Tesla Electric Truck

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Posted by rdamon on Friday, December 01, 2017 9:01 AM

Perhaps they could use a common modular battery design that can be swapped for a fully charged unit at a truck stop or roadside in an emergency.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, December 01, 2017 9:25 AM

rdamon

Perhaps they could use a common modular battery design that can be swapped for a fully charged unit at a truck stop or roadside in an emergency.

The array weighs more than 18,000lb ... for local range.  Until practical battery energy-storage density gets better ... which it will, but with potentially showstopping safety drawbacks for truck use ... expect OTR tractor arrays to be heavier.

An infrastructure to do this kind of swap can be done, of course; I've designed several variants for patent.  But much of the presumed 'big savings' for BEV-only heavy trucks go away net of the costs, trade offs, and potential liability exposure involved. 

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Posted by jeffhergert on Friday, December 01, 2017 9:25 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH

Charging times seem to be an issue that everybody is dancing around and never actually answering. The current range of my own car is 275-320 miles on a full tank of gasoline.  It takes about 10 minutes to refill the tank, which is not a major issue if I'm on the road.  Recharging a battery with similar range will take appreciably longer than that, meaning that most electric vehicles are limited to local use.

It will also be interesting to see what happens after those who have installed re-charging stations in their garage receive their electric bills.

 

All electric vehicles, self-driving cars, the idea that people will no longer own cars but call Uber or other type services for their needs, etc.  I'm beginning (actually have thought for a long time) that the people predicting these things believe people only live in large urban areas.  Or maybe they think the urban populations are the only ones that matter in the future.

Jeff 

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, December 01, 2017 9:39 AM

Jeff --" I'm beginning (actually have thought for a long time) that the people predicting these things believe people only live in large urban areas.  Or maybe they think the urban populations are the only ones that matter in the future."

Quite true, we are officially deemed as "unsustainable" here in the North, with a few exceptions. Situation is even worse in Ontario. 

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, December 01, 2017 9:55 AM

Quite a bit of research, including at Tesla for their priority Supercharger network, has involved effective real-time charging.  If the battery array is properly switched and cooled, it can be charged 'in parallel' at a much higher net amperage rate; if there are large numbers of 'available' (meaning properly scheduled access) charge points, the "correct" strategy of charge at around 20% up to around 80% can be used, which minimizes time and maximizes life ... for the corresponding weight penalty in pure BEV operation.

Of course, in a hybrid you could 'finish charge' the battery if desired for extended BEV range upon arrival at a battery-only AQMD, or use a tap from continuous guideway power, remembering that some of that 20% represents the 'bank' for regenerative braking.

 

Absent large rental fleets for long-distance service, which were unworkable in '70s PRT and perhaps even more so now, the fundamental assumption with all the 'Uber-centric' models is that they feed into workable regional and national networks of 'mass transit'.  There have always been car services catering to one-way and round-trip distances for people who don't like driving long distances to get to end destinations not served by transit, and I expect that segment to flourish as true autonomous vehicles begin to be introduced.  But the default is better regional 'ports' of origin and destination; a good partial example is seen in the choices of origin/destination pairs for Zunum, vs. feeder air for large commercial aviation.

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Posted by Euclid on Friday, December 01, 2017 9:59 AM

 

Yes these dreams of fantastic solutions through technology are part of the sustainability movement or green movement.  They believe that all you have to do is dream of an objective and it can be made to happen.  So if a breakthrough in battery capacity is needed, we will simply apply the scientific research and make it happen.  The conclusion is that if battery capacity state of the art is not enough for a new dream, it is only because nobody has wanted or needed more battery capacity until now.  I am surprised that Elon Musk is not inventing perpetual motion based energy.  It certainly would be handy. 

 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, December 01, 2017 12:04 PM

I go along with the general theme of Bucky's post.  Ferdinand de Lesseps (who was NOT an engineer) had the same belief in regard to his project to dig a sea-level Panama Canal and felt let down when French engineering couldn't achieve that goal.

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Posted by erikem on Friday, December 01, 2017 12:45 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH

It will also be interesting to see what happens after those who have installed re-charging stations in their garage receive their electric bills.

