Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, November 17, 2017

Musk rolled silently into a long-anticipated and oft-delayed event here Thursday at the controls of Tesla Semi. The first electric big rig truck from a company known for its luxury electric long-range cars is a shot across yet another industry bow for the brash Tesla and SpaceX CEO who has vowed to remake automobiles, solar energy and space exploration. The new vehicle will start production in 2019, and no price tag was mentioned.

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Looking like something Batman might have designed, the Tesla Semi prototype -- revealed at a glitzy Hollywood-style event at a private aviation center adjacent to SpaceX headquarters in this Los Angeles suburb -- is heavy on aerodynamic fairings that are said to, along with its electric engine, drive the cost-per-mile below that of today's gas-powered machines, Tesla officials said while giving USA TODAY a walk-around before the event unfolded.

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Is it better than the Nikola?
nikolamotor.com

#1 | Posted by HanoverFist at 2017-11-17 09:04 AM | Reply

Pretty cool. Other trucking companies will be forced to adopt better aerodynamics in response and bring their cost-per-mile down. Right now, assuming they didn't cherry pick the best stats to get a good marketing number, it's about 3 years for savings to make up for the expected price differential. You can get a diesel on the road for $115k, these are expected to be $200k-$250k.

There's that pesky charging problem, about to be greatly compounded by software based platooning which circumvents driver shift limits, but it's got that sweet, sweet torque.

#2 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-11-17 09:05 AM | Reply

The NikolaOne is technically superior, but probably not economically. It costs $375k vs the expected Tesla $225k-ish vs a diesel semi that can go anywhere from $100k to $150k+ for a long haul truck.

#3 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-11-17 09:07 AM | Reply

"The NikolaOne is technically superior, but probably not economically. It costs $375k vs the expected Tesla $225k-ish vs a diesel semi that can go anywhere from $100k to $150k+ for a long haul truck."

As in all things the cost will go down as production and technology progress. Sorry fossil fuel fans but alternative energy systems will replace your fuels much sooner than you think.

#4 | Posted by danni at 2017-11-17 10:02 AM | Reply

You can't make "alternative energy" generators without fossil fuels. If the future for dino juice was bleak, there wouldn't be a geopolitical chess match in the artic with superpowers vying for supremacy.

#5 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-11-17 10:25 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

I saw where a guy used railroad handcar tech. to make a real car but cant find it now.
It was a small two seater that you pumped the steering wheel a number of times then disengaged it
to steer and engaged the clutch.
Moved pretty fast too.

#6 | Posted by HanoverFist at 2017-11-17 10:46 AM | Reply

but it's got that sweet, sweet torque.

#2 | POSTED BY SITZKRIEG

you know that I'm all about the electrification of vehicles, but i need to see some real engineering numbers to believe all this (it's simply too good to be true);

But Musk emphasized its performance. Tesla Trucks can hit 65 mph vs. 45 mph up a 5% grade compared to a standard truck, he said. Then the biggest applause and hoots accompanied this stat: a 500-mile range, at maximum weight at highway speeds.

The Amps required to pull a 30 ton rig up a 5% hill must be astronomical. Of course, you can get some of that back when you go down the other side...

For comparison, I've got an old S-10 pickup that i'm gonna convert to electric. It's gonna weigh 2 tons when completed and will require 300-400 watt-hours per mile (150-200 kwh for 500 miles). I can't even get that many 18650 batteries in that little pickup. Plus, that number of batteries would cost $15,000 by themselves.

So, just using those numbers, for a loaded semi, we would be in the range of 2-3 megawatt hours for 500 miles. That's a large community-sized power plant. After looking around, I see that Tesla is making megawatt-sized batteries for utility companies.

#7 | Posted by kudzu at 2017-11-17 10:46 AM | Reply

#5 | POSTED BY SITZKRIEG

I read an article recently talking about these new LED light-bulbs. That one single change in our society accounted for closing numerous power plants.

If we would make similar changes, we may not ever run out of oil. If we had a natural-gas fuel cell at each house, and it also charged our cars, we could close almost all our power plants. Half of all power produced is lost in transmission.

#8 | Posted by kudzu at 2017-11-17 10:57 AM | Reply

"You can't make "alternative energy" generators without fossil fuels."

