Correction on Converting the USA and the World to Electric Semi Trucks

I made mistakes calculating how much electricity would be needed for 4 million total USA semi trucks and 40 million large trucks globally. There are also another 40 million light and medium trucks for commercial usage in the USA and another 120 million consumer pickup trucks and SUVs. Regular people use trucks far less than commercial trucks and they often are not carrying heavy loads. They would use less fuel or energy because of lighter usage even though there are more trucks for regular consumers.

My mistake overestimated the amount of electricity needed to convert from diesel to electric trucks.

I was correct up to 24 electric semi trucks charged at four stalls and their were six megapacks then the peak and overall electricity drawn would be equal to a 400,000 square foot commercial office building. This would draw 24 megawatt hours per day at 1 megawatt all day. This is peak electric draw.

If there were 500 electric semi trucks charging at a major distribution point then all of the power of a nuclear reactor or two coal plants would be needed for the peak load if all trucks were charging at the same time for a half hour.

However, using all of the power of a nuclear reactor for a year is 8.76 TWh of power per year. This would handle 24000 electric semi trucks driving charging every day. However, this would be for 500 miles of charge every day. The most heavily used electric semi trucks go about 100,000 miles per year which would be driving 273 miles per day. They are only charging once every two days. Average US large trucks drive 60,000 miles per year which is 164 miles per day.

This means the electricity for 50,000 electric semis driving 100,000 miles could be handled with 1 gigawatt nuclear reactor and about 10,000 megapacks and 83,000 electric semi trucks driving 60,000 miles per year could be handled by 1 gigawatt nuclear reactor and 10,000 megapacks. This would be $210M of megapacks and another $200-500 million of extra installation and other infrastructure.

4 million class 8 electric semi trucks driving the 60,000 mile per year would need 50 gigawatts of nuclear power if the nuclear was about almost 100% capacity. Tesla will be getting efficiency while towing full semi loads from 1.7 kWh per mile to 1.6 kWh per mile and eventually to 1.5 kWh per mile. This means the 60,000-mile-per-year trucks go from 102,000 kWh per year to 90,000 kWh per year. Eleven 60k miles/year trucks per GWh/year or eleven thousand 60k miles/year semi trucks per TWh/year.

The United States added about 90 TWh of electricity from wind power and 35 TWh from solar in 2022. If all of this power was used for 60k per year class 8 trucks that would be 1.375 million trucks and about 200,000 megapacks. Three years of all of the added 2022 US renewable energy would be enough to power the 4 million class 8 trucks in the US. This would need to be tripled to handle all light and medium commercial trucks. This means 400 TWh or a 10% increase in overall US electricity and a 30% increase to convert all light, medium and heavy trucks. The global total truck conversion would be about ten times more.

China added 160 GW of wind, solar capacity in 2023.

The fastest ramp of electricity energy at the scale of 200-400 TWH per year is pushing more natural gas and coal through existing coal and gas plants. There is under-utilized capacity at those existing plants to perhaps a 1000 TWh addition over 4-6 years. This also involves using mostly existing grid and power distribution. The net climate impact would be close to neutral as we reduce oil needs. The fastest option when pushing to get new power production involves solar and wind. The solar farms and solar over commercial buildings and parking lots would be positioned in the right spots. Building a new power plants (nuclear, coal, natural gas) would take many years and would require long power lines. Substations also take years to get planned and made.

5 TWh of renewable energy was curtailed in 2020 in Texas. 30,000 semi-trucks driving 100,000 miles per year with megapacks buffering the charging in Texas would take up the total spare overflow of unusable power. There is also some other spare power where systems are not running all out.

92 thoughts on “Correction on Converting the USA and the World to Electric Semi Trucks”

  1. Our electrical infrastructure is not set up for all these electric vehicles California is already having blackouts , Texas converted to like 40% renewable and the first Frost/snow they were short on power cuz the windmills froze up and the solar panels frosted and people were freezing , and all the batteries have a shelf life once they need replaced where would they go ,all renewable energy needs to be stored in batteries, only other option would be nuclear power plants

  2. That’s an interesting assumption that EVs will “Lowers insurance cost” as they are more costly to repair as anyone who buys a Tesla or Rivian today is realizing…

  3. Your caculation aof a trucks daily miles off. First driver are not workkng 365 days a year. They go home too. The average a truck driver drives in a day is 500 to 600 a day when going from pick up to delivery. It does tend to be less on a delivery/pickup day. Also the average we drive in a year is more like 120,000. I.e. ill drive a truck to 500,000 miles in 4 years. Im not trying to down you or belittle you for trying to explain it to people. Getting off our massive oil usage would be a good thing. One thing missed is that solar panel could be installed on top off all the box trailor, this could extend their range during the day and aid in recharging the battery.

