The Tesla Semi...

The Tesla Semi...

My apologies if this topic has come up before in this forum.

I have been thinking over the last few weeks about the unveiling of the Tesla Powerwall and its potential in the United States. And it seems that, while neat, it's somewhat useless as is. For it to truly pay for itself, one must live in a place that has variable day/night rates, and the difference must be enough for the battery to pay for itself over a reasonable amount of time, say 5-10 years. As prices drop, I can see this opening up to more areas of the country, but its initial purchasers would be those believing they are more environmental than what they actually are.
However, the introduction of these in a business environment, i.e. Wal-Mart, may make more financial sense as they use a large amount of energy during the day and can cut back sharply at night, allowing a bank of Powerwalls to cut costs with a reasonable payback time. All of which leads me to ask, why are we limiting ourselves? Why are we not integrating the two ideas into a larger system with a greater impact?

For example, can we not create a semi tractor that runs completely off of electricity? This is where many of you may skip to comment about the massive amount of energy required, far more than that of the Roadster, and storing that much energy is not feasible. But please, let me finish. Hypothetically, we build a semi-tractor with a large electric motor attached to a relatively mild battery, say double that of the Tesla S, so 170 kWh. The semi is attached to a trailer, under which are three more Model S-size batteries, weighing a total of roughly 3600lbs, providing an additional 255 kWh, and wired to the tractor. That is roughly 10% of the max weight a standard semi trailer can legally haul. For a company that hauls bulky items that do not come near the 34-40,000lb limit, this might be a feasible option.

But, that's probably still not enough to haul all that weight very far, and it's not designed to. Most of the energy required by a vehicle is during acceleration and traveling uphill. It takes far less energy to keep a vehicle moving on semi-level ground than it does getting that vehicle up to 65 mph. That is where the solar roadway ( comes in. With an induction charger designed into the roadway , one could charge onboard batteries as you travel down the road. One could, in theory, recharge those batteries and save them for going uphill, passing, or pulling off of the highway to a charging station.

Multitudes of these semis on the road would lead to other helpful changes. Truck stops could be fitted with battery swaps for those that might need it. Rapid chargers could be fitted anywhere trucks might stop: truck and rest stops, along on-ramps, and at major shipping centers. Many of these shipping centers could be outfitted with Powerwall-esque battery stations that hold and distribute solar, wind, or conventional grid electricity to those semis overnight.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on it. Feel free to pick apart as you will…

DTsea | 28. Mai 2015

Solar roadway will never happen. Wayyyyyyy too expensive and i doubt could carry trucks. And inductive charging is very inefficient.

For the cost of a solar road in energy terms it would be far easier to run overhead wires trolley style and connect them to the grid. Or ordinary solar farms along the road if you like.

james.nicklin | 28. Mai 2015

Or think about this. A trailer also has 35 square meters of flat roof. Even with current commercial efficiency of 20%, that is 7kW of charging. Now lets say that during an 8 hour winter day you only get an average of 1/3 of that due to angles of the sun that still nets you almost 19kWh. During a 16 hour summer day lets say you get 1/2 of the max, 28kWh. This gives a 10% charge in of itself, and with 5 85kWh packs for 255 kWh, this is roughly 6.5 gallons of diesel equivalent, and since electric drive is 3-4 times as efficient this makes it the equivalent of as much as 26 gallons of fuel, and since rigs get like 2mpg we are talking a MASSIVE 50 mile driving range. So I think we all can agree that even with every tech available right now an electric rig is a bad idea?

holidayday | 28. Mai 2015

The simpler the better. A truck with a dozen Model S sized batteries would work better than trying to put in inefficient charging while driving solutions.

Tesla Model Semi 1.0 needs at least 300 mile range and a reserve for altitude changes to handle the trips from the Gigafactory to the Fremont factory (258 miles by Google Maps). (timeline approximately 5 years - perhaps a fleet of 100 vehicles to continuously transport batteries.)

