so on your own time. Or you can think really, really, really hard why you see all those jugs of piss on the side of the road, or why when some company hires

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Maybe you should consider safer limits on working hours. In Europe the maximum is half that and includes mandatory breaks every few hours. That limit is based on the best available scientific evidence.

        • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

          Maybe you should consider safer limits on working hours. In Europe the maximum is half that and includes mandatory breaks every few hours. That limit is based on the best available scientific evidence.

          Maybe you can tell those so-called leftwing/progressive governments to do just that. It was left-leaning governments that allowed longer driving hours, but that doesn't seem to have had any effect on collisions. The number of truck/truck and truck/car collisions has been dropping the last 30 years, and it's literally safer now to be on the highway with 4x the amount of traffic. Comparatively speaking, accident rates are even lower then European countries.

          So it seems there's something else going on with th

      • by Ichijo ( 607641 )

        We already have electric vehicles that can travel thousands of miles without charging. Let's use those pantograph-equipped vehicles for long hauls and these battery-electric semis for short hauls. The right tool for the right job!

    • Waiting for charging will be a bummer.

    • I have long thought it insane that the EV business did not start with RVs first, then big trucks and buses, then commercial vans, then SUVs, and finally cars. The torque and maintenance benefits of electric over diesel should allow it to dominate the big vehicle applications.

      I always though buses would be a natural for EVs. Fixed routes and schedules that cold be tailored to an EV's charging cycle. City buses could have chargers at the depot and recharged between operations, WalMart makes sense since it's trucks would go from distribution stations to stores which allows for fixed schedules and charging stations at distribution centers or stores as needed.

    • 500 mile range is way to short, that means the truck is spending way to much valuable time plugged into a charger, even with the fuel saving I doubt it could come close to recovering the losses from not being on the road.
  • by ai4px ( 1244212 ) on Friday November 24, 2017 @09:05PM (#55618169)

    Semi trucks commonly cost more than $150,000. A boon for fleet owners will have batteries on site to swap, so the long charge time is a non issue. Not particularly good for long haul and owner operators.

    • by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <mashiki@@@gmail...com> on Friday November 24, 2017 @09:34PM (#55618315) Homepage

      O/O's want to be on the road as much as possible, on routes that are profitable so you're spot on with that. The fleet owners want the most distance possible, and most already operate so you're going 800mi or more before a fillup. Semi's can be picked up 1-2yrs old for $30k-40k that were previously fleet owned. A lot of fleets are switching to automatics which give better fuel mileage then standard for one thing, which is further driving down the costs of stick shift trucks in the 2nd hand market right now. As for charging/battery swaps? The range doesn't exist to get them from depot to depot, and those companies aren't going to build a second depot for it. And truck stops are already limited space, with next to no storage available for things like batteries.

      • And truck stops are already limited space, with next to no storage available for things like batteries.

        The batteries can go underground. Although that costs more, it doesn't cost so much more than it can't be done. Put them underneath stuff that big trucks won't be driving over, like the building.

        Also, they will build new truck stops for these vehicles. You wouldn't retrofit in with the other ones. There's plenty of cheap land along interstates where they can be built, and since there's no fuel spillage risk they can be built in places where petrochemical fuel stations can't because of potential environmenta

        • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

          The batteries can go underground. Although that costs more, it doesn't cost so much more than it can't be done. Put them underneath stuff that big trucks won't be driving over, like the building.

          In most places you can't put fuel tanks underground anymore because of environmental regulations. The same goes for battery storage. They have to be above ground by law in most places. The type of batteries that tesla uses requires a specialized vault, so you're not going to be putting those under the building either. If you need an example, go find a NPDC and you'll quickly find out why they put those batteries for lift trucks in special places incase they explode while charging.

          Also, they will build new truck stops for these vehicles. You wouldn't retrofit in with the other ones. There's plenty of cheap land along interstates where they can be built, and since there's no fuel spillage risk they can be built in places where petrochemical fuel stations can't because of potential environmental impact.

          Since in most places th

  • Tesla will be selling a tractor. A "semi" is the trailer part (as in semi-trailer).
  • There aren't enough charge stations for these tractors, and there never will be. They are grossly overpriced, because you can buy a used diesel tractor that has only about five times as many parts to break down for about a third the cost. It's all government subsidized and oil companies have never received any kind of subsidies, and the US isn't all tangled up in the Middle East and getting American soldiers killed because oil. That's just a lie. And Elon Musk is a loser and electric cars are for losers

  • Look! A squirrel!

    - Tesla production lagging, massive problems... Look! I build a battery plant in Australia!

    - Tesla can't even produce enough cars to fill the pre-orders... Look! We're going to revolutionize trucking!

    - Tesla hasn't got enough materials to build car batteries - maybe because it all went to Australia... Look! Another squirrel!

    How long are people going to be fooled?

    There are so many reasons that Tesla electric semis are not going to go anywhere; it's not even worth listing them. Tesla will bui

    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      1) Tesla has no materials shortages. But hey, go ahead and make up whatever you want.
      2) Model 3 is about 3 months behind schedule. Oooh, stop the presses. Meanwhile, the production rate has really shot up in the past couple weeks.

  • by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Saturday November 25, 2017 @09:10AM (#55619907)

    Electrified rail is still the most efficient way to move freight. US should be moving in that direction. Steel-on-steel = less friction. Power from overhead wires = no environmentally costly batteries. No charging/discharge losses either.

    Far better than electric long-distance trucks would be getting the freight OFF the roads and onto rail. Ideally highly-automated. Use smaller electric engines to pull shorter trains that can be directly routes from points A to B using highly automated switching control software. Then load it onto electric trucks for the last 25-50 miles or so.

    • Unfortunately a lot of rail has been pulled up in North America. I've thought that the best thing to do is to have rail transport goods between large and medium-sized cities and then use trucks to make the local deliveries and to the smaller cities, towns, and rural areas. It would make the roads safer, lengthen the lives of highways due to the decrease in truck traffic, and reduce pollution (especially around large cities).

      This would mean a better fit for electric trucks because they would be shorter runs

    • America is LOADED with rail that carries cargo. The issue is that the owners do NOT want to switch to electric, which is too bad. It would make for expensive maintenance costs. Note that in a place like EUrope, Japan, etc. that has EXTREME population density, these make great sense.

      Now, if the hyperloop really comes about, esp. if they are elevated over cargo rails, you can bet that they will switch to electrified cargo rail. But otherwise, if hyperloop is buried or not allowed to run over the rails, th

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