Tesla Semi Truck: The Other Side



My guest Stavros of Stavros969 will tell us the other side of the Tesla Semi Truck point of view. What is it like driving a semi truck, and did Tesla get it right when it comes to catering to those who drive semi trucks? Of course, I’ll read your comments and answer some questions LIVE! See you soon!

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50 Replies to “Tesla Semi Truck: The Other Side”

  1. docgspot

    as long as the charging stations are all over. theirs no need for 3000k batteries for the exact reasons you say. saftey!!! no one should drive 500 miles without a break. also the comment about the central position….if your sat on one side of the truck you cant look out the window of the other side. so really thats a mute point.

  2. Kroxigor

    I think people are under valuing the interview of your guest. The point isn't to try and have a debate on every conceivable design aspect but to get a better idea about what potential customers are concerned with and would like to see. We can have arguments about stats and features till the thing is built but it is very hard to have something concrete from lack of access and information. Instead what is needed is to get into the head-space of potential owner-operators and learn HOW to talk about the things that concern them.

  3. Brian Bull

    Hey Alex, can you specify for me is the weight of the truck counted in the 80 thousand pound payload. Or is the weight of the truck irrelevant so it would be weight of the truck + 80,000lbs. Thanks

  4. ALEG SL

    Your guest Stavros is a dinosaur and is totally ill-informed because It's especially interesting since the all-electric truck program at Tesla is led by Jerome Guillen, Tesla's former Model S Program Director and VP of Vehicle Engineering. Before joining Tesla, Guillen was an executive at Daimler where he led the development of the Cascadia semi truck program! I hardly a thing I guy who built semi trucks and starves who only drives trucks and perhaps has never driven a high-quality truck can add anything here of interest I can't find somewhere else! His comment about the center driving position is terminally short sited until you have experienced a centre driving position!

  5. IMHO

    Tesla will learn more from the truckers playing the devil’s advocate than they will from Tesla cult members. Stravos just needs more time to compose his arguments, and make sure the numbers match.

    While truckers in EU and US have limits on how many hours a trucker can drive, there is also “team driving” which lets you drive much farther than 500 miles. Stravos is pointing out that the refueling/recharging infrastructure has a big effect. He’s use to trucks that can go 1500 miles on a fuel tank, which means he can refuel when its best for him and not worry about spacing between diesel pumps, or megachargers in the case of the Tesla.

    His point about the driver center seating position may be valid. We’ve had the technology to put a seat in the center of semi trucks for a long time, but we don’t. We’ve had the ability to mount cameras and monitors for decades, so if this is such a great idea, why aren’t most doing it?

  6. The Steel Curtain

    Great comments around this interview. Those who have commented before me have captured much of the same thoughts I had as well. They are all spot on. Alex, thought you handled the interview quite well – not allowing yourself to get bogged down in his seemingly contradictory haze of general excitement and not clearly knowing which direction to go with his thoughts. I think that even LaChelle would have to give it to you on that one. However, I loved La Chelle's mock of your interviewing skills a week or two ago. Lol!

    At any rate, you kept things interesting and engaging and you were very sure footed. That is one of the reasons your channel continues to thrive. Thanks and I'm lookiing forward to today's live stream.

  7. Steve McCormack

    Regarding what Stavros is saying about proliferation of charging stations is of course an issue and Tesla's strategy is to expand as needed. And of course the cost of of filling the truck with diesel is removed. 400 miles of recharge in 30 mins is very compelling. About the central driving position and visibility, I certainly think in case of failure Tesla will need to have at least 2 cameras on either side in case of failure of one of the cameras. Also, They can always add brackets to take mirrors if needed. Stavros should post a comment on the Tesla website with the recommendations about nigh-vision cameras and other things. Tesla have a reputation for taking feedback.

  8. mario kajin

    Third time is a charme 🤗 IMHO the truck is not a 1st gen roadster instead it should be a reliable workhorse (in all aspects). So Tesla have to achieve that right of the start. And that night vision camera is quite something. And about the range, you can drive at top speed for 520 miles in 8 hours, so this is almost the range Tesla promise. But I don’t think that there is a stretch of a road 520 miles long that allows you to drive 65 mph all the way.

  9. coral irwin

    Alex the motorhome industry is going to want 500 of the tesla Semi trucks
    They will chop the back axle and stretch the frame and Drop on a house.
    Hmm Probably double or triple the battery pack too.
    Please have someone do a drawing of conception

  10. EVMANVSGAS

    If there are enough different cameras you will see all around the truck no matter where you are sitting in the truck. This guys argument of not being able to see makes no sense if the cameras are configured right.