Tesla Model Semi 2.0 needs to double that to 600 for more efficient delivery of cars from the Fremont Factory to all of North America. This will also require a few Tesla co-branded truck stops that have SuperDuperChargers that can charge the dozen batteries in a timely manner.

holidayday | 28. Mai 2015

timeline for model 2.0 would be about 7 -10 years. :)

al | 28. Mai 2015

The solar roadways can hold the equivalent of a 250,000lb truck. As for expense, as they are mass produced the cost goes down like any other electrical device. The savings from the reduced maintenence compared to asphalt should help offset some of not all of the increased cost.
Solar farms require land. Solar roads use existing land so it serves two functions, not just one.

I'm unsure where you get your numbers, but semis get roughly 5-6mpg, and newer high efficiency models get close to 12mpg.
Your solar panels on the trailer idea shows exactly why I need road to produce my electricity.

You're right, induction charging is inefficient, but remember that a truck is being charged the entire time it's on the road. Even if the batteries lost 75% of their charge during a 12 hour trip, there are still those rapid charging stations I mentioned along the road to recharge during the required trucker breaks.

Timo | 29. Mai 2015


Building costs of the solar road with $0 solar panels is still about 100x tarmac road because everything else it needs. It will be too expensive for road use forever. It could become useful for something like parking lots, but for roads, never.

Whole idea is just stupid IMO, it would be cheaper to cover a road with solar panel canopy than trying to put it onto road. That's how expensive that is.

"The savings from the reduced maintenence compared to asphalt"

reduced??? How about multiplied by a lot. If someone has said that solar road requires less maintenance he/she was telling you direct lie, or has no clue what he is talking about.

DTsea | 29. Mai 2015

Timo plus a million

Dont need real eatate. Panela in median angled toward sun.

al | 29. Mai 2015

You're clearly right. It will cost more money because it just will. And your lack of evidence that it will cost more is overwhelming.
The truth is that no one knows what a solar roadway will cost, even the people building it can't say. Nor can they say what it will be in 10 or 20 years. What can be said is that solar roadway panels are designed to last 20-30 years. Asphalts life span is much less than that. If a panel goes bad, it can be replaced without tearing up the area around it. Asphalt needs constant patching and replacing.
Asphalt provides you NOTHING other than a roadway. It serves no other purpose. It is a graveyard for petroleum. It is a money pit. Solar roadway panels may be able to pay for themselves and may be able to pay for their maintenance.
But of course, this idea is as foolish as an electric sports car that can go over 200 miles between charges. The technology doesn't exist! It will never happen!
Oh wait...what forum are we on again?

Bob.Calvo | 30. Mai 2015

While Tesla makes a great car and has audacious plans to bring affordable electric transportation to the masses, Tesla is not the answer to every transportation problem. Eliminating 100% of carbon based fuel sources is much more expensive than eliminating the first 80%.

This hybrid (yes, hybrid) solution developed by a Tesla founding member is optimized for the market that you are describing.

Optimization of resources (money, fuel, time) needs to be pursued based on the application.
One size does not fit all.

jordanrichard | 31. Mai 2015

Unless these solar roads ways can bend, it isn't feasible. How do you deal with hills. Also, presumably ICE will drive on this and as is with ICE cars, when one gets into a wreck and catches fire (oil/gas) how well will the PCV cells hold up?

Timo | 01. Juni 2015

@al; do some research. Solar roads with infrastructure it requires cost way way too much to ever become feasible.

It is made using bricks. If one brick gets loose it becomes serious safety hazard. If not from panel itself that hit the cars, then from the pothole and exposed live electrical wires. That alone is enough reason to not ever do that.

It requires foundation of the road that doesn't move. At all. That's because those bricks can't move, otherwise they become loose or break. That means that before you have put even one bolt into road you have already used more than tarmac road needs. Basically you need to create steel-reinforced concrete road as foundation.

Then there are wirings, conversions from DC to AC, sensors to detect failed parts, huge cost of personnel that maintain all that and so on.

Installation of the panels is very very slow process (compared to tarmac road), which translates to way higher cost.

I haven't even touched the cost of the panels themselves, and already have costs that are many many times higher than ordinary tarmac road.

Bob.Calvo | 01. Juni 2015

This makes sense. Have a read.

