Tesla Semi has been revealed! Pics, stats, and prices!

Discussion in 'Semi' started by Domenick, Nov 17, 2017.

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  1. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I could be wrong about that. If the shorter range version is a "day cab" and the longer-range version is a larger and more luxurious "sleeper cab", that alone might explain the $30,000 difference in price.

    Again, still a lot of room for speculation!
     
  2. kbm3

    kbm3 New Member

    75$ / kWh cell level costs by 2019 was already way on the optimistic side. This is $75 / kWh at the pack level retail (not cost).

    It is just mind blowing.
     
  3. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah, I read this, and the author's a good guy. I disagree/see things differently with regards to many of his points.

    I do like mirrors, though, and like to have a 2 or 3 offering different views on each side. I'm also not sure that cameras would be an improvement. I used to use one sometimes for backing up to a loading dock, but I much preferred to use my mirrors. I suppose if implemented well, ie, a good better quality image than what I've seen, one could get used to it.

    He doesn't like the center seating, but I totally like that part of the concept. Up high, and in front like that, you can get an equally good view of both front corners. Also, if their are mirrors, at least, the mind doesn't have to rethink the perspective differences between the left and right mirrors. Driver's tend to use the left mirror more than the right, so when you do use the right, your mind has to adjust to how that side is reflected -- depth, distances -- are all slightly changed. If the view from both sides is covered in exactly the same way, the mind can seamlessly shift from one to another without having to make adjustments. Just think of how your mind adjusts switching from a rear view mirror in a car to the driver's side mirror, and maybe you understand what I'm trying to communicate.

    I understand his thing with being able to see around traffic in front, when that traffic is a truck you can't see over. This could be remedied to some extent with forward-viewing cameras on the sides, though they should only pop out of the skin (or mirrors) to take a look when you need them, otherwise they'll be covered in bugs and/or dirt and useless in no time.

    I also don't have a problem with the screens. Yeah, of course they need to be dimmable -- a used to throw my jacket over the my trip computer because the display was so bright at night, when I typically drove. I don't think they're blocking much view, though I'd have to actually sit in it to get a proper sense.

    Totally agree about side windows. They must roll down to deal with inspectors at ag stations (Agricultural Inspection Stations), and sometimes at scales. (Usually, there's no human interaction at the scales I'd have to stop at, but every once in a while, someone might stroll out to ask you questions. Since these interactions happen at a full stop, it's not a big deal to me if I have to pull the airbrake and get up and move to a window if paperwork is needed to be shown. I mostly hauled autoparts, so exchanging paperwork is something I very rarely had to do, and it was usually only after being asked to pull over tothe side so the back of the truck could be inspected, and I had to get out and open the back anyway.

    Now, the whole "Jackknifing is impossible." thing. I too am skeptical of this claim. I'm not going to call it a lie, because I don't know what kind of testing Tesla has done. Certainly they'd have to have some sort of basis in fact, and so I'm not going to dismiss it out of hand or impugn Musk's character. I would like further clarification, though: could this work on on icy roads too? what are the parameters of the testing that's been done.

    I assume they accomplish it by counteracting angular velocity of trailer "pushes" with regen braking/releasing on the appropriate side. Say you're panic stopping and the back of the tractor starts to be pushed to one side, if the wheels on the other side momentarily cease braking, it may correct the attitude of the tractor so it's pointed straight again. Anyway, I'm eager to hear more about this.

    The one big thing he didn't mention in this piece was sound. Trucks are ridiculously noisy because of both wind and engine, and that constant barrage is fatiguing. If you listen to the radio, or CB, or what have you, you have to use higher than normal volume , which compounds the problem. With the electric motors located out back, there's far less of that noise and the good aero should also help. Still, it would be nice if they consider using sound deadening as well. Drivers spend a lot of hours in that cab and it really takes a toll on hearing.
     
  4. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    Both long and short range versions are day cabs. The battery is probably the only real difference.
     
  5. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I firmly disagree. For safety sake, cameras providing "blind spot" viewing, whether that's to the front or to the rear, need to be operational at all times, and the view from those cameras need to be displayed constantly... which is why I suggested that two viewscreens in the Tesla Semi Truck cabin may not be enough. There may need to be one or two more, possibly mounted high up above the driver's eyeline, but where he can glance at them when needed.

