I had a talk on a Tesla Twitter Space with a few hundred people including battery expert Jordan of the Limiting Factor. Jordan agreed my conclusion that the Tesla Semi is a stealth way to sell many megapacks. It could be even a three Semi trucks to one Megapack ratio. Jordan spoke with people who have a 40,000 foot factory with high electricity usage. The factory currently gets 200-300 kilowatts of power. Using all 0.3 megawatts would require over 13 hours to fill one 3.9 megawatt hour megapack. It would take nearly all of the power to fill two megapacks over the course of a day, then each pack could charge about six 500 mile semi trucks with 70% charge.
These shows that owners of Semi trucks need massive amounts of grid power, megapacks and a lot of solar power onsite. The Semi truck to megapack ratio is about 4 to 6 Semi trucks to one Megapack.
There is a nearly ten times greater financial incentive for companies using diesel Semi trucks to get the Tesla Semi truck versus normal people to get a Model 3 or Model Y. A heavy user of diesel Semi truck owner pays $80000 per year or so for diesel fuel and $2000-5000 for brake pads while electrical brings costs down to $17000 per year.
$60000+ saved per year versus $4000 per year electricity versus gas saving for Model Y. Even after scaling for the price difference of say $240000 less $40000 for tax incentive to get $200,000 vs $60000 for a Model Y. The scaled to same cost Semi is $18000+ savings versus $4000 for a Model Y.
This large cost-saving economic signal means Tesla truck domination is a matter of time and production scaling. Semi truck at scale guarantees and requires terawatts per year megapack. It jump starts the entire electrification of the global grid. NOTE: for those who read and listen to this and hear – “well you are just fanboying over Elon and Tesla”. I have just the financial and technological analysis that says the entire 300 TWH conversion of transportation and energy will happen and in perhaps as little as 20 years. This is bigger than one nuclear fusion reactor. Global Nuclear fission generates 2600 TWh per year, so nuclear power is a very good thing that replaces the need for 2 billion tons per year of coal power. Replacing all cars and trucks globally with electrification removes the demand for about 30 million barrels per day. 17 million barrels per day is all trucks.
A recording from the Value Analyst (aka Yaman Tasdivar of Tesla Triples in 2022) Twitter Space for Dec 13, 2022. Yaman, Alistair and battery expert Jordan Giesige the Limiting Factor and I discuss the secrets and impact of the Tesla Semi, megapack and more.
I make my case that the details of the Tesla Semi and megacharging that were revealed transform the economics of trucking. There are a couple of 10X advantages which means it is only a matter of time for Tesla to scale and take over trucking and energy.
Vastly superior economics and technology at the level that was shown means inevitable changes.
It is like changing from horse and carriages to cars but this time the new thing looks on the surface to be the same. This tricks you into missing the revolution.
The Tesla Semi technology solves torque and towing heavy loads. Instead of dropping to one-third of the range, the Tesla Semi and cybertruck will keep over half of the empty range. Diesel trucks drop from 20 mpg down to 9 mpg. So Tesla will lose less efficiency under load than diesel trucks.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.
45 thoughts on “Battery Expert Agrees With My Tesla Semi, Megapack Analysis”
If this is the way these people are wanting to go why not figure out how to get the drive axels to change the batteries while the truck is moving down the highway ??
You say you are a futurist, whos future? I suppose you claim you care about the environment also as you drive a car, the parts for that car did not materialize out of nowhere, the environment has to be destroyed to make every part and massive holes dug in the earth to get the material to make the batteries. Then we can get to the roads themselves, how many deer or other animals dead in the road. We destroy everything we touch and then make excuses for it to relieve our own guilt of the truth that we try and hide from ourselves, WE are the environmental danger
If you believe in evolution then humans are part of nature and so is everything humans do.
Such as a 707 hp supercharged V8 Dodge musclecar.
Nature can be beautiful like that.
How about the idea to turn any gas station to battery charging station with under $50K includes the hand held ,idiot proof ,
Load/unload hand operation forklift.
The next big problem will br recycling.
Separating the fuel(battery) from the car will enable cross cars swapping.
Using the idea of battery containers will enable selection of the right size battery to fit the driving profile for any time.