Solar and wind energy are just myths. Or you're just a liar.

#9 | Posted by danni at 2017-11-17 10:58 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"If the future for dino juice was bleak, there wouldn't be a geopolitical chess match in the artic with superpowers vying for supremacy."

Twenty years ago folks were still investing in coal mines. You pre-suppose that the superpowers vying for supremacy in the arctic will actually be seen as a smart effort in the future, in all liklihood it will be viewed as a competition to supply buggy whips in 1890.

#10 | Posted by danni at 2017-11-17 11:00 AM | Reply

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Solar and wind energy are just myths. Or you're just a liar.
#9 | POSTED BY DANNI

His comment went right over your head .....

#11 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2017-11-17 11:01 AM | Reply

So.. average truck stop, 10 minute fill up, you'd need maybe 30 megawatts per charger, and you need a dozen chargers or so, 24+ if it's a big stop. 720 megawatts if every charger is in use at once? You're not too far from needing a nuclear reactor.

#12 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-11-17 11:02 AM | Reply

Solar and wind energy are just myths. Or you're just a liar.

#9 | POSTED BY DANNI AT 2017-11-17 10:58 AM | FLAG:

You are so uninformed it is tragic. Solar panels and wind turbines are products of petroleum and rare earth metal, with highly toxic byproducts from production.

#13 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-11-17 11:04 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

#10 | POSTED BY DANNI AT 2017-11-17 11:00 AM | FLAG:

Then invest your life savings in it. The big money says otherwise.

#14 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-11-17 11:05 AM | Reply

Kudzu, here's a fun one. Do the power requirements on a capesize class cargo ship. Anywhere from 150,000 to 400,000 tons.

Turns out you can electrify those... you just need a nuclear reactor or 4, the unpopular form of alternative energy..

#15 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-11-17 11:09 AM | Reply

Do the power requirements on a capesize class cargo ship.

Or an aircraft carrier. Unfortunately US taxpayers are the only ones who can afford those.

#16 | Posted by REDIAL at 2017-11-17 11:18 AM | Reply

Have you ever seen the crew on a cargo ship?

You wouldn't want ANY of them near a nuclear reactor.

#17 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2017-11-17 12:27 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

My concern with automated vehicles is their proximity to piloted vehicles.

I'd want a dedicated and barricaded lane.

#18 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2017-11-17 12:29 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

And the new Roadster;

-0-60 in 1.9s
-10,000NM! (7,300 lb-ft)
-0-100 in 3.9s
-Seats 2 + 2 Lt. Dans.
-Ugliest wiper blade design ever seen.
-200KWh
-600mi range

And it goes full Plaid

#19 | Posted by IndianaJones at 2017-11-17 02:06 PM | Reply

"I'd want a dedicated and barricaded lane for the piloted vehicles."

FTFY

#20 | Posted by danni at 2017-11-17 02:08 PM | Reply

And it goes full Plaid

#19 | POSTED BY INDIANAJONES AT 2017-11-17 02:06 PM | FLAG:

Full blown ludacrious speed. Very cool hypercar concept. That billionaire arena has become the ultimate battleground of hybrid cars.

#21 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-11-17 02:25 PM | Reply

The problem with this is that most long haul class 8 haulers are going to natural gas, which is cheaper per mile than electric and is only a $15-$25K premium over diesel tractors. Considering the ultra low emissions profile of CNG/LNG and the longer lifespan for the NatGas tractors over diesel, these electric trucks will be a vanity play for about a decade before the infrastructure builds up and cost comes down enough to be competitive with NatGas.

They look cool though.

#22 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2017-11-17 06:48 PM | Reply

We've got exactly the same problem with electric cars as we had 100 years ago. There is no way to store as much energy as liquid hydrocarbons can store in a small space. Batteries have improved but there is no new earth-shattering discoveries.

People even stopped researching electricity and batteries because of it. We know nothing more than Nikola Tesla discovered in the late 1800's. Whoever discovers a new battery type, that doesn't use rare earth metals, is going to be the new richest man in the world.

We have many orders of magnitude more sunlight energy hitting the earth than we would ever need, if only we have a good way to capture and store it.

#23 | Posted by kudzu at 2017-11-18 08:23 AM | Reply

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