May not be too bad - with time of day metering, recharging during base load hours can get a substantial reduction in cost of electricity. Further "smart grid" approach is charging when there is a surplus of renewable electricity, as the power companies would be willing to sell juice at a very low rate.

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Posted by tdmidget on Friday, December 01, 2017 7:44 PM

What? A "surplus" of renewable energy? "splain that. Will it come from all those solar cells at night? If subsidies go away at least half of that will go away. Every coal plant, every nuke that closes is a major step toward a shortage, not a surplus. Our electrical distribution system was built on reliability and availability.

Pie in the sky "renewables" are the antithesis of our system. Your electric car won't amount to a hill of crap with out a RELIABLE charge. The day you can't get to work because the wind did not blow last night might open your eyes.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, December 01, 2017 8:00 PM

tdmidget
WShat? A "surplus" of renewable energy? "splain that.

It's obvious from his context.  It's the times of day at which there is 'more' renewable-sourced electricity than needed to satisfy demand ... high-wind or bright-sun days.  It has nothing to do either with changes in necessary baseline or with any demand at times other than those corresponding to 'peak renewable generation'.

The day you can't get to work because the wind did not blow last night represents the day you realize you're an idiot for not buying a vehicle with an independent self-contained charging system.  Or you realize your utility is staffed by politically-chosen millenials too stupid to incorporate energy storage into the distribution grid.  (Or you fire up peaking or distributed resources to satisfy core demand for transportation charging, with 'smart shedding' of vanity loads via better smart meters, etc., but no need to digress into those technologies yet...)

I tend to agree with you that excessive reliance on renewables for baseline load is dumb.  I've been watching the politically-driven German 'no-nukes while reducing carbon emissions' business very carefully, as if there are problems of almost any of the predicted sort they will either show up there or solutions to them will become perhaps painfully evident, both long before we see any practical effect here.  (As recently as 3 weeks ago, I was treated to a long presentation from our local utility and TVA, describing the 'green credits' system for renewable surplus generation -- it's silly and doesn't matter in any practical economic sense I could see.  So don't expect new-renewable capacity to become a significant public-private initiative priority very much longer.  I'm sad about that, but at the same time it demonstrates the need for adult alternatives in new power sourcing and administration.

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Posted by Euclid on Friday, December 01, 2017 9:40 PM

Renewables may be pie in the sky, or they may intentionally not really be the abundance of cheap energy that they are represented to be.  What they surely are is the road to conservation.  They take that road because they will not be cheaper than present energy production.  We are on the road to eye-popping electric bills, and the only remedy is to use less.  Intense conservation is after all, the very embodiment of "sustainability" that is constantly cited in any advocacy of green energy. 

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, December 01, 2017 10:20 PM

Euclid
Renewables may be pie in the sky, or they may intentionally not really be the abundance of cheap energy that they are represented to be.  What they surely are is the road to conservation.  They take that road because they will not be cheaper than present energy production.  We are on the road to eye-popping electric bills, and the only remedy is to use less.  Intense conservation is after all, the very embodiment of "sustainability" that is constantly cited in any advocacy of green energy. 

However, in the real world we are the the point of a conumdrum.  If we reduce consumption the demand decreases and one of two things happen - initially the oversupply decreases prices.  If the lack of demand continues, production then decreases to the point where price and demand become steady.

How green can you afford to be.

         

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Saturday, December 02, 2017 7:16 AM

Real world experiance talking here when it comes to dealing with weight on truck as I see the BOL's all day long from my drivers aka my work kids daily and also know what our trucks weigh in at and what our customers demand we be able to haul.  If this Electric truck weighs in at anything over 20K lbs with the battery installed forget it.  We will not lease a truck on here that weighs more than that for our van fleet at all.  We also will not lease a tanker pulling trailer that weighs in at more than 19K lbs.  He is going have to have one hell of a battery pack in that thing to get the range he is promising in all weather types if it fails then he will end up in court.  Why JB Hunt Walmart will take him to court for breach of contract and laugh all the way to the bank.  They are going to want 500 miles of range at 80K lbs going thru the Rockies in winter at -20 good luck.