Also upgrading battery as it becomes available.
Where do you live?people like you are funny.the fact that live something somewhere had to be sacrificed, don’t you eat? Where does food come from?. You live in a house? Unless you live in a cave, but all materials used in building houses all come from the environment.the electricity you use and all the appliances, automobiles and phones all use materials obtained from the environment. Stop this act of accusing others of damaging the environment when you too are enjoying the same.
As an over the road owner operator driver I’m all for going electric if it can meet the same standards as diesel. Even now truck stops are limited on parking and fuel bays. With thr average stop only having 8 fuel lanes. It takes under 10 minutes to pump 200 gallons of fuel. With time being our biggest enemy the Fueling speed is important. If trucks go all electric trucks stop will have to have hundreds of chargers so drivers are not waiting hours in line to recharge. This will require huge plots of land for chargers, parking and facilities. Volvo has begun talking with pilot/flying j to discuss plans on charging stations. I hope all this will be p6one day but it’s probably decade’s away. I believe manufacturers are able to build ev trucks now and instead of pushing for mass production to focus on mass charging locations. They can build a million ev trucks and them they’ll sit there because they can’t go over the road without stations.
Only companies with local drivers that return every day will benefit from this until stations are placed across the country. With only 500 mile range they need a lot. With my truck if I drive responsible I can go about 1200 miles depending on load weight and outside temperature.
Wind and solar are great but we need more nuclear power plants to have a constant 24/7 reliable power supply.
13 hour fill time versus 10 minutes fill time this would make half of the day + unusable time!!! With the possibility of a diesel engine making a 1200 mile trip, versus an electric truck only getting 500 mile trip the electric truck will take away from actual usability by 26 hours to get same distance!!! “Truth” economic impact will be triple idle time for electric to equal the amount capacity to diesel delivers 6 loads to 1 tesla delivery loads in the same time frame!!!
As I have said in the past many times that until electric is a ten minute fill job and make a1000 mile trip, there is no way possible for the effort to be a viable candidate to reduce the amount of costs involved!!!
At this point no one knows how much the cost factors to repair yet!!! If it comes close to the average price that the cars that have been evaluated in most cases it is totally totally not worth while!!!!
ONE question WILL A ELECTRIC TRUCK MAKE IT TO A 5,000,000 MILE MARK????
At present charge time an electric truck will have to run for 60 years, to do what a diesel is capable of doing in 5 years now this is real economic impact!!!
You and Clint (and many other commenters) are missing a big point.
The initial market for the EV semis is not long haul trucking. The initial market is companies who need a fleet of trucks that make shorter daily trips and are parked during an off-shift, during which they can be recharged. Pepsi, Walmart, and some others seem to believe that the 300-mile or 500-mile range on one charge fits their use patterns. Those customers probably will be a larger enough market to support the initial few years of production. As improvements in one-charge range and in speed of recharging are made, the market probably will expand to eventually include truckers like you.
On points such as center driver position and similar things, I would be very surprised if the drivers of Pepsi, Walmart, and other initial customers were not consulted about such practical driving issues. However, if the drivers were left out, I’m pretty sure that any of those things that are big problems would be addressed by Tesla by changes to the cab design. Something Musk is well known for is rapid iteration of design to fix problems.
How is the government going to tax each truck for road and bridge upkeep. I hope it’s comparable to the tax on diesel. I think battery powered semi trucks are trying and expecting a free ride. I would like to see that price factored in to the equation.
That is a government policy issue. Government policy is biased and unfair.
I’m just going to concede that all of your projections, rosy or not, rather handily refuted by many comments above or not, are totally correct.
9.9% IRR is a truly God awful return for the amount of risk being assumed.
It is over and above the IRR from the diesel truck. IF the diesel truck has IRR of 10% then this is 19.9% IRR.
Good discussion. Tesla has lot to prove against entrenched players. But, like touchscreen phones defeated keyboard button phones, Tesla’s ground-up design vision will eventually take over. Their Semi driver’s central seat position solves left vs right side driving for every country. They can eventually compete w every truck maker in the world. With their eventual Corpus Christi factory location, they will scale up the battery production w reduced cost.
