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Can Tesla Bust Barriers for Heavy Duty ETs?

Can Tesla Bust Barriers for Heavy Duty ETs?

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by Gill D on November 29, 2021

The climate change community is increasingly agreeing that the solution to moving away from fossil fuels is to electrify everything — to switch the electrical grid to carbon-free power and to electrify other major polluting sectors like transportation and heating.

Electrification of heavy-duty transportation is likely to be difficult. Until recently, it was widely assumed that the cost and power constraints of batteries would make fully electrifying anything larger than passenger vehicles problematic.

However, battery technology has advanced in leaps and bounds. Full electrification is still out of reach for large vehicles such as long-haul planes and container ships, but it has lately become a feasible for a large and important category of vehicles in the middle: medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses.

They emit tremendous amounts of air and noise pollution because they are mainly powered by diesel engines.

 

MHDETs (medium-heavy-duty electric trucks)

MHDETs (medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks) fill this gap. They are quiet, emit no emissions from their tailpipes, and are powered by an increasingly clean electricity system. They were an unachievable fantasy a decade ago, but prominent manufacturers like Daimler, Volvo, VW, and Tesla are now vying for market share, with various versions set to hit the road within the next year.

There will be a huge demand for clean alternatives as countries around the world begin to crack down on carbon emissions — and cities ratchet up their fight against diesel pollution. Big fleet owners like Amazon, Walmart, and Pepsi are driving demand, as they switch to MHDETs.

The majority of buyers of large buses and trucks do not buy single vehicles. Almost all of them are in charge of car fleets. So the decision to electrify extends beyond whether the next truck will be cheaper to run on electricity. Electrifying a fleet is a large, complex process that entails purchasing and installing new charging infrastructure as well as changing operational procedures, all while dealing with significant uncertainty and risk.

While there is a strong desire to electrify heavy-duty transportation vehicles, a number of obstacles remain, including greater upfront costs, complex charging methods and infrastructure, limited model availability, and all of this in the face of the entrenched diesel industry.

Tesla Semi Heavy Duty Electric Truck

 

The Tesla Semi Solution

Elon Musk stated that the development of such an electric truck would be a significant step forwards in the economy's transition away from fossil fuels.

Musk's vision of an all-electric world in which cars, trucks, and residences are all powered by pure energy includes the Tesla Semi truck, which he claims is the safest and most convenient transport. Because the Tesla Semi does not have a gasoline engine or transmission, it should require less maintenance. Four separate batteries deliver maximum power and acceleration while consuming less energy every mile.

Tesla Semi truck safety features include an improved battery with impact protection, impact-resistant front glass, and a slew of sensors that alert the truck driver of system problems and brakes. Tesla's autopilot technology has been upgraded to include automated emergency braking, lane detection, and lane departure warning. It also has sensors that can detect instabilities and adjust each wheel separately. External cameras aid in the reduction of blind spots and the detection of things. Objects are recognized and blind spots are eliminated thanks to volumetric cameras, alerting the driver to safety and obstructions.

Due to supply chain issues and limited battery cell availability, Tesla has delayed the introduction of its electric Semi truck program until 2022, according to the company's second-quarter earnings report released Monday.

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has previously expressed concern about battery supply limits and their potential impact on the Tesla Semi, which was first presented as a prototype in November 2017.

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