  4. There is a big missing point in the calculation, and that is the idle power that needs to be built to back up the solar and wind when these energy sources don’t work, during the night (solar out) or when the wind is not blowing. To supply the gigantic amount of energy needed to power all trucks with electricity, we not only have to build a huge number of wind and solar power plants but also to build in parallel to these a huge number of nuclear, gas or even coal plants to back up wind and solar. The fact is that it does not matter how cheap is solar or wind, because the cost will double or triple due to the need to back up these two renewables. This is a fact that is frequently overlooked by analysts.

  5. This is what science is about. When you realize something is not true you correct it thank you. For some of the negative commentaries…ask yourself who has an interest in the world continuing to buy oil from the September 11 Saudi’s. Peak oil demand is coming. We will have more than enough cooper and electricity. It may take longer and no one will force you to give up your gas stove, gas car or gas truck. Just make sure to check your facts with some you may not agree with.

  6. Texas does not have the extreme low temperatures around the 45th N parallel or the Rocky Mountains,. Of course this is a subject larger than Texas. The authors won’t mention locomotives that scale these mountains and ships that displace unimaginable amounts of ocean water every meter and stormy winds above deck to deliver megatons of goods below deck and above deck. Running refrigerators or pumps for months and returning relatively empty to their begining ports. The amount of kerosene in rocket fuel to launch a rocket is unknown or ignored by most of these math problems they choose to concoct but it is substantial. Especially when they are talking about going to The Moon or the the fanatical dream of delivering humans, intact or even alive on Mars. Hydrogen rockets will kill off anything left of pioneering humanity there when more than a few exploding in liftoff, I digress.
    Have Fun destroying Idaho’s fresh water around the reopening the historically devastating cobalt mine. The RINO Governor Little thinks that is not as important as a woman’s right to free speech at a playground or job killing lockdowns. The lies about the COVID-19 deaths where doctors and hospitals were greatly rewarded for falsely diagnosis deaths as C-29 cause. As electric vehicles are being politically enhanced as a magic pill for something called climate change the math didn’t hold up for COVID and electric vehicles cannot save us from the natural changes in the Earth’s climate. We cannot escape the ultimate end of humanity by stopping petroleum use than we can by the devastation caused by pit mines for rare earth minerals and unending spent tons of battery cells containing non renewable toxic mixtures of those minerals.

  7. Well let’s see I been a truck driver 32 years. I have driven 1200 miles in one day matter in fact once woke in phoenix one morning sitting in Little Rock next morning. I drove 185,000 first year driving with 84 international cab over with 300 Cummins 9 speed direct. Dude I still drive today EV could work here but at a cost of 46 cents a kilowatt do not tell me it would be cost effective. But here is something you hadn’t figured. Where will we get all the copper from? Not even mentioning rest of exotic materials needed for EV!!! It isn’t clean energy you never figured the cost of finding the raw materials!!! Your assuming mines open today will supply demand. Not happening!!! Just copper needed in usa alone to go EV is more copper than has ever been mined ever!!!

  8. BEV’s have a place in society. Yet, I believe that BEV Commercial Trucks aren’t practical in real life.

    As a fleet owner, I will stay with diesel powered (ICE) Commercial Class 8 Trucks.

    If the manufacturers of these trucks design them (ICE) to run on Hydrogen gas, then I would accept that.

    BEV’s cause/creates more pollution than the manufacturing plants that build these vehicles. (The statistics are through out the web)(Ford, GM, Dodge, Toyota, Honda, etc).

    BEV’s, are a Environmentalist pipe dream….. All of these Environmentalists’, needs to lay down the THC Wax Pipes or Blunts and come back to reality.

    No Reliable Trucks = Alot of People will Die. Just remember that in your Pipe Dream.

  9. Brian, your miliage calculations overlap short haul, regional and long haul into an overall average. That’s not only a mistake cannot apply to about 30 % of all trucking in the USA. The good news is nearly 70 % of trucks can be EVs. Only the longer distance long hauls will still need to be diesel, until a battery technology superior the Li Ion comes out (like quantum glass which has 5x the energy weight density). These long haul truckers drive 700 to 1100 miles per day with team drivers. They do this in all kinds of weather (including very cold temperatures) and EV battdry technology and charging times cannot yet work for these long haul runs.

    • As a solo driver I achieved 650 to 700 miles per day as a team we would hit 1250 to 1350 per day… so the calculations are way off. Even as local we drove an average of 350 to 400 per day per driver as we ran slip seat so we would run 700 to 800 miles per day charging time would cut Into the workday or leave a driver stranded.

    • All truckers are limited to 8 hours of driveing befor breaks so can recharge and send with a new driver.

      • So after 8hrs of driving on a long haul trip, one charging points, 4hr lay down, the other driver waiting their with accommodation food and payment for waiting their,
        Seems the ev cult forget the reality of real life.
        Ps in Australia they can drive 12hrs or up to 16 with live stock with a travel of 2500 kilometers a normal day

  10. You haven’t mentioned the load capacity of a semi being diminished by 40 percent because of weight of battery packs. Or what we do with all these batteries in 10 years.