Central driving position doesn’t work for trucking. We drivers have to talk to guardshacks at most shippers and receivers. Those shacks have windows that require close communication/ handling of paperwork. Not to mention tolls/bridges. The central driving position works for some and sounds good in theory, but will fail in practice in most truckers/companies needs. Also will not work for sleeper cab style trucks for long haul.
No it won’t. You’ve obviously never driven a truck. To bring it back to something a normal car driver would understand, imagine going to a drive-thru positioned in the middle of your vehicle just out of reach of your food or the payment machine. Now imagine if the payment machine is set at a height of 9 feet from the ground, most sites intercom systems are set at truck height. I believe the Tesla semi doesn’t have fully opening windows but some form of ‘crack open’ window. A truck has what’s called a ‘blind side’ which is the side furthest away from the driver, the passenger side, this is the most dangerous area of a truck and why most sites either outright ban blind side reversing or have built their sites so blind sides never happen. Placing the driver in the middle has just created a double blind side. Not a very good idea. A driver will often have to stick his head out to the window while guiding the truck back, that’s going to be a bit difficult from the middle of the truck and if the windows don’t open fully. Cameras do not solve the problem. Mercedes Actros has had them for a good few years and I can assure you they are not designed for that purpose. All small issues easily overcome with yet more money thrown at the problem.
A lot of people seem to think truck drivers are petrol heads who only care about driving a big loud diesel truck. Trust me, most of us really don’t care. A truck is a tool. It’s only function is to feed our families. If an electric truck meant it put more money in our pockets we’d be queuing up to buy them. We’re not because they either can’t match diesel for payload or range or the charging infrastructure just doesn’t exist to refuel them. Volvo, Renault, Daf and Mercedes all have electric trucks. They’ve all released weights and payload which is why there’s been limited take up. They just don’t make sense for anything more than local day drivers.
Weight. any discussion of the Tesla semi is pointless until they release the maximum payload. Which they seem really reluctant to do for some reason.
I still find it intriguing, that the battery supply will scale up so fast . I have my own doubts if china and other countries will encourage local industries to leverage the resources than selling it to US companies
Plot twist: government looses massive amounts of gas taxes and suddenly EV semis get hit with huge tax bills. Poof, the economic argument just went up on smoke.
So the cost to buy 6 Tesla-Semis hag grown by additional $4M, $670K per truck. Total cost of ownership ~$900K per truck.
According to Tesla Megapack page the maintenance cost is $13K per year
No fuel and maintenance saving will ever return that much.
Wouldn’t the 13k be split across 3 or 4 megapacks? It would also give them battery backup.
Do you have an assessment if different battery systems are used? Lithium may become rate-limiting, as may Vanadium flow, but maybe Zinc-Air?
And what might be the cost of colocating small modular fission reactors?
Irrelevant to Tesla’s success. Other truck manufacturers offering EV semis already give operated same savings. Without megapacks. They have less range of but, they’re customers don’t need that long range. 80% of the market requires less than 280 miles range. Fleet customers aren’t buying range they don’t need — it just wastes money. They’re not buying megapacks and megachargers if they can charge the truck they actually need with a cheaper ccs charger that doesn’t need extra battery capacity.
There is a 300 mile range Tesla Semi.
So some people say waiting 4 hours to charge is a big disadvantage vs 20 minutes for diesel refueling. Some say that means fewer runs and worse economics for the trucking company.
Tesla Semi 530 mile . 1.7 kwh per mile. 900 kwh pack likely
Tesla Semi 300 mile. 1.7 kwh per mile. 510 kwh pack likely
Freightliner has its eCascadia 230 miles at best with its 438 kWh battery.
Freightliner ECascadia Price in USA is USD 139,000 (unclear which model, they also have shorter ranges).
Volvo’s VNR Electric can go 275 miles with its 565 kWh battery.
Nikola Tre BEV claims up to 330 miles from its 733 kWh battery.
The Tre battery-electric truck will cost around $300,000 based on revenue projections and planned production
And the rest of the competition doesn’t even come close.
Diesel Semis 6-7 mpg depending upon model.