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Posted by Euclid on Saturday, December 02, 2017 8:58 AM

BaltACD
 
Euclid
Renewables may be pie in the sky, or they may intentionally not really be the abundance of cheap energy that they are represented to be.  What they surely are is the road to conservation.  They take that road because they will not be cheaper than present energy production.  We are on the road to eye-popping electric bills, and the only remedy is to use less.  Intense conservation is after all, the very embodiment of "sustainability" that is constantly cited in any advocacy of green energy. 

 

However, in the real world we are the the point of a conumdrum.  If we reduce consumption the demand decreases and one of two things happen - initially the oversupply decreases prices.  If the lack of demand continues, production then decreases to the point where price and demand become steady.

How green can you afford to be.

 

Oh I am sure they will price it completely out of reach of everyone.  Then we will carry energy insurance to cover the cost of emergencies such as the need to turn on a light. 

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Posted by erikem on Saturday, December 02, 2017 12:30 PM

tdmidget

What? A "surplus" of renewable energy? "splain that.

Just search for CalISO Solar Duck.

The heart of the problem with solar in California is that peak generation takes place about noon, while peak demand takes place about 7PM. The rise in the demand curve starts somewhere around noon, so there will be an effective "surplus" late morning. The powers that be are starting to wise up a bit and now are encouraging west facing PV installations to push the solar peak later into the day.

Given the above, it makes great sense for utilities to provide incentives for smart demand, i.e. a load that can be ramped up and shut down in response to erratic renewable generation to smooth out the load on conventional generation. Things get even better when the electric cars are capable of feeding power back to the grid.

On a related note, probably the main reason that Musk arranged for the sale of Solar City to Tesla, was that he was aware that the PV market was going to grind to a halt without some sort of energy storage (e.g. PowerWall). Almost all of the grid tied PV installations use the grid as a battery, which is not a problem when PV is a few percent of total demand, but becomes a big problem much above 10 percent.

Getting the best of demand control versus renewable generation will require accurate weather forecasts. Current forecasts aren't too bad, but getting even better accuracy would be worth serious money. A flip side is the ISO's could tell the various renewable generation entities that they need to bid 24 hours in advance and pay penalties for undersupply or oversupply from their bid.

FWIW, I am not a renewable energy fan and agree with comments from you Overmod and others about renewables are not a panacea. I also think that if CO2 is a serious problem, then nuclear has to be part of the generation mix.

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Posted by tree68 on Saturday, December 02, 2017 12:41 PM

tdmidget
A "surplus" of renewable energy? "splain that.

It's why "stored energy" is an important consideration.

Some time back I read of a plan to put a large reservoir at a point along the Hudson River.  During times of high energy availability (ie, the morning solar already mentioned), water would be pumped uphill into the reservoir.  At times of high load with low supply (evenings), the water would flow back down through turbines to help cover the load requirements.

Many hydro-electric installations operate just so, albeit with the natural flow of the waterway they are using.  Along about 4 PM each day, river users must be aware (usually due to signs posted) that the waters downstream will rise considerably.

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Saturday, December 02, 2017 9:02 PM

tree68
Some time back I read of a plan to put a large reservoir at a point along the Hudson River.

This was the Storm King Mountain plant that got rejected. Pumped storage is a great tool for offsetting the variation in energy use during the day. Utilities have a mix of generation and if they have a typical city load, they like a mix of baseload units like nuclear that have a high capitol cost but a low fuel cost that can run flat out 24 hrs a day, swing plants that can track load variations but have a lower capitol cost and medium fuel cost, and peaker units that have low capitol cost but typically high fuel costs (frequently gas turbines). Pumped storage compliments the nuclear units as their "fuel" is off peak (late night) electicicity. They fill the reservoir between midnight and dawn, then wait until the load grows and then generates during the peak. Charging batteries is one alternative but the life cycle can be an issue. Think of your car's battery life.

Read about E. Musk's 100 MW battery plant for Austrailia.

https://www.theverge.com/2017/12/1/16723186/elon-musk-battery-launched-south-australia

 

 

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Posted by aegrotatio on Monday, December 04, 2017 11:19 PM

Yup, the Storm King Mountain pumped storage plant was a real idea.  It was, thankfully, defeated.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storm_King_Mountain_(New_York)#History

 

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