      • Your calculations are based on average miles in completely optimal circumstances. I mean I’ve seen trucks get held up for hrs just waiting in queues to drop their load. In extreme temps this means the driver is going to be utilizing heating or cooling which takes energy. In a diesel truck you might be able to turn it off and have adequate heat for awhile seeing as heat is essentially a waste product that has been collected in the coolant. I’m not sure about how much heat is absorbed in battery cooling tech but I’d imagine if it’s much more efficient it’d be much less. That’s just for a normal trailer though. Now you also have plenty of refrigerated trailers which burn through more energy to keep food product cold and are powered by the semi which obviously requires more energy. Now I know refrigerated trailers are not nearly the most common type of trailer but I’d bet their energy requirements is not statistically insignificant either. Regardless point being is taking the average miles of a trip and assuming that those miles are the only thing that require energy in trucking will underestimate the amount of energy actually required in the real world.

  11. This guy fell off his horse a long time ago but doesn’t know it. Oh yes, he reverts back to diesel and natural gas !? Phonys,frauds and green nincompoops! There is answer, we just haven’t found it yet!

  12. No have a question. What’s to happen to the 4m trucks on the road now?Do they go to the scrap yards? If I owe money on one and they outlaw diesel my credit is going down the porcelain. I won’t be able to buy a 400k$ piece of junk.

    • If Apple brings out the iPhone14 does this outlaw your iPhone 11? If Marvel brings out Ironman 4 does this outlaw your DVD of Ironman 2?

    • It’s gonna take a minimum of 20 years to build up a fleet big enught to replace all diesel trucks maby by then you can transition your truck to an electric engine. There not gonna ban diesel for at least that long.

  13. Most countries can’t even handle the handful of electric cars they have to charge, parts of Europe and canada had to demand electric vehicle owners not use their cars. Now picture 200 semi trucks, and 10 x the electric cars needing charging. It’s a sheerly ridiculous proposal PERIOD.

  14. There is not one continent on earth that can handle, or even remotely handle the energy requirements of having an all electric vehicle infrastructure. Most countries can’t even handle the handful of electric cars they have to charge, parts of Europe and canada had to demand electric vehicle owners not use their cars. Now picture 200 semi trucks, and 10 x the electric cars needing charging. It’s a sheerly ridiculous proposal PERIOD.

  15. I drive OTR and here is where everyone fails to comprehend the electric motor configuration will always be a less than logical idea because no one has figured in temperature into the equation and we all know the temps play a huge part on the electric side of things. We will continue to run across country and fill our trucks with diesel and continue on our journey to keep America running at its maximum capacity and the more you try and shove electric vehicles down our throat the more we will reject it. It’s not the solution to a problem that doesn’t exist it just feeds your narrative that is not fact based to begin with.

    • And as an OTR driver we all know this author is way understating the miles driven in a day. It’s more like 3 times the 164 miles the article states.

      • 24/7/365? Nope.

        He is doing a daily average over the entire year. That is, his calculations is based on 24/7/365 operation. He even told you from where this average came; based on the average annual mileage.

        Do you think this average annual mileage is incorrect? Remember, there are local haulers, intra-state haulers, and long haulers. So even if your annual average is over his stated average, is it within reason for all semis in America?

        One may drive Atlanta to Dallas, (about 800 miles), in two days, (due to rest requirements), which averages 400/miles per day, then not drive (other than local) for two days, dropping to 200 miles per day (plus local), before a two-day return trip to Atlanta, followed by time with family, before moving again.

        I think his estimates are reasonable.

    • Not true, if the technology is up to par you will except it and you will like it. We buy what they allow us to buy, no more, no less. You’re a minion to the system whether we like it or not.

  16. We need to rethink the system maybe something like a solar charging rail on all major highways to charge as you drive, or something like that. That way battery packs could be much smaller.

    • How about batteries built into the trailers. The only time you need the big battery is when you have the extra load anyways and they sit for extended periods.

    • Maybe leave the darn system alone until those people get there head out and wake up. Put there brains and mouths to use where it is better productive for the people and world.

  17. So most companies would want to charge there vehicle/equipment at night after-hours. So with no sun and reduced wind how does that effect calculation’s ?

    • The megapack batteries will be charged during the day for solar and at various times for wind. The wind can blow at night. There is also natural gas, coal, hydro and nuclear power. Each project is location and situation dependent.

      • Hey bud. Remember that the Biden administration wants to do away with coal, natural gas/ propane and fossil fuel. So get out you bicycle and hook a generator to the wheel and pedal like the Flintstones.

        • Having your national government wanting to close down all the working power plants is a problem. But it isn’t a problem caused by electric vehicles.

          After all, if someone wants to close down gas and nuclear power plants, they are not going to still permit oil wells and diesel refineries.