Your summary is loosely right in terms of kWh capacities, miles-of-range and costs. Though it still hasn’t been included in either the referenced articles nor your excellent summary, I think there are 3 things that Tesla-the-technology-holder has that has really positioned them far ahead of The Competition: (1) electrical-to-motive power conversion efficiency, (2) battery-internal storage efficiency and (3) electrical-to-electrical charging “physics” efficiency.
Let me decode that a bit.
Tesla brand MOTORS are a kind of strategic secret sauce in and of themselves. They appear remarkably efficient from an electrical-input-to-mechanical-output perspective. Waxing eloquent about their torque is almost irrelevant, since torque and power convert at near 100% efficiency through gearing (“transmission ratios”) back and forth. But the bulk efficiency of Tesla’s magical motors is quite compelling: it is NOT easily duplicated by other makers largely because it is patent-protected and lawyer-defended proprietary intellectual property. So, there’s the motors.
Secondly, Tesla has utilized a bazillion engineering hours of development to sweeten its power-input-to-battery-charging technology a whole lot. In a nutshell, I have reason to believe that Tesla’s battery charging electrical tech is itself responsible for over 50% of Tesla’s by-the-numbers leadership pole position. They simply deliver more useable kilowatt-hours of electricity to the motors per kilowatt-hour of input energy than their competitors. It is quite an advantage.
Lastly, Tesla has dramatically overcome the SCALE of energy problem for its trucks (and frankly, its cars too). Some time ago (like years), I argued that 15 minute nearly-full-charge charging was going to be vexed by the voltage of the systems, the heat generated inside the charging cables due to ohmic resistance and amperage. Basically, one might be able to cobble together a heavy-enough cable AND 400 volts of juice to deliver 250 kW per cable. Without liquid cooling. And still be a cable light weight enough for ordinary consumers to wrangle with. But 1000 kW? 2000 kW? Copper doesn’t scale well enough at 400 volts. It obviously needs a higher (more dangerous) voltage.
So, 1000 volts appears to be part of the solution. And from the infographics, the cable-weight problem has been addressed by pumping coolants through the cable instead of adding ever more heavy (and stiff) braided copper. 2,000 kilowatts (2 megawatts) is a remarkable amount of energy, even if we diminish it colloquially by invoking “mega” instead of “kilo”. 2 sounds less than 2,000. To ordinary mortals. It still is a lot of power.
Where I diverge somewhat with Mr. Wang’s assessment (of the critical strategic leverage of having MegaPacks involved in the practical charging infrastructure issues), is that in an electrical engineering sense, they’re like big fat capacitors: their job is to serve as load-leveling components to absorb-and-release the peaky charging power demands of the aggregate of 2 megawatt provisioning from the utility-scale delivery of power. To not just smooth the power demand over time, but to reposition the optimal draw of power to when utilities down-price the electricity by nominal grid-demand dynamics. You know, using the 5 hours between midnight and 5 AM when power is really cheap to suck up as much juice as needed for the fleet of trucks that’ll be hooked up the following day at far less attractive power demand windows.
At some level it really is mostly an economic argument. Buy power when its cheap, and squirt it out when everyone else is paying far more for it. It’s quite a competitive advantage SO LONG AS the mega packs aren’t themselves amortized into too high of a per-kilowatt-hour cost rate. It hardly helps if the cost-to-mega pack-store is 20 cents a kilowatt hour, amortized over the life of the mega pack system. If its just a few cents, well … then it makes sense.
Anyway. I’ve gone on long enough. Tesla clearly is in the leadership track, and very likely will retain that leadership position because ‘fixing’ the competitors’ shortcomings is really quite vexed by RESEARCH itself.
So sez The Goat
“1000 volts appears to be part of the solution”
Material science engineers could add another improvement from types of macroscopic ‘graphene’ composites for lower than copper resistances (Ohm) or increased conductivity (Siemens)?
(Graphene is carbon based, what should be filtered from air’s CO2 content anyway to some extent, for slowing down and stopping global warming.)
Superconductivity on surroundings temperatures is not (yet) available, but maybe coating copper wires with liquid graphene could improve things meanwhile?
