Saturday, November 18, 2017

TESLA Semi - Welcome The First Step Toward Institutional Alternative-Power Autonomy

Elon Musk unveiled Tesla’s new electric semi truck at the design studio in Hawthorne. Thursday evening in an invite only event. What was shown during the presentation were Two futuristic Semi trucks, in shiny silver and matte gray, pulled up next to Elon Musk, displaying sleek LED lights and sharply angled faces. Credit Tesla

 TESLA Semi - Welcome The First Step Toward Institutional Alternative-Power Autonomy

Tesla Motors, from an aircraft hangar at Hawthorne airport Thursday night, delivered a presentation that amounted to a "smack-down" to all things fossil fuel. Tesla CEO Elon Musk showed off a new electric Semi, a pickup and a Roadster that the company says will outshine their combustion-engine counterparts in all areas.

Musk introduced these new electric-powered platforms on a stage facing the runway, adjacent to the Tesla Design Studio and at the site of aviation pioneer Jack Northrop’s former headquarters.

The fully electric trucks “are designed like a bullet,” Musk said. They can go zero to 60 in 5 seconds (or 20 seconds if fully loaded), climb a steep hill at 65 mph, and carefully pull off the road to call for help if the driver’s hands leave the wheel, he said. The driver’s seat is in the center like a racecar.

“It’s not like any truck that you’ve ever driven,” said Musk, wearing dark jeans, a black T-shirt and brown jacket. “We are guaranteeing this truck will not break down for a million miles because it has four independent motors. Even if you only have two motors active, it’ll still beat a diesel trucks.”

“The point of doing this is to just give a hardcore smack-down to gasoline cars,” Musk said. “Driving a gasoline sports-car is going to feel like a steam engine with a side of quiche.”

The Tesla Semi is the latest addition to clean-energy trucking technologies being considered for use at the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which are the single largest stationary source of air pollution in Southern California.
[ht: Daily Breeze - Reference Here]

Artist rendering of the 500 mile range TESLA Semi. Image Credit: Tesla


This excerpted and edited from -

Motor Mouth: The inconvenient truth about Tesla’s truck
by  DAVID BOOTH - Driving/Going Green

Tesla has finally unveiled its much-promised big rig. And with not a little fanfare, especially considering that said semi is claimed to have a range of 500 miles (800 kilometres!) and, more importantly — at least for fleets seriously considering an all-electric 18-wheeled future — is able to recharge 400 of those miles (640 km) in just 30 minutes. So the question is, has The Elon Musk really reinvented the electric vehicle yet again? Or are his latest claims of re-imagining heavy-duty transport just more of his Madoffian fantasy?

To find out, Motor Mouth broke out the old calculator — Plugging what we know — 30 minutes of recharging time and the fact that the biggest recharger available is 600 kilowatts — into some fairly simple formulae and we arrive at a number that says Musk estimates his sleek semi will require about 300 kilowatt-hours to travel 400 miles.

Now, here’s where those numbers go just slightly awry. Mr. Musk’s sleek Model S — a bit of a porker but aerodynamically efficient nonetheless — needs just a hair under 0.33 kilowatt-hours to travel one mile. So, if it, too, were to claim a 400-mile range, it would need about a 135 kW-h battery. Now, I am pretty sure that it doesn’t take a degree in rocket science to figure out that one of those calculations — a Model S needing 135 kW-hr to travel 400 miles or a full-sized 18-wheeler requiring just 300 kW-hr to do the same — is a little wonky. The truck is, after all, about 15 times heavier and probably has at least three times the aerodynamic resistance.

For those needing a little more arithmetic backup, consider the following: A current, fully-loaded 18-wheeler similar in shape and size to Tesla’s big rig can consume anywhere between 40 and 50 litres of diesel fuel per 100 kilometres while cruising at about 100 kilometres an hour. By way of comparison, an Audi A7 — similar in size and shape to a Model S, but also diesel powered — consumes about 6 L/100 km. And that’s with your humble Motor Mouth hogging the fast lane at about 120 km/h. Simple math, then, says that said ginourmous truck consumes somewhere in the vicinity of six to eight times more fuel to cover the same distance than the itty, bitty car. As further comparator, big rigs can use up 10 times as much horsepower to cruise at 100 km/h as a car, but we’ll stick with the more conservative estimate of six to eight for our calculations.

