Tesla Megapack and Semi Combo

Farzad Mesbahi and Matt Smith discuss my, Brian Wang, analysis that the Tesla Semi and Tesla Megapack will need to be operated together.

The Tesla Semi can save about 80% on the cost of fuel by switching from diesel to electric. This reduces the overall cost of operation by 20% initially. This savings will require Tesla Megapacks between the electrical grid and the trucks. The grid and additional solar power will flow into the 3.9 megawatt hour Megapack and then the Megapack will charge the trucks at 1-2 megawatts. This balances and smooth out any energy draw. This means the utility can plan for the energy needed from the trucks.

It will also be required for the overall electrification of trucks. Electrifying 30-40 million large trucks and 300 million light and medium trucks around the world will switch the demand for 20 million barrels of oil per day to an overall increase of about 20% more electricity. This infrastructure will require about 10 million megapacks. This is about 39 Terawatt hours of fixed storage and 60 Terawatt hours of batteries in the light, medium and heavy trucks. This is most of the 300 Terawatt hours of batteries needed for full electrification of energy and transportation.

7 thoughts on “Tesla Megapack and Semi Combo”

  1. This estimate of overall costs are all relevant to the greed of others. They will overcharge and use the electric grid as the next way to bleed money from the American transportation industry like they do now. Miss management of all the taxes that trucks pay Today is the main reason for lack of funding for highways and infrastructure now.

  2. I think the most epic combo would be Tesla Semi combined with Siemens’ eHighway on all the Interstates. The 500 mile range of the Tesla would be more than enough to get to (and from) any point in the US that isn’t on an Interstate. At $2.5m per km for the eHighway, it would cost about $118 billion to wire all 46,876 miles — assuming the $2.5m per km I saw covered both directions.

      • Siemens apparently has been proposing this eHighway system for around 10 years. It seems they have had test / demo segments installed on a few short segments of public highways, starting around five or six years ago. I have done some web searches looking for a description of what has been learned about performance, reliability, actual construction cost, and operating cost from those test / demo projects, but I have not been able to find any such actual results. Can you point to any reports of such information?

        I am very skeptical of an approach that depends on electrifying every mile of the interstate highway system, or even only some high-use portions of it. My feeling, which could be completely wrong, is that it would be far less costly to build and maintain a relatively few compact installations (charging stations) than thousands of miles of overhead electric wires (the eHighway). Actual results of a few substantial test segments would go a long way toward settling the question of whether the eHighway approach would be a better approach.

    • I think the best combination is BES EVs and road level charging. It can be either rail or wireless charging.
      High cables such as in Siemens are both ugly and limited to high cars such as trucks and buses, and can’t be used by other cars.
      Another issue is that when connected to wires above the truck can’t bypass a slower truck.
      Also when most roads will have on road charging, the batteries can be smaller for just 100miles.

      • Roads are already ugly. Car owners probably won’t want to pay extra for the road-charging hardware on their cars, regardless. The trucks will still have their own batteries, so they can disengage, pass a slower vehicle, then reengage without issue.
        It’s the professional drivers that want to be able to go without stopping for 12 hours. The rest of us could use a pee break every hour or two, and the charging infrastructure that is currently in place or about to be in place handles that quite nicely.
        I’m just shocked that McDonalds and Starbucks haven’t kitted out their entire parking lots with fast DC chargers. The time it takes to pee and grab a coffee would be more than enough for a charge giving 2 hours of driving.

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