There seems to be a new cottage industry of attacking Elon Musk based on politics. This after he single handedly changed the trajectory of EVs and forced everyone else to pursue a new course. Instead of building the world’s biggest yacht he seems genuinely concerned with confronting our biggest issues. Much like climate change I don’t think anyone knows what is going to play out with EVs and clean heavy transportation, least of all myself, but Mr. Musk seems to have the inside track. Best of luck and Best wishes Mr. Musk!
Freightliner is selling semi EV’s Tesla isn’t.
300 miles wouldn’t get you across Texas.
Interesting. Makes you think that there’s room in the market for selling more Power Packs than Mega Packs though. If Tesla semi is 950kwh there’s little point for a small distributor in having x6 the energy storage for a single truck. Large distributors mega pack obviously makes sense but I would imagine there’s substantial market for a smaller offering than mega pack as distributors trial an electric offering without risking too much investment.
Okay the business model looks good. Where is all this power going to come from to fill/charge these Megapacks. We as a world are woefully behind the curve on power production. There is also a huge problem wit the power distribution system in the US. CA has already made the request to not charge your Tesla when it get hot. what do we tell the trucking companies???
abundant solar and wind power in the US.
wind and solar twh by state first quarter of 2022, 4X to get annualized
New York (9.38)
And what type of dispatchable power plants do we build to back up the unreliables? Who pays for those plants to be built and sitting there waiting for solar and wind to fail. Whats the point of putting in a home solar farm to power your house if you still have to buy a diesel or natutal gas generator to run 20 percent of the year anyways. This isnt to say we shouldnt be expanding their capacity, but solar and wind and not the savior that people seem to think. There is a whole extra host of problems when we start talking about the materials needed. Nothing that cant be solved, but at what cost? Does it take a ton of money making it no longer viable economically, or does it just cost us our souls as we push the material mining off to places where safety is a t shirt with the word safe printed on it, and the average age of the miner who works there is 10.
What is the price of the megacharger?
If the ratio is 4 to 6 semitrucks per megapack, then this effects the business case significantly.
How much is a megapack, and how much extra capex does that bring to the table when buying 6 semitrucks?
The $60000 saved, does that still work when including the megapack?
One megapack $2.6 million. Five megapacks $2.1 million each.
5 Semi trucks. Assume price increased to $250k each with $40k tax credit.
$2.1 million for 5 trucks after credit.
One megapack assuming part of multiple pack and larger truck order. $2.1 million.
Megapack gets 50% tax incentive with inflation reduction act. $400k reduction in taxes depending on state tax rates and company taxes making
the claim. $3.8M cost after tax benefits and incentives.
$17k per year in electricity for 100k per year. Assuming 10 cents per kwh wholesale electricity pricing.
Megapack insures wholesale pricing. Use case one install at plant 200 miles out and back.
If no Megapack electricity pricing could spike to 50 cents per kwh or more.
Plus needed for 30-60 minute charging otherwise 3 hours or more.
5 trucks diesel 16000 gallon each. 80,000 gallons. $5 per gallon. $400k per year.
Diesel prices ranging from $4.5 to $5.50 around the US, was higher in prior months.
Plus $3000 per truck for brake pads. Replaced every 30k miles. 5 pairs each. $15000 per year.
$415,000 fuel and brake pads.
5 Tesla Semi and megapack.
$17000 per truck electricity. $85000 per year. $330,000 energy and brake savings per year.
Megapack can also load balance and time shift facility and get autobidder revenue.
If worked with solar installation then can front load capex and operating costs become free in years 6-25.
In December 2019, Tesla delivered a 1.25 MW / 2.5 MWh Megapack to the Millidgeville Substation in Saint John, Canada. Saint John Energy, the owner of the Megapack, stated that it will be used for peak shaving. The battery is estimated to save Saint John Energy CA$200,000 per year. Saint John Energy planned to integrate the battery to work with its grid management software. It became operational on April 3, 2020, and is being used for peak-shaving.
Combined with some level of solar say $400k, then Megapack and solar can earn/save $150k per year or more.
$480,000 in annual revenue/savings.