Timo | 01. Juni 2015

Wrightspeed turbine generator or fuel cell.

There are two major obstacles for long range BEV truck:

a) battery cost
b) battery recharge rate.

If semi uses 10x energy compared to Model S, that's 850kWh battery for tiny 250 miles. Tiny for a long-haul truck.

Using SC 150kW charging 850kWh/150kW ~= 5:30 charging time. That is not feasible. Not for long-haul trucking. No battery tech can change that.

Electric motors have advantages over ICE, but BEV isn't really feasible for everything. Not without inductive charging. While I think solar road is stupid, inductive charging road OTOH is feasible idea. Magnetic resonant coupling for wireless power transmission is quite effective if the distances are not very big. Not as effective as conductive charging, but advantage is that you don't need to stop at all.

Red Sage ca us | 01. Juni 2015

Diesel electric power plants move trains and their cargo, gozillions more weight than any semi-truck, all over the United States. But diesel engines are at best perhaps 40% efficient. Even at that rate, it is better to use the energy to power an electric generator than drive the wheels directly using diesel. That is because the torque of an electric motor vastly outranks that of a diesel motor.

With a proper battery swap solution, a fully electric semi truck designed as such from the ground up -- would positively demolish a diesel truck. Imagine either one electric motor per axle... Or one per wheel on the truck itself. The improvement in traction from being all wheel drive would be impressive.

Just one of Tesla Motors' electric drive units surpasses the horsepower and torque of some truck engines. So having three-to-six of them on tap would make the hauling of no issue. Because of the mass involved, a considerable amount of capacity would have to be on hand. The question really is how far you would want to travel on a single charge.

1 gallon of diesel fuel holds 40.7 kWh of energy. If a semi-truck typically travels six miles per gallon, that is 6.7833~ kWh per mile expended. Assuming an electric motor could perform the same work using 20% as much energy, that comes to 1,356.66~ Wh per mile. But since only about 40% of the energy expended by a diesel motor goes toward motion, then an electric motor might use 542.66~ Wh per mile. That is certainly a whole lot. But it means a 600 mile range may be achieved with a 362 kWh battery pack, if you include about 10% battery protection. And that is around half the range a typical longhaul driver would find adequate.

So, actually... An 850 kWh battery pack capacity would make for a formidable semi-truck. I figure a range of ~1,400 miles would not be out of the question.

DTsea | 01. Juni 2015

Well, Red, if that is 10 model S packs. Call it 10000 lb. Dont forget that trucks pay taxes based on weight so that weight comes out of payload.... plus the weight limits on bridges.

Red Sage ca us | 01. Juni 2015

Well, the presumption is that this wouldn't be done until after energy density had doubled from 2009 levels. So, that would be 2019 or later. Thus, the battery pack would weigh half as much as today. If we wait until 2029, then an 850 kWh battery pack would weigh only 2-1/2 times as much as today's 85 kWh version. Still hefty, but without the gigantic ICE and its myriad of accessories it would still be a worthwhile tradeoff. Especially since diesel fuel is bound to be in the "Twelve bucks a gallon! Please pay before you pump!" range by then.

adoh2010 | 01. Juni 2015

Actually, you're on to a Billion Dollar's idea over here. Here's how it can actually work.

1. Tesla starts designing a semi to be used for transporting lithium to the GF and batteries from the GF to the car factory. It uses the same charger standard as the Model S and has solar panels on its roof.
2. Tesla builds those trucks and the necessary superchargers to cover their routes.
3. If the savings are worth it on the long-run, Tesla would build a factory dedicated to making semis and building the charging infrastructure would be done by someone. If the truck transportation business goes electric there will definitley be companies willing to invest in charging stations.
4. The recomended truck driver's rest intervals will make these 30-45 min stops every 4 hours no problem at all and the efficient driving habits of them will mean doing the math as if the S85 gets 350 miles of range if you know what I mean.
5. Diesel is expensive and new aerodynamic trucks get 8-10 MPG which is 30-50% better than older trucks. However, trucks are very expensive and the ROI of buying a newer one is not worth it for many businesses. That's why you see older trucks relegated to less interstate use if you notice. This means an electric truck has many potential buyers.
6. Internal combustion systems are pretty expensive on trucks, the bigger the electric motor the more savings you have over an equivalent ICE. So even with 850kWh "which would mean a 1000 miles+ range, way more than needed" that's $212,500 based on powerpack's $250/kWh. Mercedes Actros goes up to $300,000!