  18. As long as I remember our government has been crying the sky is falling I’ve been trucking for 30 years they have never cared about the environment or the people only thing in there mind is more taxes and more control and how to take away our freedom ELD does not work is unsafe drivers stranded in bad and unsafe areas now electric vehicles or semis don’t work and are bad for the environment for instance in California we have rolling black outs in the summer now asked your self this is building more nuclear plants better for the environment ?? The governor of California passed the law of electric vehicles all by himself without any bodies vote last time i check is [ WE THE PEOPLE ] we have the last vote that’s wy our CONSTITUTION is in place to protect our writes as AMERICANS and one last thing people writing laws don’t know about trucking all they care about is the highest bidder and some laws that are passed are to shut down owner operators

    • Do you have a better idea? Diesel is extremely dirty, we could build power plants to run on diesel and it would still be better to use that power for use in EV’s especially when you consider getting the pollution out of the streets that goes directly into people’s lungs.

      • Then why are we as a society not banning cigarettes cigars and other legal smoking? Smoking leads to lung cancer and death. Our government wont ban them because it brings in to much money for the government.

        This article does not take into account the actual practicality of doing the job that needs to be done. If you have never been a driver and had to drive 600 miles to get a load done, or risk loosing your job and livelihood, then you do not have a right to tell anyone how to do that job. That be like an accountant telling a carpenter how to build a house. That house would fall apart.

        If you want to fix this problem then people need to stop buying stuff. Trucks carry everything people buy and use in thier daily lives. Go back to growing your own food and living off the land.

        And by the way , a small gas powered car produces more pollution than a diesel powered semi truck. Look it up its a proven fact. Gas produces more pollution than diesel

  19. I see the many non fact based complaints but want to say I appreciate your due diligence on correcting your last numbers. The future of clean energy is well within reach with more mega chargers if people aren’t scared to let go of the past. Good job Sir! 👍🏿

  20. Everyone in this entire thread is wrong.
    In the United States there is already 40% “excess capacity”. Essentially all that’s needed is a smarter more interconnected grid and scheduling of charging. We “waste” a huge amount of electric generation. Time to stop that.

    • So you are saying if the peak demand in the u.s. is 100mws we have 140mws available? There is no way, we probably don’t have a 10% buffer.

  21. Everyone in this entire thread is wrong.
    In the United States there is already 40% “excess capacity”. Essentially all that’s needed is a smarter more interconnected grid and scheduling of charging. We “waste” a huge amount of electric generation. Time to stop that.

  22. I work for an LTL company running linehaul. I run 500+miles 5 days a week or 2500-2800 miles per week.
    The day shift is usually waiting on the truck to run a 100 mile p+d or another 500 mile linehaul, plus weekend runs.
    So one truck could potentially run 6000 miles per week.
    So every truck would have to charge at every company location everyday. Fueling a truck with diesel takes 5 minutes once per shift. A 30 min charge puts every load behind 25 minutes, or 50 minutes a day. Not to mention the infrastructure required just a 1 company location. 60-70+ superchargers per yard? What is the cost there? What if the power goes off? Storms? The trucks don’t stop. The amount of money and risk of life at play for untested technology is laughable. We also have to consider extra hours of service for charging that isn’t available. Would need to purchase extra trucks, chargers, cables etc etc….the industry can’t even reliably deliver current new trucks. This entire premise is insane and unmanageable.

    • Electric vehicles have been around since the early 1900’s they are a tested vehicle. Just had cheep file in the early days that made the gas and diesel the dominant species. Now that electricity can be alot less expensive than other files. It can show its abilitys.

  23. Way off! As an over the road driver, I run over 700 miles per day and average 180,000 per year. Also, there aren’t enough truck parking spaces for the trucks currently on the roads. Drivers park on interstate ramps, Walmarts, empty warehouses, etc. We have limits on how many hours we can drive in a day and cannot go over by even a second, which limits where we can park at the end of our day.
    We also get held up by shippers and receivers constantly, sometimes 12 or more hours.
    Unless there are chargers at every dock, rest area, ramp and every other place we have to park, it will never work.
    This article is another example of someone writing about a subject that they have no real world knowledge of!

    • There will be eventually, it’s gonna take 20 years to do a 70 percent shift . So it’s not like you need all of them chargers tomarrow.

  24. What happens during a major interstate accident or major hurricane/disasters that shuts down movement for many many hours in near zero temperatures…electric vehicles and people will die because they can’t recharge because of no power… fossil fuels can be trucked in but electricity can not!

    • Big trucks with generators on them can be bought in to charge at the. Sites . Or can have emergency power station s every mile on the highways that are most prone to the morons that drive after being told not to.

  25. Virtually all of the lithium and cobalt used for batteries is located in one small area of the Congo (DRC or whatever it’s called today) And is mined by slave labor and slave children. EV’s are the best idea ever.