9.8% IRR for trucks and megapack and 13.7% for just trucks But this is on top of the utility and justification for the trucks in the first place. ie. Pepsi has trucks to deliver bottles of product to customers. This is the incremental gains over the diesel scenario.
Beyond the hard core balance sheet savings there is also of course PR image value, likely some advertising value for awhile while Tesla Semi is still very unusual and distinctive on the road + the prospect that it will have FSD functions enabled in the next few years.
But this assumes that charging stations and fleet owning are the same business. With diesel trucks they aren’t. Service stations are a different business from owning a fleet of trucks that stop there.
There’s also the cost of buying land and constructing a charging center full of asphalt and multiple protected (from lightning, storms, etc.) megapacks. We have had multiple electrical substation fires and storm damage here in NYC, so I know this is non-trivial. In short, these are substation level stations. Also, even with megapacks, the charge times are too long to expect drivers to just wait, so that means having restrooms, a restaurant and gift shop etc. Much more than that, actually: https://truckstop.com/blog/best-truck-stops-in-america/
Yes, it can be a lucrative business, but it’s not one the fleet owner typically benefits from, it’s one they pay to use. And the cost of using the megapacks extends far beyond the raw cost of electricity, or even diesel if it was a “regular” service station. But, with diesel there are already a nation of sunk costs, and even now, diesel is not that big a part of the cost.
Hmm yes so basically 1.5M for 6 trucks and 2.1M for a megapack. So capex is 2-3x more if megapack is needed.
That hurts the business case.
of course, solar+megapack+tesla semi would make a good total business case, but thats a lot of capex.
That means a lot of financing. If the business case is there, it can help.
But it could also be that the companies will only be investing in the trucks, unless they absolutely have to install a megapack.
850kwh is charged in ~8 hours with a reasonable cable, so overnight chargjng could still work for a lot of businesses.
“thats a lot of capex”
Give it a 25kW range extender for
1) cold climate
2) 25% increased range on lower excess weight
3) keep combustion engine business and (fuel, engine, converter) innovation supportive
4) flexibility to customers/owners
That’s actually not a bad idea as an aftermarket attachment.
Tesla will never sell it of course, but maybe businesses will see the value of it.
Although I wonder if 25kW will cut it: Semi uses about 100 kW at 60 miles / hour.
But yeah maybe a lot of companies would opt for the 300 mile version reaching 80% of it’s use cases – and then add a range extender in the storage.
If that mitigates a Megapack investment of 2.1M+ dollars because it’s not necessary to charge to 100%, that would seem very interesting for businesses.
A 100kw generator is 10k$ on Alibaba, weighs about 1.5 ton and is about 2x1x1 meters in size.
I’ve been thinking about your proposition (numbers) all weekend, and I think you might have been a bit over-enthusiastic in a couple regards.
 Cost of electricity
Basically, I know of no markets (at least in the USA) where modest sized electricity customers can buy juice for less than 14.5 ¢/kWh … and that for especially ‘good’ times of the day. Night time, after 11 PM. Before 6 AM.
 Amount of electricity per freight-mile.
Diesel or EV, there is a lot more rolling resistance with a full-load than on a ‘dry trip’ returning essentially empty. Freighliner friends have told me that getting 6 MPG for an empty 18-wheeler and trailer isn’t expecting too much, but getting over 3 MPG for a load right at the legal limit is hard. Yes, diesels have gotten better in the last 20 years, but them’s the breaks.
I’m therefore mot particularly surprised that a lightly loaded Tesla Semi it taking approximately 2 kWh/mile, and the fully-loaded case is shrouded in numeric derivative mystery. They don’t want to say that it takes 3.5+ kWh/mile or even slightly more for a 65,000 lb legal load (which adds to the 15,000 lbs of the ‘engine room’). These numbers are of course speculative on my part, but also quite realistic. Today’s well-tuned Tesla EV CARs have 90 kWh batteries that clock in over 1200 lbs. If the semi is going to sport 750 kWh, then it is just proportionate multiplication: 1200 lbs ÷ 90 kWh × 750 kWh = 10,000 lbs. The cab, frame, all the bells and controlling whistles has to AT LEAST take 5,000 lbs. So, 15,000 lbs for the duo.
 brake pads and so on.