Nantang | 01. Juni 2015

I pictured something with four or six battery packs, stacked two high and two to three length-wise. The truck front would resemble a bullet train, with the trailer replaced by a flatbed for loading cargo boxes. The vehicle would sacrifice the bending joint between tractor and trailer and gain aerodynamics, with the same cornering abilities as a bus. It would have an add-on tail behind the cargo box, one that slides forward or back until snug against the cargo, forming a tapering tail.

Batteries could be recharged by connecting each to a supercharger at a specially designed large truck stop charging station, or by battery swaps. Battery swap stations at a truck stop seem in the long run one of the most sensible solutions, even if it's something Tesla is having a tough time doing. (Tesla is great at doing the impossible, revolutionizing everything from electrification of cars to autonomous driving, but for some reason this one seems to be stumping them a little.)

Detroit SuperCharger | 01. Juni 2015

SolarRoadways <- are the "Tesla" of roads. Tesla + SolarCity, actually.

It never ceases to amaze me that on a forum of Tesla enthusiasts there are so many that so quickly dismiss Solar Roadways as "impossible", just as 200 mile per charge EV's were "impossible" to accomplish too :)

The simplest, and most powerful reason I always give to the those that "Grin" but don't "Shine" is this . . . Elon Musk & Bill Gates made significant contributions to their incredibly successful (over 2.25 million and STILL counting, now in it's "forever funding" format - IndieGogo campaign. If THEY think it's worth pursuing, then I think it's worth pursuing.

BTW, many of you forgot (or ignored) all the subsequent EXTRA money that is saved/created from ancillary purposes. No snow removal. Fewer accidents (with dynamic road information updated instantly). Powerlines (and their infrastructure and maintenance) become a thing of the past. Not to mention the 20-25 year estimated lifespan <- no one knows for certain of course, until actual long term real world tests are run, could be more, could be less.

Then of course there's the potential for FREE <- or at least incredibly CHEAP energy > replacing ALL of the country's utility providers when coupled with vast amounts of Tesla PowerPaks (of the MegaWatt variety) installations <- which I imagine, would facilitate SuperChargers EVERYWHERE!!!

Elon himself already explained what VERY LITTLE amount of square footage of solar panels would be needed to run the WHOLE country (and world), and what an even smaller amount of battery (footprint) would be needed to house that energy for daily use.

Solar Roadways are literally "paving the future with sunshine" <- WHY that is NOT their ACTUAL slogan, I'll never know.

Keep Grinning, my friends, but remember to Shine on (you crazy diamond-shaped <- not really but kind of > solar road panels) too :)

Timo | 02. Juni 2015

"no snow removal" = "uses 10x more energy in a day than it produces in a year". It isn't enough to just melt the snow, you need to keep the water from freezing, so even in no snow situation you would need to keep road above freezing temperatures.

Timo | 02. Juni 2015

Solar roadways are not impossible, just insanely expensive, and because that impractical.

DTsea | 02. Juni 2015

Solar roadways are a very silly idea. Much easier to just mount solar panels beside the road.

Snow? Well you could build a canopy (slanted to catch sun and shed snow) far more cheaply than solar road. Would be expensive but not as bad as the solar road.

plus... glass is hugely energy intensive. Build a whole road out of glass? Please. Would never ever ever come out energy positive.

Bob.Calvo | 02. Juni 2015

Most gains are incremental in nature. Tesla's growth plans and approach from an expensive prototype roadster to a luxury sedan to the affordable third generation were only made possible once the cost/benefit equation could be balanced for each. The main goal of Tesla and other companies thinking along similar lines is to reduce our dependency on oil and a fossil burning based economy. Tesla is only just beginning. It will take years of growth and all of their attention to successfully manage what they already have on their plate.