    • Yes, cobalt 70-80% congo. But no cobalt in iron LFP batteries. Lithium largest production Australia leads, then chile, china, argentina. Major lithium mines starting in the US. none in the congo.

      • What kind on damage to the environment is all of the mining causing? Electric is not the answer nor will it ever be. An alternative energy source is more feasible, or hydrogen. Plus it may be cheaper right now but will not in the future due to increasing electric bills and taxes for roads, which comes from gasoline.

  26. G’day brother..l drive a triple roadtrain for ABC GILBERT Transport weighing 125000kg or 275000lbs averaging 1.3 kilometers per liter of diesel from Adelaide to Darwin and return leaving 7 pm Friday night and arriving back in our depot on Tuesday distance traveled is 6150 kilometers or 3850 miles..
    770 miles per day at an average of 50 miles an hr..
    Firstly l’d be interested in how electric semi would be able to achieve the “normal” trip times that all of us are required to do versus diesel fuel and these days half of the roadtrains running in Australia are now 2up(two) drivers the time for completion of the runs are 20 quicker..Non stop virtually except for fueling, showers and deliveries sometimes..
    Plus secondly, how then does the charging rate compare re our “normal” weight versus energy consumption..
    Thanks John Latham (Australia)

    • Looks like 5 to more likely ten or more major mega charging truck stops need to be made on your route. At 2 megawatt charging you could get 70-80% charge in 30 minutes. Adding 400 miles of range. There needs to be infrastructure scoped out. If your company or Australia governments are interested I can look at the numbers of trucks and suggest and scope a plan and what the economics would look like. I think you will need orivare equity and VC money to make the conversion. Architects and engineers would be needed. I have some contacts if this were to be a serious effort.

      • All I know is I have been an OTR trucker for 50 years. I have driven over 5,000,000 miles in that time. Some short haul…mostly long haul. There is no way an electric truck will favorably compare to my diesel units. My last CAT diesel went 1,915,000 before it’s first overhaul at a cost of $13,000 USD. I would bet the cost of batteries for an electric truck would be triple that number. Impossible to justify and still turn a small profit.

        • ou were getting 6 miles per gallon. Your 5 million miles meant you bought 833k gallons of diesel. Diesel is currently $4.1-$5.6 per gallon in the USA.
          100k miles per year is 16.6k gallons per year. This is about $80k per year in fuel. The 500-mile range Tesla semi would need $17k/year in electricity at an average 10 cents per kWh wholesale price. Your CAT diesel went 1.9 million miles. Lets call it 2 million miles for easier calc. $1.6 million in fuel. Batteries ar dropping in price by about 10% per year.
          If you get a Tesla semi and assume 1 million miles before a battery change.
          Tesla Semi – $250k less $40k federal tax credit (less $132k for california tax credit or $180k for NY tax credit). Lets assume you don’t get the state credit. $210k.
          10 years. $170k of electricity versus $800k of diesel. $380k vs $800k then add a $100 per kWh battery change for a 900kWh battery. $90k. $470k vs $800k. Repeat for next decade.

          Regen braking on downhill means no risk of brake failure. 24% of Semi accidents are braking related. Lowers insurance cost (biggest cost after fuel, driver).

          • I don’t think those numbers are correct. Tesla pricing in NY is near 400k last I checked. Regenerative brakes and electronic technology lasting for 1 million miles without a repair is certainly not realistic. I get 7.5-8mpg on my 60series Detroit. And have just over 1.1 on the clock. Need a rebuild but still runs daily. That being said I run w guys that have newer (20,21) trucks that break down all the time. Because of the computers and the computer controls. Not anything mechanical. So not sure if we are talking reality or fantasy. If let’s say in 20 years w progressive battery improvements and infrastructure planning and Developement it would be a viable option, then fine. But to jam it down our throats as if it was gospel is a whole other story. To make regulations and ultimately financial burdens on us because of this is not really fair or thought out.

    • If your driveing 15 hours a day then your just asking to die in a collision. Get a job where you will at least have time to spend the fantastic pay you must be getting , to be willing to punish your body like that.

  27. Uh, Brian, that assumption of running peaker plants 24/7 to improve baseload is predicated on transmission capability being capable of soaking up the increase in baseload, which is NOT a given. There are many transmission bottlenecking issues separate from the current layout of peaker plants feeding into grid shortages that by time/place have transmission capacity available but not all day. There will be a need for primary and secondary grid transmission system upgrades that really can’t be avoided, even with improved local power generation.

    Where the money for that comes from is going to be a problem, plus upgrade NIMBY issues.