If we use the median of those figures and assume that Musk’s truck requires eight times the battery as his Model S to cover the same distance, then, that 500-mile range he claims requires somewhere around 1,000 kW-h to power. At current prices, the batteries alone could cost as much as US$200,000, a figure that jives (roughly) with a recent Carnegie Mellon study on electric semi trucks that determined that “a 300-mile-capable battery pack costs about $200,000.” An entire diesel truck, by way of comparison, costs about US$120,000. That same study also estimates that the battery required for a long-distance big rig could weigh as much as as 22 tons — in other words, according to the study, the truck’s battery is heavier than its payload.

More dramatically, plugging those numbers — 1,000 kW-h rechargeable in 30 minutes — into those same basic recharging calculations tells us a 2 MW (yes, two megawatts!) charger would be required to replenish the new Tesla 18-wheeler in the time Musk claims. That, as they say, is a game changer, since the 0.6 MW unit I mentioned earlier is so powerful it needs to be fully automated, is about the size of a small gas station kiosk and costs in the range of half a million bucks.

And, lest you think I am being overly harsh with my estimations, that aforementioned Carnegie Mellon study (Evaluating the Potential of Platooning in Lowering the Required Performance metrics of Li-on Batteries to Enable Practical Electric Semi-Trucks) estimated that 1,000 kW-h would only generate 300 miles of range; so, in fact, Tesla’s proposed Megacharger might have to actually be larger than two megawatts if Tesla wants to recharge 400 miles in just 30 minutes.

Unlike previous Motor Mouths regarding Mr. Musk’s claims, I will pass no judgment on whether these latest pronouncements are feasible or outrageous. I am, frankly, tired of his acolytes portraying me as anti-electric and, more insulting, anti-progress. I will, instead, simply offer these calculations as a starting point for discussion. Make of them what you will.

[Reference Here]

Unless Elon Musk was holding back on some technological breakthrough (highly unlikely since these discovery things actually move at a snails pace as opposed to the torque delivery-pace of an electric motor), this counterpoint has a point. It takes large claims to open up additional subsidy from a sycophant federal Treasury.

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: Tesla, Semi-Truck, Truck Tech Talk, Elon Musk, #trucks #semitruck #trucking #bigrig #tractors #trucker #truckdriver #18wheeler #owneroperator 

Friday, November 10, 2017

AUTONOMOUS ... Living, Kiss Self-Determination Ta-Tah!

Bob Lutz, former vice chairman and head of product development at General Motors, published an opinion article that appeared in AutoNews November 5, 2017.

Included in Part 1 of a five-part series in AutoNews titled  “Redesigning the Industry,” Bob outlines his point-of-view on the future of a business in the throes of change into AI (artificial intelligence) and the coming age of autonomous vehicles - everyday driving of cars isn't a part of the landscape.

In the article, Bob Lutz postulates a future of transportation where self-determination and the concept of personal freedom in point-to-point travel becomes greatly devalued ... if non-existant.

These experimental Google autonomous cars are probably a lot prettier and will have more design than what will become the transportation modules in 20 years from now. NOTE - these cars have rear-view mirrors which will be unnecessary when everything becomes autonomous. Image Credit: Digital Trends (2016)

This excerpted and edited from Automotive News - 

It saddens me to say it, but we are approaching the end of the automotive era.

The auto industry is on an accelerating change curve. For hundreds of years, the horse was the prime mover of humans and for the past 120 years it has been the automobile.

Now we are approaching the end of the line for the automobile because travel will be in standardized modules.

The end state will be the fully autonomous module with no capability for the driver to exercise command. You will call for it, it will arrive at your location, you'll get in, input your destination and go to the freeway.
You will be billed for the transportation. You will enter your credit card number or your thumbprint or whatever it will be then. The module will take off and go to its collection point, ready for the next person to call.
A minority of individuals may elect to have personalized modules sitting at home so they can leave their vacation stuff and the kids' soccer gear in them. They'll still want that convenience.

