Here’s the shocking truth about electric semi truck adoption in America.

Electric vehicles (EVs) on average weigh more than comparable gas-powered vehicles due to their heavy battery packs, which can add several hundred to over a thousand pounds to the passenger car’s overall weight. For example, the Tesla Model S, one of the most popular electric cars on the market today, weighs around 4,800 pounds, while the average weight of a mid-sized sedan is around 3,500 pounds.
While the added weight of EVs is of great concern and can have substantial impact on road conditions, such as increased wear and tear, it is generally not considered a significant problem yet, since the overall number of electric vehicles is still small.
The overall impact of EVs on road conditions is likely to grow significantly as the number of EVs on the road increases. It will be necessary to take additional steps to ensure that roads and bridges are designed, upgraded and maintained to accommodate the changing weight distribution of vehicles. This cost must be calculated into the overall expense of adapting to EV’s.
And when we factor in semi trucks moving to all electric. The wear and tear on our roads and highways and impact on our electric grid grows tremendously. Our Walmart made in China calculator estimates this to be in the trillions of dollars.
For example, the weight of the Tesla Semi truck has not been officially announced, but it is estimated to be between 16,000 and 20,000 pounds for just the batteries alone.  So it will be interesting to see the final numbers on the Tesla semi once the other additional components such as the motors and drive axles are included. However, the weight of the truck will ultimately depend on the specific configuration, such as the battery capacity and the amount of cargo it is carrying. We could see a tremendous increase in weight for heavy duty semi trucks for extra large payloads.
On average, a traditional semi-truck holds about 100-300 gallons of diesel fuel in one or two tanks. 100 gallons of diesel fuel weighs approximately 700 lb and 300 approximately 2100 lb. The exact amount may vary depending on the size of the fuel tanks, the type of truck, and the manufacturer, among other factors. Some very large trucks or specialized vehicles will have larger fuel tanks, roughly 500 gallons weighing 3500 lb. Diesel driven commercial trucks are designed to maximize fuel efficiency and reduce the need for frequent refueling stops, which can cost time and money for drivers and companies. It’s important to also take into consideration as diesel fuel is burned the vehicle becomes lighter increasing its fuel efficiency, this is not the case with EVs.
Now let’s focus on the obstacle of charging an electric semi-truck using a Level 2 charger that can take anywhere from 8 to 12 hours to fully charge the battery, depending on the battery capacity. However, many electric semi-trucks are designed to use high-power DC fast chargers that can charge the battery in as little as 1-2 hours, depending on the charging capacity of the infrastructure.
The charging time for electric semi-trucks is also affected by the charging infrastructure available. Some charging stations may not have the capacity to charge at high speeds, which can significantly increase charging times. Additionally, the distance between charging stations will also be a factor, as diesel driven semi-trucks typically have much longer ranges than electric semi trucks, which means they will need to travel farther between charging locations. And stop more frequently to recharge.
We must also look at how long batteries will last in the life cycle of a semi truck. The total miles you can get over the lifetime of an electric vehicle battery depends on several factors, such as the type of battery, the number of charge cycles, and how well the battery is maintained.
Most electric vehicle batteries are designed to last for around 100,000 to 200,000 miles before they need to be replaced. However, advanced electric vehicle batteries like Tesla’s have been known to last around 500,000 miles in some cases. Though this has not been tested in the high stress world of over the road trucking. Where it will be very important to maximize the charging distance at each stop putting great strain on battery life cycles.
The actual mileage you can get from an electric vehicle battery also depends on how you use the vehicle and the conditions in which you drive it. When driving an extreme heat environments or extreme cold environments this greatly affects the longevity and overall distance of each charge. And if you frequently charge the battery to 100%, it can decrease the battery’s lifespan, and resulting in a shorter overall mileage.
Generally, electric vehicle manufacturers provide a warranty for the battery for 8 to 10 years or up to a certain number of charge cycles, typically around 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. It is still unknown what the warranty will be on semi trucks.
Let’s also take our Walmart made in China calculator and try to figure out what the overall cost is going to be to convert the thousands of truck stops around the United States to support the repair and maintenance of high capacity high voltage batteries. This will definitely be in the hundreds of billions of dollars or more.
And in the business of time is money there is no way for the trucking industry to absorb these charging delays let alone infrastructure adaptation and stay profitable unless they significantly raise the cost of shipping goods to the market. Making all goods that Americans purchase go up in price.
Subsidizing this cannot be done by swiping the national debt credit card. The only way to move to next transportation technology is by tapping in to the 150 plus trillion dollars worth of fossil fuel assets in America. More on that later.
Craig Bushon
Craig Bushon

Craig Bushon

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