  28. 1. Your calculations are wrong- every commercial Truck operating currently for any company drive a minimum of 500 miles per day. Local hauls and regional truck are nearly the same in miles day. I am a truck driver and I drive 650 per day if I can.
    2. You would need this charging station in every direct possible like truck stops are today. Pulling a nuclear reactor worth of electricity each- the infrastructure for this is mega massive.
    Trillions of dollars just to get it going much less in use. Plus the danger of that much amps pulsating.
    A super long way off dude !! The government can even pay it depts!!
    Long long way off

  29. Goat Guy, in reference to your comment on taxes. The electric company already adds ryders to the bill to cover things like development of alternative energy and fuel surcharge in the last 2 years my bill has increased from about 10 cents a kwh to over 15 cents. This trend will certainly continue and yes I agree more taxation in addittion to the ryders is coming to cover the lost revenue from gasoline tax. Additionally the author has made some serious oversights. He is trying to use the added capacity from the wind and solar generators built in the last 10 years to offset the energy required from making semis electric. But we must first offset the capacity lost in shutting down coal plants and the desired shutdowns of natural gas generators.when considering this. All the added wind and solar generators do not cover the lost capacity. The author also only talked about comercial trucks what about the addittional load of all the private vehicals? EVs are great in some aspects and may well be a fundumental part of our future but the politicians, media, and dreamers who do not understand the electrical systems need to stop pushing false information and lies and let the engineers work on doing this properly. Dependancy on fossil fuels does need to be addressed and moved away from but ignorant politicans pushing a flawed agenda is not the answer unless of course you desire living in a country where rolling blackouts and curtailments are a normal way of life. What we need are real scientist and engineers working on it and a lot less intervention from unqualified people making statements that are not correct.

  30. I live off grid on solar, it’s expensive and inconvenient. Unless you have tons of money or a good generator, no ac.

    That aside our local drivers average about 500 to 600 a day. Our otr guys run about 600 to 650 a day. Friends run 700 to 800 a day. We do not have parking for trucks now, do where will they shut down for electric? What happens when you sit at a grocery warehouse for 8, 10 or more hours in 0 degree or 90 degree weather? It’s easy to come up with bs numbers when you don’t know the subject or even live the life!

    Currently solar uses a ton of real estate, killing sll the wildlife. Wind farms kill thousands of endangered birds every year. Go to California and see how many wind turbines are broke down every day. Nuclear would work, but where to build them?

    And one question, since we are doing this to save the planet from climate change, what’s the correct climate? An ice age? Center of the USA a swamp from the age of dinosaurs? Or what someone decides it should be?

    • Had an ex truck driver over the road and local I agree with you 100%. Just driving during the day and then going into a truck stop got to drive around an hour to find a parking space if all these guys are driving electric is never going to happen you haven’t got a space big enough for all the trucks.

  31. Dear Mr. Wang, where are you getting you info on American trucking? The average long haul IS NOT 100,000 miles a year. As a company driver I drove 150,000 a year average that is 412 miles a day… now as a owner operator I am faster and more efficient, I drive the same distance and stay home longer. If you are going to do research do it right. DO NOT ASK THE GOVERNMENT FOR THEIR INFO. THEY WILL NOT TELL YOU THE TRUTH, ASK THE COMPANIES AND OWNER OPERATORS WHO DO THE JOB DAILY. Just today alone (01/17/23) I drove 661.8 miles, the bull crap electric truck CAN NOT handle that.

    • The 500 mile Tesla Semi would be be able to go 750-800 miles if there was a mega charger built on the route for a 30-60 minute recharge. Drive say 450 miles and charge 70% for another 350 miles. The numbers were from the trucking association and the department of energy. True, the Tesla Semi is better suited for 60% of the shorter routes with non-max loads.

  32. Just a couple of points from an Australian perspective.
    #1; Our long distance carriers generally get 250,000 Kilometres (155,000 Miles) per year from their long distance fleet trucks, a significant number of these are multi trailer units. A fully laden B-Double has a Gross weight of 62 tonnes, (136,000 pounds).
    #2; Our busiest “overnight” route is Melbourne to Sydney, 860 kms (530 miles) not counting delivery & pick up kms.
    #3; Melbourne to Brisbane is 1,600kms, 2 nights, 1 day of travel on predominantly duel lane highway limited 24 hour facilities, thanks in part to government restrictions on drivers hours.
    #4; Adelaide based company has just gained approval to run Road-Trains Adelaide-Sydney and Adelaide-Melbourne routes. More will follow, 95 Tonne (209,000 pounds)
    Now to points about supply of electricity.
    #1; Current “cost” of supply, Coal, & Gas run at a significant loss, without government subsidies they wouldn’t exist.
    #2; Yes Solar & Wind have supply issues around security of supply, but (typical government) are building grand scale Pumped Hydro schemes, later than needed but when online will bring greater stability to supply from renewable energy.
    Renewable energy is running at a profit.
    #3; South Australia is sourcing better than 90% of its electricity requirements from renewable energy, because they fast tracked renewable over 25 years ago.

    It can be done, where there’s a will there’s a way.