The vehicles, however, will no longer be driven by humans because in 15 to 20 years — at the latest — human-driven vehicles will be legislated off the highways.

The tipping point will come when 20 to 30 percent of vehicles are fully autonomous. 
Everyone will have five years to get their car off the road or sell it for scrap or trade it on a module.

The big fleets
We don't need public acceptance of autonomous vehicles at first. All we need is acceptance by the big fleets: Uber, Lyft, FedEx, UPS, the U.S. Postal Service, utility companies, delivery services. Amazon will probably buy a slew of them. These fleet owners will account for several million vehicles a year. Every few months they will order 100,000 low-end modules, 100,000 medium and 100,000 high-end. The low-cost provider that delivers the specification will get the business.

These modules won't be branded Chevrolet, Ford or Toyota. They'll be branded Uber or Lyft or who-ever else is competing in the market.

The manufacturers of the modules will be much like Nokia — basically building handsets. 

The end of performance

These transportation companies will be able to order modules of various sizes — short ones, medium ones, long ones, even pickup modules. But the performance will be the same for all because nobody will be passing anybody else on the highway. That is the death knell for companies such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi. That kind of performance is not going to count anymore.
There will be no limit to what you can cram into these things because drinking while driving or texting while driving will no longer be an issue.

The importance of styling will be minimized because the modules in the high-speed trains will have to be blunt at both ends. 
The future of dealers?

Unfortunately, I think this is the demise of automotive retailing as we know it.

Think about it: A horse dealer had a stable of horses of all ages, and you would come in and get the horse that suited you. You'd trade in your old horse and take your new horse home.
Automotive sport — using the cars for fun — will survive, just not on public highways. It will survive in country clubs. 

It will be the well-to-do, to the amazement of all their friends, who still know how to drive and who will teach their kids how to drive. It is going to be an elitist thing, though there might be public tracks, like public golf courses, where you sign up for a certain car and you go over and have fun for a few hours.

And like racehorse breeders, there will be manufacturers of race cars and sports cars and off-road vehicles. But it will be a cottage industry.
People will be unable to drive the car to the dealership, so dealers will probably all be on these motorsports and off-road dude ranches. 
In the early days, those tracks may be relatively numerous, but they will decline over time.
Dealerships are ultimately doomed. And I think Automotive News is doomed. Car and Driver is done; Road & Track is done. They are all facing a finite future. They'll be replaced by a magazine called Battery and Module read by the big fleets.

The era of the human-driven automobile, its repair facilities, its dealerships, the media surrounding it — all will be gone in 20 years.

Today's automakers?

The companies that can move downstream and get into value creation will do OK. But unless they develop superior technical capability, the manufacturers of the modules, the handset providers, if you will, will have their specifications set by the big transportation companies.
Automakers, if they are smart, may be able to adapt. General Motors sees the handwriting on the wall. It has created Maven and has bought into Cruise Automation and Lyft.
This transition will be largely complete in 20 years.

I won't be around to say, "I told you so," though if I do make it to 105, I could no longer drive anyway because driving will be banned. So my timing once again is impeccable.
[Reference Here]

If one doubts this major social transition would be impossible to have happen in this short a period in America where there exists a Constitution that was written to protect individual freedom of all peoples in a society - consider this:

So say Ta-Tah! to the total personal freedom paradigm or template of "Where do I want to go today?" - and as you set out the door, you change your mind ... and as you travel in the module (you may or may not own), you realize that up at the next corner when something catches your eye, you can not just pull over and discover what is there because it was never placed in the co-ordinates!

On an interesting (and almost laughable) note ... Las Vegas' Autonomous Bus crashed

Again, since one does not own fuel, car, and the general aspect of community roads, the concept of personal freedom of point-to-point travel in the pursuit of happiness becomes greatly devalued ... if non-existent.

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: Bob Lutz, AutoNews, autonomous cars, autonomous driving, personal freedom, Big Fleets, end of performance, public tracks, doomed, The EDJE