    If Tesla needs to put in some sort of constantly operating cleaning system for such forward-facing camera lenses, to clean off bugs, dust, and dirt that collect on them, then Tesla should install those. Maybe a miniature version of a ship's clear view screen, possibly with a windshield washer nozzle attached, as some cars have on the rear window?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clear_view_screen

    Yeah, the ex-trucker making a big deal about not being able to lean over from his seat and hand his paperwork out the window seems to be whining, and rather excessive whining at that. Tesla's Semi cab is configured with standing room, so what's the big deal about getting out of your seat and taking a couple of steps to the window? Now, he is absolutely right in saying that at least the left side window needs to be able to roll down (right side for right-hand-drive countries). If the concept trucks Tesla showed at the Reveal were not able to do that... well then, that's just a bit of evidence in favor of what I predicted: that what Tesla showed the other night were not production intent prototypes, but rather concept vehicles.
     
  6. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member


    I've never seen that clear view screen thing before. Pretty neat.

    Certainly, with no mirrors, one would need cameras to show the area alongside the doors, where cars can creep up and be completely hidden from view even in a conventional truck. The forward looking ones, well, it's not very often I would need those, but if they could figure out a way to keep them clean, sure, go for it!

    I think the vehicles shown are largely what the production ones will look like, but there could be any number of small changes -- mirrors, roll-down windows, etc.
     
  7. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Large mirrors, of the type currently mounted outside semi tractor windows, are not going to be a "small" change for the Tesla Semi Truck. That would add significantly to the drag, especially if -- as those comments by the ex-trucker suggested -- there will need to be additional mirrors to allow blind-spot viewing to the forward left and forward right, due to the centrally located driver's seat.

    I think it's safe to predict that Tesla will be pushing for adoption of the smallest legally allowed external mirrors**, supplemented by cameras facing in several directions. Of course, that won't stop truckers from mounting large aftermarket mirrors, but they may be disappointed by how much that cuts down on their savings in fuel cost.

    **And Tesla will keep lobbying Congress to allow cameras to replace external mirrors on vehicles.
     
  8. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    It would be interesting to see how much mirrors affect drag. A lot of trucks get by with the large mirror on each side, but those are usually split into two sections, with one being convex mirror to cover that beside-the-cab-blindspot. Alternatively, separate mirrors are mounted on or near the front fenders to cover it.
     
  9. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    Speaking of mirrors, the black prototype was filmed on the street and now sports some mirrors. I'm guessing those other things sticking out near the top are cameras, but that's a guess.



    Tesla Semi mirrors.jpg
     
  10. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Those "things sticking out near the top" are the mounting arms for the swinging panels which close off most of the gap between cab and trailer. Panels which swing out when the tractor turns, to make room for the changing angle between cab and trailer.

    But it's possible those arms might also serve as a mounting point for cameras.

    tesla-debuts-new-sem-6_800x0w[1].jpg
     
  11. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    Ah, now I see how those work. It didn't really click for me before. Thanks!
     
  12. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I didn't explain that correctly. I should have said: Those "things sticking out near the top" are the mounting arms for control rods attached to the swinging panels which close off most of the gap between cab and trailer.

    You're quite welcome.

    I watched the videos that Tesla posted about its Semi Truck, and read everything about it I could find. Yet I never saw the swinging panels in operation until I saw a CBS News report on the subject. It wasn't until I saw that, that I realized how Tesla was handing the problem with changing angles between the cab and the trailer when the semi truck turns. The brief promo video that Tesla released before the "reveal" event certainly didn't show it!

    It would be helpful (and appreciated by me) if Tesla would release a diagram of its Semi Truck, to clear up confusions like this one.
     