  33. 80,000 rated semis, at 275 mi/day fleet average, and 1.6 kWh/mi comes out more or less as you say. 1.5 million of them calculates out at 27,400 MW of continuous generation, but ignoring transmission losses, megapack charge-discharge inefficiencies, in-truck battery charge-discharge efficiencies, and especially producer by-type generation capacity factors. When the Sun doesn’t Shine, the PV acreage goes to 0%. Likewise when the wind doth fail to blow freshly.

    4,000,000 additional 27,000 rated delivery trucks clocks at 35,000 MW continuous generation, assuming 1.3 kWh/mi and 60,000 mi/year for the fleet. The same conditions of transmission, charge-discharge efficiency and all that also applies.

    Bottom line, ignoring the CD/T efficiencies, 63,000 MW of continuous generation needed. That goes up to 80,000 MW when 92% nuclear duty cycle is given, with 93% transmission efficiency, 95% charge-discharge efficiency, similar 95% megapack store-release efficiency … are taken into view.

    Lastly, yes, yes, it is a PET PEEVE, but I really do not like articles that throw around MW, GW, MWh, GWh and TWh. It isn’t needed and except for readers with exceptionally nimble orders-of-magnitude brains, except for them, flipping all the prefixes around just mires up the point(s) the author is trying to make. MW and MWh works just fine. For everything from individual trucks to the whole dang mess.

    Just Saying… GoatGuy

    • Personally, my energy related pet peeve is treating wind and solar as though you can just drop their average production into analysis like this, and you’re good. It leads to treating them as interchangeable with baseline power sources, and they are not remotely.

      And Brian keeps doing it.

      Yes, it’s probable that, given the current regulatory/tax/subsidy environment, solar can be brought on line faster than nuclear. That hardly matters if solar can’t do the job, or even makes doing the job harder.

      The fact is that trucking needs to be reliable, and that means it needs a reliable source of power, and solar is not a reliable source of power.

      It goes to zero every night, and that’s bad enough. Worse, it tops out at about 10% when the weather is bad, and the weather can be bad for weeks, sometimes even months!

      There are only two ways to make solar act like the reliable source of power it isn’t: Either over-build by a factor of about 10, coupled with enough storage to bridge the night, or back stop it with an equivalent amount of actually reliable production that you idle when the sun shines.

      Nobody analyses the first approach, there isn’t enough shady math to make it look good. They always go for the second.

      But they never take into account the effects on the economics of the reliable source of idling them part of the time. That makes them less economic, and thus tilts the calculations of regulated utilities, (Which are mandated to reliably sell power, but often not permitted to take reliability into account when buying it!) in favor of even more wind and solar. Which makes the reliable sources even less economic.

      Leading to a destructive cycle which eventually makes blackouts inevitable.

      Brian, I’m pleading with you: Stop letting solar rely on conventional power as a backup in these calculations, it hides something vitally important. Or if you must, take it into account explicitly, by pricing in NEW gas turbines and their infrastructure, which will be idle when not used.

      Not selling their power, which just moves the idling outside the box you’re examining…

      You’re analyzing these things in a way that leads directly to blackouts and grid collapse.

      • Hi Brett,
        You are right on almost all your points.
        But I give it to Brian that usually in subjects the he is excited about his over optimistic leads to a bias in the order of x10 to x100, here its only around a factor of 2x.
        Brain assume all electricity use to load a full day of eSemi’s will be stored in Megapacks, so he does take into account the day/night instability of solar and winds.
        He doesn’t take into account the weekend to workday ratio, and he ignore the winter/summer + bad weather weeks.
        If you have a good spread of the solar/wind farms and good long distance power distribution then you can assume on average summer/winter ratio of under 2, and worst case 3 to 4 continuous days of 30%. So to completely move to solar & wind you need 2x capacity of summer requirements and storage capabilities of 1 full day (national usage).
        In very rare cases where there will be a longer national drop in solar/wind then its OK to stop for a few days some of the country’s manufacturing plants and some of the trucks.

        • “In very rare cases where there will be a longer national drop in solar/wind then its OK to stop for a few days some of the country’s manufacturing plants and some of the trucks.”

          This is just a concession that the proposed system isn’t REALLY reliable, you just want to society to get used to having to shut down in bad weather.

          But if we’re going to compare the cost of conventional and ‘renewable’ energy, it should be on an apples to apples basis: The cost of it being as reliable as conventional. With the ‘renewable’ energy having to account for ALL the costs necessary to achieve that.

          • Whats the percentage of trucks keep working during a heavy snow storm or a hurricane?
            If The largest power consumers stop working for 1 to 3 days per year whats the economical damage?
            Already where I leave in Israel during high electrical demand times, the power utility order the largest electricity consumers to shutdown and they recompense them for that. Its a lot cheaper then building additional peaker gas turbines just for 1% of the year.

      • Why not use solar and wind to make some kind of storable fuel (hydrogen, green ammonia,
        methane) that can be consumed as needed? A small part of Sahara (or Arizona) should be
        enough to supply humanity’s needs.