  11. usaverageguy

    The Tesla semi with 500 mi range puts it in the same position as a Nissan Leaf with an 85 mi range. It will work for some drivers in some conditions but not all drivers in all conditions. Early adopters such as Walmart are buying them to test the usefulness. They need to know how driving conditions, weather, and age affect the range. And to learn where the practical limits are for it's use. They must also learn if batteries, motors and chassis will hold up to the abuse of hard daily use. And they need to learn if the cost savings in fuel are off set but higher initial cost and perhaps battery replacement after a few years. Do not expect to see many of them on the road until they have a clear idea of the profits they could earn.

  12. John Silvester

    Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) has been running a study, now in its 10th year, of fuel efficiency for Class 8 trucks by 19 large transport companies with a combined fleet of over 71,000 trucks. Average fuel use across the fleet in 2016 was 7.11 MPG. This average includes no load and sub max load trips.

    If we compare this average fuel use with the Tesla Semi worst case energy use of 2kWh/mile and use $2.50/gallon diesel cost and Tesla $0.07/kWh we get:

    Diesel truck $351.62 per 1,000mile
    Tesla truck $140.00 per 1,000mile

    This represents an almost 60% reduction in fuel cost.

    According to the RMI study, fuel economy for diesel trucks has been increasing at about 1% per year over the ten years of the study so far. Even if diesel costs remain at $2.50/gallon it would take many decades of improvement to reach Tesla truck energy costs.

  13. Ewie M

    I was under the in impression that regulations required the use of safety glass in windshields. So it baffled that what seems to be tempered glass is being used for the Tesla semi's windshield. This has long been used for rear and side windows. It's very hard to break – you can hit it with a baseball bat and it won't break – up to a point. When it finally does break it shatters into tiny harmless pieces with no sharp points.

    The problem is if your head hits it in a crash there won't be any give, so your head takes all the impact. That's why vehicles (at least US sold vehicles) use plastic sandwiched safety glass that shatters like a spider web. These provide some give so that a driver or rider has a better chance of surviving.

    What am I missing?

  14. Chris Carson

    OK. 35 years driving semi trailer. Owned several.

    About 500 miles is fine. I think battery swapping would work better as you could make that real fast. As well cranking big amps into a battery is hard on them.

    The driving position is illegal in most of the world. Just a normal seat will be fine. As the man said we are used to a certain view, and do quite trick stuff using it, on occasion.

  15. Glenn Howden

    Having ridden in a fiends skip truck on his route in Dublin, all I can say to this Irish truck driver is: I am glad I am not you.

    Total respect to the Irish truck drivers. A 2 lane road in Ireland is about the same width as a single lane road in the States.

  16. Benedikt

    I knew his video already and was very happy to hear a driver's opinion. This interview gave some additional infos.
    For the semi: Some things might be more in important in EU than in US and vice versa. Did Mr. Musk talk to the industry in several continents? I do hope so!

  17. hades123

    Good video. Valid concerns. I believe all what Stravos has mentioned has been discussed and solved by Tesla as they're pretty obvious ones. We will just have to wait and see.

  18. Vivek Bajpai

    When we are comparing the running cost, all of us are neglecting the fact that the gas prices are going to go up for sure in coming time. There won't be any comparison of cost per mile between diesel and electric, 5 years from now. People need to understand that Tesla or not, moving to electric transport is not a fancy option, but a necessity for a sustainable future.

  19. Vivek Bajpai

    I respect some of the concerns Stavros brought up, but IMO, most of them we portraying his lack of information about the Tesla semi. If one could see the entire 360 degree view on their screens, they would not need to take their heads out from windows.

  20. Rene Z

    The Tesla truck is meant to change the trucking industries on it's basic operation. The drivers preseption of this truck is irrelevant on this case. Big companies that require moving merchandise for 500 or less miles and have big warehouse where the charging infrastructure can be installed are the ones how will push this forward due to economic resons (there are so many examples of this FEDEX, UPS, AMAZON, WAL-MART….). The other big advantage of Tesla is it's technology which will not only make this truck easy to operate also safer. Technology like autopilot which will assist in making this truck safer on the road compare to other trucks (this is something that only current Tesla owners whit autopilot experience know and can speak abut) therefore truckers have no real grasp on this. Plus there could be so much more that apply only to trucks that we have not know off, maybe the truck can park itself on the loading bay, why will there be a need for mirrors. So the reality is that Tesla will move forward with this (Maybe at a slow pace at first, but I think there is no doubt it will become the leader)

  21. Argasy Argasy2

    Tesla needs to create demonstrations of their trucks doing tight maneuvers to quell concerns. As for the current range of their trucks; I think Tesla needs to start with the basic range then gradually improve on that as battery costs go down with time.