Wrightspeed can be viewed as a Tesla spin off by a founding member that saw a huge opportunity to reduce fuel usage in the trucking industry by a considerable amount. There is enough room for both companies and many others. They are not competitors, but allies working toward the same goal while carving out separate market niches. Elton Musk has always said that his competition is ICE vehicles and not EVs, BEVs, EREV's or hybrids. They all help to reduce the use of oil.

Developing infrastructure is expensive. Any investment by Elon Musk and Bill Gates in Solar Roadways is to develop technology that might make sense 10 or 20 years down the road AFTER a major conversion to EVs is the norm, not the exception. In the mean time, the United States spends over 3 Billion Dollars a year importing oil. Eliminating that expense would cut our annual trade deficit by more than half. All opportunities to reduce that demand through efficiencies gained by conversion towards electrics should be pursued.

Personally, I would hate to see Tesla move away from their core competencies. I'd prefer to see them branch out to pick up trucks, cargo vans, and the like first. Elon Musk is a showman and has captured the imagination of millions. He chases the commercial markets that offer the best opportunities for growth and subsidies. I'd prefer to see Wrightspeed be successful in parallel to Tesla in its own right so that both could convert the entire transportation industry more quickly than Tesla could on its own without Tesla running the risk of trying to do even more things at the same time and not being as successful because they've over-diluted their focus, their brand and their talent.

DTsea | 02. Juni 2015

Solar roadway is a solution in search of a problem and due to very large energy inputs in manufacturing and installation will never make sense in an energy sparse world. If energy were cheap enough to make it practical there would be no need for solar.

Tesla cars answered a real problem- fossil fuels bad but people still want personal mobility.

So solar road is never going to happen unless some politicians decide to do a Potemkin village.... total waste.

Timo | 02. Juni 2015

Tesla cars answered a real problem: ICE cars suck. In soooo many ways. Noisy (it's gasoline exploding), jerky (transmission), comparably poor handling (high center of gravity, worse torque control), smell bad (exhausts), has less room (ICE+transmission+exhaust takes lot of space) and you need to go to gas station every now and then just to keep it going (which is worst of them all).

DTsea | 03. Juni 2015

Yes timo. All that was inte ded within 'fossil fuel bad.'


Detroit SuperCharger | 04. Juni 2015

@Timo & DTsea :
You DID see the part where ELON MUSK thinks that Solar Roadways is an idea at least worth pursuing, right?

I suppose Elon and I will just have to agree to disagree with you :)

Coupla quick notes :

It DOES keep it above freezing.
Snow removal is only ONE of about 20 additional benefits. A "canopy" would be missing the multi-utility point entirely.
How is "clean, sustainable, & infinite energy" a "solution looking for a problem"?
Actual expense is unknown at this point (even by the inventors). Here's to hoping that large scale production and ROI will make it financially feasible.

Glad you guys aren't on the development teams at Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity, HyperLoop, GigaFactory, or any of the other "highly improbable but ended up working anyway" Musk projects.

Keep Grinning friends :D

Timo | 04. Juni 2015

It DOES keep it above freezing.

...which causes it to use more energy in a day than it generates in a year.

How is "clean, sustainable, & infinite energy" a "solution looking for a problem"?

By placing that "solution" to most stupid place possible. Sustainability is also very much in question if that's what you are doing. And cleanness, because how you make it.

Actual expense is unknown at this point (even by the inventors). Here's to hoping that large scale production and ROI will make it financially feasible.

You can always hope. I hope to get telekinetic powers someday. That doesn't mean I will ever get them.

Not one of the "Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity, HyperLoop, GigaFactory" are "highly improbable". Solar roadways is also not "highly improbable", it's just too expensive.

Red Sage ca us | 04. Juni 2015

Timo wrote, "...which causes it to use..."

Wait... What do you mean by 'it', exactly?
• The particular section that melts the snow, or prevents icing?
• The whole of any particular road that is prone to snow or ice?
• The entirety of a nationwide solar roadway system, including places that do not experience snow or ice?