        • Don’t fall into the trap of calling Ammonia ‘green’.
          Its just another chemical, one that requires substantial energy to produce.

    • I dont know where you got your mileage numbers from, but on average, an otr(over the road) driver puts an average of 140,000 miles on a truck per year, up to about 165,000. And that’s not driving everyday. They usually have about 75 days off. Local, regional drivers that are home every, or every other, day, put on average about 60-70,000 miles on a truck. I’ve got 38 years otr and local driving experience.


        Number of Trucks:
        38.9 million trucks registered and used for business purposes (excluding government and farm) in 2020, representing 24.1% of all trucks registered.
        4.06 million Class 8 trucks (including tractors and straight trucks) in operation in 2021, up 2.3% from 2020.
        302.14 billion miles traveled by all registered trucks in 2020.
        177.26 billion miles traveled by combination trucks in 2020.
        Fuel Consumption:
        44.8 billion gallons of fuel consumed by those trucks used for business purposed in 2020.
        35.8 billion gallons of diesel fuel.
        9.0 billion gallons of gasoline.
        Number of Companies:
        According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, as of June 2022, the number of for-hire carriers on file with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration totaled 1,102,799, private carriers totaled 718,594, there were 153,191 carriers identified as both for-hire and private carriers and other* interstate motor carriers totaled 37,718.

        * Other’ motor carriers are those that did not specify their segment or checked multiple segments. All other categories were excluded.

        95.7% operate 10 or fewer trucks.
        99.7% operate fewer than 100 trucks.
        International Trucking:
        Trucks transported 66.1% of the value of surface trade between the U.S. and Canada in 2021.
        Trucks transported 82.7% of the value of surface trade between the U.S. and Mexico in 2021.
        In 2021, the value of truck-transported trade increased 19.5% to $460.85 billion with Mexico; truck-transported trade with Canada increased 18.8% to $367.04 billion.

        • Hey Brian I reside in Alaska and truck from Seattle North.3.5 days one way.I run the Cassiar hiway.10 and 12 percent grades. Originally a heavy haul road. It can snow 8 to ten feet in 24 hours.If you don’t believe me look it up. Put a EV truck on that run and watch failure at its finest.

          • You also bring a good second point. Tesla just got fined for not disclosing that their EV’s have reduced range in colder climates. There’s also articles out of ev owners trying to charge their vehicles in colder weather with a major problem that is much slower charge times and in 1 case their vehicle refusing to charge due to the battery being too cold. With you running WA to AK in sure you know how fleets plug in their trucks so heaters on the engine will allow the truck to start since an engine can refuse to start if it’s too cold since it can’t get the heat needed to sustain combustion. Just imagine electric trucks that spend their energy to get to a destination then have to wait 2 or 3 days just to get enough charge to return home from Alaska.

        • We need to rethink the system maybe something like a solar charging rail on all major highways to charge as you drive, or something like that. That way battery packs could be much smaller.

        • not a math whiz but those numbers are wrong. not sure were they get thier data cause my trucks arent reported nor are my nieghbors etc. my 5 big trucks ran 750000 loaded miles in 2022. avg of 150k per truck. which is the avg miles per year for a truck based on insurance numbers milage on odometers for age of trk and what it takes to turn a profit with the truck. my trucks dont come home everynite nor stop for more then 5 hrs or so during harvest. which is defined by the state to run from jan 1 to dec 31 every year. the batteries are not near as energy dense lb for lb as diesel. until the tecnology evolves that batteries wiegh less then diesel and can recharge in reasonable times they will never replace diesel.

    • I have the opposite peeve. The point of having prefixes is never using a number over 999 with it. It isn’t hard, we’ve all gotten accustomed with them from IT, at least. No one talks about having 16,000 (or 16,384) MB of system memory, for example.

      • I’m with you: I’d much rather read a sentence with 9 TWh than 9 000 000 MWh.

        I think GG is saying that in his experience there are a lot of people who confuse the M, G, T, k etc. I do know that some writers get them mixed up.

    • Here’s a thought though. The 4 million trucks would use about 64,000 liters of diesel each. Times 4 million trucks. 260,000,000,000 liters of diesel. Can anyone actually quantify in their head how much fuel that is. And where I live that’s $1.75 per liter. That’s 455 billion. Up in smoke every year just from those trucks. The cost of power to run these trucks at my residential rate would be about 96 billion.

      • And the amount of money paid for that Diesel is almost overwhelmingly TAXATION.

        Taxation which pays for highway maintenance.
        And signage, and other driving upkeep.

        And that taxation ‘goes away’ with electricity.
        So “have fun while the King sleeps”. When the amount of tax loss
        … or tax recovery … becomes juicy, The Government will find a way to tax the electrons.

        Specifically the bituminous kind, which are used to rotate motors for e-trucks. And e-cars. And e-vehicles all alike. Taxation.

        Count on it.

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