Daimler Semi 500k V Tesla Semi 250k Lutz Wrong? Etron Lesson 2019

Daimler Ecascadia semi rolls out at 500,000 dollars while the Tesla Semi of similar 250 mile range comes in at around 250,000 dollars. The lessons learned from the Etron from VW battery process shows while having have the range of Tesla can be hard. Trucks are limited to 80,000 pounds and Daimler’s truck coming in at around 65,000 pounds leaves little freight weight making it not viable. Tesla’s lower battery count increases amount of weight that can be hauled making it competitive with traditional diesel trucks.
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14 Replies to “Daimler Semi 500k V Tesla Semi 250k Lutz Wrong? Etron Lesson 2019”

  1. Irwin C Gemlich

    Inverter Drives (current/motor control systems) Tesla has engineered their own that are of much greater efficiency and compatibility with their motors. It is all about electrical engineering! The goal is to master the subtleties of current flow. Learning that there are small changes in current flow that produce dramatic results in performance. Inverter drives are capable of converting single phase power to true three phase power, and even DC to AC single or three phase power. Plus, shaping the flow of current produces remarkable results depending upon the design of the motor, (Induction or permanent magnet or a combination of hybrid types. If you have the time to research the variables, you can learn engineering magic! The more you understand, the greater your engineering competence may become. Education is expensive (time consuming too). That is why you either have to invent your electrical systems or hire someone that is capable of inventing the proper system (i.e. inverter drive/motor combination). I was a manufacturing engineering consultant, industrial designer, and electrical circuit designer among other things. I was self-employed all of my working life. I was never asked about my educational credentials. I was simply ask: Can you design . . .? If the answer is yes — you will get a chance to prove it! You cannot made efficient semi-trucks out of tinker toys or legos.

  2. Celso Starec

    I see a flaw in this reasoning.

    Tesla can't have 50% more range than VW (Model S x E-tron) based on better efficiency converting battery kWh into motion.

    Tri-phase AC Induction motors are used all over the industry. Many decades ago they delivered more than 85% efficiency in conversion from electrical energy into motion energy. More recently there were enacted regulations demanding more then 90%. Some reach 95%.

    Automotive motor may demand a somewhat different design from most industrial ones, like being lightweight, but are not that radically different technology wise.

    There's simply not that much to improve.

    This mentioned efficiency is obtained at the prescribed fixed operation point.

    Complex electronical drive (Variable Tension and Frequency drivers, "the inverters") are used to extract a good performance over a wider range of operating points.

    Again, this is already known and fairly efficient with not so much left to gain efficiency wise.

    Better high voltage and power electronics, more integrated designs, lighter packaging are enablers that Tesla might have perfected, but are not out of reach for others.

    Then there is kinetic energy recovery. The potential is dependent on trajectory, ups and downs, stops, speed changes, that are equally available or limited for any make.

    One study about potential gains adding batteries and inverters to locomotives (trains) put it in the 20% range. Different makes are in a competition to better use those potential 20%. Tesla won't achieve 100% of those and other won't be limited to 0%. Tesla may lead here, but not enough to make for the supposed difference.

    There is drag. Some percentage points can be gained with marvelous design, but not that much either.

    Same kWh batteries in different trucks from the same class will have just marginally different capabilities UNLESS one of the batteries is far lighter (has far greater specific density) than the other.

    Current Tesla's cells might be cheaper, might be a bit better packaged, use less Cobalt, but are NOT far ahead in density both related to weight and volume.

    There is NO reason why others couldn't replicate any Tesla designs. That IS the reason for Daimler jokes about Physics in California and Germany.

    Tesla MAY count with an important advancement of the cell specs state of the art. The MAY even have it in the pipeline for future production, but have never demonstrated it.

    Mr. Jack Rickard made extensive measurements of the Model 3 2170 cell and compared to previous 18650 ones. They pack more energy proportional to the volume. The chemistry did not show any big advance though.

    They may be able to bring some advance to the market. Maxwell was thought to have a path for better densities (Wh/Kg). If it was achieved, it's still a secret.

  3. D C

    Don't forget when you have ICE you have lots of ongoing maintenance/repairs VS an EV. This keeps the truck on the road this is more efficient for the company.

  4. James Russell

    Not to be mean , Paccar is pronounced “ Pack Car “ yes, I know it doesn’t follow . There are a lot of electric trucks out there and In development. Look up Cummins . In the past years they have purchased a battery company, a hybrid and electric drive unit company , a fuel cell company, partners with Eaton transmissions,the list goes on . They are making everything from hybrid to full electric drive systems , adding onto their international leading heavy duty natural gas systems

  5. Richard Crawford

    I own a OTR big truck I need 400 to 500+ miles with 40000 to 45000 pounds capacity. With V3 chargers at all major Truck Stops. To do that the Tractor needs to be between 28000 to 32000 pounds

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