Different areas have varied challenges. These have been met with dirt, mud, clay, compacted sand, gravel, cobblestones, mosaic tile, brick, concrete, asphalt, rubberized plastic, and other roadbuilding materials over the course of centuries. I do not understand the fgirtm resistance to even attempting another solution.

That said, perhaps tubes of water, embedded within the surface of asphalt roads in a manner similar to rebar in concrete, could perform a similar function. The heat of the sunlight on the surface could be conducted through metal tubes to the water. That would expand, turning impellers to generate electricity as it flowed, first as heated water, then as steam. Then as the system cooled, the water would flow the opposite direction, also generating electricity in a pseudo tidal system.

Maybe. In extremely hot climates. If the water were not needed for more important things. Like hydrating golf courses and baseball diamonds.

But I'm no expert in fluid dynamics and stuff.


DTsea | 04. Juni 2015

Hey now... baseball diamonds are worth every drop. Kids play baseball.

Timo thanks for saving me the trouble. I will add solar roadways to teleportation on my list of 21st century wishful thinking.

DTsea | 04. Juni 2015

Oh and detroit no. I haven't seen elon musk investing in solar roads.

gyoza | 04. Juni 2015

From both business development and engineering perspectives, it pays dividends to keep things simple. For every theoretical factor calculated into a new plan and design, there are myriad unknowables which inevitably subtract from from the all-ascendant profitability equation. It only takes one relatively insignificant but newsworthy failure to severely impact investor and customer confidence, whereas a strict adherence to design, business process, and infrastructure fundamentals leads to long-term reliability and market confidence. Think of it like Japanese minimalism in classical architecture: they focus on optimizing a few key materials, perspectives, and techniques, and hone them to perfection.

laska08 | 04. Juni 2015

Fully automated driverless electric semis with battery swap would allow trucking companies to move about 2.5X more freight per truck in a given year because such a truck can keep moving 24 hrs a day. that would also mean they could move things about 2.5X faster, and being electric will drastically cut fuel and maintenance costs. This is a no brainer if the battery weight/cost reach a certain point. Any knowledgeable posters know that point?

Timo | 05. Juni 2015

You need first that fully automated driverless -part. My bet is that by that time batteries cost something like $50/kWh.

If you are making driverless semi you don't need battery swap, just charge them fast by using way higher voltages and amps in fully automated charging stations. Battery to battery charging. That makes much cheaper routes.

Google gives $38000 median truck driver salary. Needs at least three drivers for 24 hour constant driving. That's $114000 saved immediately.

Detroit SuperCharger | 05. Juni 2015

Solar Roadways Quick Benefit Check List <- that makes them ENTIRELY more useful than ANY other type of solar panel installed ANYWHERE else :

Removes Need for Installation and/or Maintenance of :

Bi-annual Resurfacing
Snow Removal
Line Painting

Saves Energy and Money by Powering :

Traffic Lights
Parking Lots
Oh yeah, almost forgot . . . how about “The World” <- as in EVERY single residential and commercial building everywhere :)

Unique Features, Unavailable with Any Other Solution :

Roadside Power. Everywhere <- Picture SuperChargers EVERYWHERE and Public Electricity EVERYWHERE you can drive
Dynamic Warnings “Animal on the Road”, “Accident Ahead”, “Traffic Congestion, Slow Down” This would save countless lives <- priceless.
Perfect alignment and better handling / recognition when autonomous vehicles become standard
Reconfigurable Parking Lot Lines (For example, dynamic handicap spaces <- when full, more are automatically created)
One Playground ~ Multiple Games (i.e. Tennis, Basketball, Hopscotch, etc all on one dynamic “court”)
Fiber Optic Cables (in the ancillary cable corridors) run coast to coast for INSANELY high speed AND CHEAP internet, TV, phone, etc (faster wireless will probably make this moot eventually though)
Water Transportation / Flood Prevention (via ancillary water duct corridor ~ picture a "better than our sewers" Roman Aqua duct kind of h2o transportation)


Energy Used to Melt Ice vs Energy Gained in a Year : This is SO beyond wrong, it’s not even worth debating. Srsly. If you REALLY think that, then your ignorance of even their most BASIC capabilities is clear. Please do read up on them. They really ARE amazing.