  13. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    According to an article at The Street about today's Tesla Stockholder meeting:

    Musk also said the automaker is redesigning the Semi because they can get significantly more range out of it and improve the functionality.
    I'm gratified to see another one of my predictions about the Tesla Semi Truck has now been shown to be true. I predicted that what Tesla would (and did) show at the Tesla Semi Truck "reveal" event would be a concept vehicle or technology demonstrator, not a production-intent prototype. Probably nobody else cares, but I feel like it's kind of a "personal best" for me. :)

     
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  14. 101101

    101101 Active Member

    800 miles would be great! Presumably they could do a lot more if they followed Mr. Randall's guess which predated what the actual reveal. He was/is an automotive engineer so presumably not too far off the mark. Either way expect it to have great effect when fully loaded Tesla semis are 20mph up a grade faster than the most powerful ICE trucks- zoom right by waiving at them in the rear view mirror. Will create an implosion in the gas truck industry.
     
  15. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member

    One of the questions at the stockholder meeting was about a 'cab forward' design to meet EU length restrictions. This suggests the Nikola patent infringement suit may soon fade into the obscurity it deserves.

    Bob Wilson
     
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  16. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    My "napkin math 1.0" analysis assumed the battery pack would be placed behind the cab, and would be roughly the same size as the space at the rear in a sleeper cab. A "cab-over" design would force Tesla to place the battery pack underneath the cab. Elon talked about substantial volume reduction in batteries within a few years, so somewhere down the line that might be possible. But using 2020 tech, I question that a cab-over design would be practical. Obviously if the battery pack was small enough it would be, but that would restrict the range of the truck quite a bit.

    Honestly, I don't understand why that's still a topic of discussion. Other designs for super-high-efficiency semi tractors have very much the same overall shape; they're all designed in a wind tunnel, so many of them are gonna look similar. Look at this Navistar Supertruck concept:
    [​IMG]
    Is that any further from the Nikola One design...

    [​IMG]

    ...than the Tesla Semi Truck?

    [​IMG]

    I'd say it's even closer. Is Nikola gonna sue Navistar? Well of course not, because Navistar isn't serious about putting that design into production, and besides Nikola is getting a lot more press coverage (free publicity) by trying to sue Tesla than they could by trying to sue Navistar.

     
  17. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member

    I'll defer judgement on the cab forward vs battery design issues. I don't have enough information to hack out the volume and energy density issues.

    As for the Nikola suit, I wonder if it is in Tesla's interest to drag the case out as long as possible. Nikola has shallow pockets and will be bleeding court costs. The $2.2B looks like Nikola needs a cash infusion to go forward.

    Bob Wilson
     
  18. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    That's in interesting possibility. The usual case is for a "patent troll" to sue a company with deep pockets in the hope they'll get some "oh go away" money, because the patent troll threatens to hold up production of a commercial product. But with the Tesla Semi Truck (at least) two years from production, then as you say, Tesla might find it to its advantage to go ahead and take Nikola to court and bury them in legal fees. I doubt Tesla will do that; I suspect they will do the straightforward thing and try to get a dismissal of the suit on the grounds that it's frivolous. But what you suggest might be an interesting business strategy!

     
  19. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    In the "Model 3 production ramping up" thread, God/Bacardi wrote:

    I am truly baffled at Tesla putting only a single central seat in its Semi concept vehicle. Who in the world thought that was gonna fly? Doesn't Tesla know that sometimes the drivers carry a passenger? And don't they understand that the driver occasionally needs to lean out of the window to see, when he's backing up? Seems like there wasn't a lot of thought put into giving the truck only a single central seat.

    Wasn't me, sorry. This is the first I've read of the issue with leasing vs. purchase of semi tractors regarding the economics of trucking fleet operations.

    There have been a lot of concept/prototype vehicles using extreme streamlining to improve the fuel efficiency of semi trucks. Obviously none of them have caught on.

    I'd be interested to know why. Well, with some of them it's obvious; those with long needle-like noses aren't very practical for maneuvering in the sometimes restricted space outside a loading dock. But others, such as the Navistar design I posted above, don't have the problem. So why are semi tractor manufacturers, and trucking fleets, ignoring the low-hanging fruit of improved fuel economy from using a more streamlined tractor?
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
  20. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    I like the central seating. I believe there is a jump seat in it as well, or if there isn't, there certainly could be. Truck drivers don't use their windows to back up.

    Would be nice to get a hold of someone with a good number of miles behind the wheel to ask their opinion about it.
     

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