  22. Wayne Russell

    Highlights how innovation is one thing but revolution is another. Traditional trucking companies struggle to step outside the mold and so 10 years to test one small thing. Shareholders and management do not want to do anything that may effect profits. Drivers do not understand anything else other than what they use so can't grasp no mirrors and central seating possible with AI maneuvering. Fleet managers do not want to risk unknown brands and features.
    Revolution comes from outside the system.
    Imagine the number of urgent automotive related corporate meetings that have been held over the last week. The disruption is massive – biggest change in the auto industry since Henry Ford.

  23. Ale Kar

    I desagree totaly with the 2000 miles range.

    1) Why you should go for the longest range?
    There's a big enough market for even 100 or 200 miles.
    Those trucks are the once driving through cities, and there we can have the gratest benefits with less exhaust fumes and also the noice level.

    2) For the 100 to 200 miles market you don't have to build a crazy big network.
    Here you can handle it with only charging at your destination while unloading.

    My suggestion is to concentrate on these use-cases and when the battery technology is better and cheaper in 5-10 years we can start putting out the trucks with 500+ miles or whatever you need.

  24. Gene Phipps

    One other interesting thing to consider about Tesla's re-imagining of a Semi. All of the camera's and computational power on board is going to provide a lot of "black box" type data for accident investigation, civil liability cases, and even DOT rules enforcement like hours in operation etc. Drivers have falsified their log books for years and years–I know some who have a trap door to the dog house so they can fill in times if they get pulled over. I think all of the black box type instrumentation and data (and video) collection will have a very positive impact for the bigger companies.

  25. Grant Brown

    makes a change to see someone in the industry that Tesla is turning upside down, being so positive and honest, this guy is so likeable i just want to go for a beer with him, also he made a very good point if drivers are being aged out and Tesla can get the platooning right then wow this is going to be amazing also just want to make the point that ppl have been saying the truck is not as much money as they thought it would be. If you think about it Tesla is charging for the power and its only costing them the initial outlay for power packs and solar, so the cost of 400 mile is $504.00 and its sun powered that lots of money for Tesla and is why the truck price is so low lol

  26. Gene Phipps

    Sorry but I found this episode almost unwatchable. The guy was waffling all over the place because he was trying a bit too hard to be "sensational" for want of a better word. An example would be his initial claim that "500 miles is not nearly enough and it should be closer to 3,000 km". A claim he all but admits is rubbish within a few minutes. You can tell he knows it is rubbish because he jumps topics whenever pressed.

    Another example is the door hinge strength comment–especially the "drivers side door" in a truck with no drivers side. For those of you unfamiliar with getting into a semi the process is not all that easy because you essentially climb a vertical ladder rungs and hold onto a grab bar in one hand and the door in the other so you typically have the drivers weight very heavily on the door–so it is not uncommon to have the drivers door hinges wear out pretty quickly. The Tesla Semi has alleviated this by using larger doors and stairs–more like boarding a commercial buss like a Greyhound–so no drivers weight hanging off of it. This is actually a fairly big deal as a large number of driver injuries are from drivers falling off the truck–it happens a LOT.

    Another advantage to the centrally mounted driver is the same truck will be saleable world wide with little or no variation needed for right or left hand drive countries. As for visibility, from what I have read the cameras will offer either a full 360 degree view, or very close to it. I personally would much prefer a camera with range / distance readouts to "leaning out a window"

    He also commented that the seat must be comfortable and durable…really? I am certain Tesla has gone out of their way to make the seat as uncomfortable as they possibly can. The durability portion relates back to current trucks and the driver being forced to climb a ladder and drag his back side over the side bolster. This destroys seats fairly quickly and is an issue that is eliminated in the Tesla design.

  27. Lars Löwgren

    Stavros know nothing about electric car?
    It will be the same history for Model S and X. Stavros should adapt or get out of business… I think. There will be a lot of Megachargers all over the place and then you don’t need range as in a diesel.

  28. Tobias Ender

    I like that. Do more of this type of video. Go out of the Tesla bubble. Bring the worst people in front of the camera. "Dispute" in terms of a real discussion is what I like to see. Thanks.

  29. C C

    I don’t think the issue is with appealing to drivers as much as it is appealing to companies such as Walmart, Target, Publix, Albertsons, Kroger, etc. For better or worse, I think politically it will become an issue for those who don’t make the move to “clean” energy transportation. I don’t necessarily agree with it, but with the introduction of more and more models, they are slowly becoming a company that is too big to fail.

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