Figuring $3,000 per truck, per 35,000 miles, for a set of brake pads … is kind of ridiculous. They’re frikkin’ commodities, and every last large-yard trucking company replaces them with their own staff, of course not “for free”, but at wholesale rates. i’d be surprised if a set plus in-house labor is more than $1,000 a throw. Now whether they last 30,000 miles, or 50,000 miles is another question. I’m guessing that your 35,000 mile estimate is ‘on par’ with industry pragmas. In any case, taking $1,000 fleet cost ÷ 35,000 miles gives 3 ¢ a mile for brake pad costs.
 Overall economics
It is perfectly reasonable for fleet semis to run 500 mi/day, 6 day/week, 45 wk/year. That multiplies out to 135,000 miles a year. Consistent with your 100,000 miles a year, to be conservatıve. One friend actually posted 175,000 miles last year, he tells me. Dual-driver and a sleeper cab. Makes sense.
In any case the diesel energy cost is as you say, about $5.00/gallon. And a diesel truck sips the diesel at between ⅐ gallon per mile to ⅓ gallon per mile. That comes in at 71 ¢/mile to $1.67/mile. Adding the brakes in is almost pointless. Rounding error.
By comparison, if we’re talking EV Semi, then its still going to need brake pads, but may half or a quarter as often. Still, almost pointless: rounding error. The energy cost if realistically figured is from 2.1 kWh/mile at 15 ¢/kWh or $0.31/mile (empty, no load) to maybe 3.5 kWh/mile at 15 ¢/kWh or $0.53/mile. Distinctly better. WAY better.
The only real problem is that ANY roadway engineer can tell you, 95% of the road wear is caused by the aggregate fleets of loaded Semi trucks, not cars. Cars do almost nothing to degrade pavement. So, you can bet your last dollar … that The State will want a BIG bucket of tax “blood” out of the trucking community for using UNTAXED electricity (in a pavement tax way of thinking). I’m betting there’ll fast become laws on the books that require e-truck companies to submit to kWh audits, and be required to pay $0.50 or more per kWh, so as to account for road repairs.
Just saying. The spiffy savings is very likely to evaporate through taxation. The MEGAcharger program really only keeps the difference good … so long as the per kWh charge (amortizing the cost of the MegaCharger) is below $0.20/kWh.
Which is what I think I said elsewhere.
Tesla doesn’t have enough battery supply to rapidly scale semi production.
The new $4B Panasonic battery plant in De Soto Kansas will be 30 GWh per year. A .9MWh usable capacity truck is circa 1MWh nominal.
If EVERY battery from that plant was used to ONLY make Semis, that’s 30,000 trucks per year.
The class 8 truck market is circa 200k trucks per year.
A $4B battery plant to capture 15% market share.
I don’t see how a single plants production tells us anything about the potential for Tesla Semi. Sure, they may be supply constrained at the moment but there are multiple battery factories being fast tracked as we speak.
The US class 8 market is 280k per year. Europe is 350k per year. Globally large truck and class 8 is 4 million trucks per year. 80% or so is in Asia.
40 GWh/year for the Nevada Panasonic plant will be used only for Semi. The iron LFP batteries from CATL (making about 600-900 GWh in 2025) will be used for model 3/Y.
Market research company SNE Research, electric vehicle batteries with a total capacity of 203.4 GWh were installed worldwide in the first half of 2022. The leading supplier was CATL with 70.9 GWh or a market share of 34.8 per cent.
CATL, LG, BYD, Panasonic, Gotion supply or will supply Tesla. Tesla also makes its own 4680.
Tesla battery usage is about 14 GWH per month in the last month and about 150 GWH for the full year of 2022. Total batteries produced globally is about 500-600 GWh.
Tesla should get 50-100 GWH of 4680 in 2023 at about 1 GWh per month now. Kato road and Austin. Will also add Berlin as well. Tesla is tripling 4680s each quarter.
So,you’re saying Tesla was lying when they promised $.07Kwh for power for the semi? Just like the lied about powering anything Tesla related with solar power.
Let us know when Tesla sells one of its most expensive used diesel trucks.
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