Place : It’s actually simplistically brilliant. That “most stupid place possible” already costs millions upon millions of dollars to continually build new and update the old roads <- NONE of which makes ONE cent back. The “concrete” fact is, our current roads cost money and yield nothing in return. At a projected 20-25 year lifespan, and the reduction or outright elimination of MULTIPLE road maintenance industries (not to mention replacing ALL other forms of energy creation and distribution) Solar Roadways makes a lot of sense, and literally makes a lot of cents too :)

We will for the conceivable future, need to maintain SOME type of road system. So instead of ADDING solar panels to rooftops of buildings (where there is no easy way to “link” them all together forming one ginormous neural network of solar collection, and energy distribution), it makes a LOT of sense (and again, it makes cents too <- I’m just going to keep typing that until you laugh or throw up. Either is fine with me) to use land that we already HAVE to cover with drivable surfaces and maintain anyway.

Expense : ALL of Elon’s ideas, by his own admission, seemed highly improbable to SUCCEED (i.e. too expensive, along with many other issues), yet they did (and are) <- that was my point about the as of yet unknown expense as it relates to the improbability of success. Even if they have less than a 50% chance of working, Solar Roadways are worth TRYING to make them work. BTW, “less than 50%” is the figure Elon is often quoted attributing the chances of SpaceX and Tesla possibility of succeeding . . . yet he tried anyway, and now he has succeeded.

Why so negative about these admittedly unknown factors for a new idea? Elon THOUGHT the Model S was going to cost 49k BEFORE incentives (watch the Model S launch). It didn’t. Does that mean he failed? No. Missed the HIGHLY difficult goal? Maybe. But he was shooting for Pluto, and he got to Mars <- or WILL. Heh-heh. Darn. Such a disappointment. What a loser. Now Model X is two years late. He should just stop trying right? I mean, what’s the point? <- that’s what you guys sound like to me, with dismissing even the possibility of Solar Roadways succeeding. Do some reading. Look around. Check out the ACTUAL numbers, and I believe you’ll come to the same conclusion that Elon and I have . . . it’s at least worth trying :)

Regarding the article you posted :
This article and it’s misleading title, implies that Elon said “Solar Roadways are really silly” <- he said NOTHING of the kind, NOR did he even IMPLY it. He only said it would take a VERY small area of solar panels to power the entire US <- THAT statement is not in direct opposition to the development of or usefulness of Solar Roadways, and it CERTAINLY says NOTHING about Elon’s opinion of them.

The article’s title and it’s entire content, is just one huge misdirecting “spin” against Solar Roadways <- THAT happens all too often. It seems when Elon speaks, the media “interprets” how they see fit. The man stopped in for a visit to BMW while in Germany and all of a sudden there’s a huge Tesla-BMW merger / project / secret something that’s “obviously” happening.

Elon contributed directly (and I would imagine significantly) to Solar Roadways IndieGogo campaign (and so did Bill Gates) You can see Scott Brusaw (Solar Roadways inventor) thanking both Elon and Bill Gates for their contribution to the campaign (I suspect each of them were some of the few that gave the 10k [or more], for the “full working panel” incentive) in the link I posted above.

Telekinetic Powers? Teleportation? Come on guys. Don't be dicks. We were having a decently nice debate, until somebody beamed up something into the interwebs with their thoughts, which somehow forced my fingers to type words that implied I thought you guys were being dicks. Wow. Your telekinetic powers are much more powerful than I had initially anticipated.

@Red +1
“I do not understand the fgirtm resistance to even attempting another solution.”

All good points. Especially the automated driving integration. Shit will deliver itself! Safer. Faster. Cheaper. <- There go all the trucking jobs *waits patiently for South Park to do a rehash / mashup of the Tesla and “Dhey tuk’er JOBZ!” episodes*

Detroit SuperCharger | 05. Juni 2015

Hmmm . . . stupid nested unordered lists didn't work. Testing . . . .

First List :


Second List :


Detroit SuperCharger | 05. Juni 2015

Alright then. Apparently I DO (or will) know what I'm doing . . . next time.

Detroit SuperCharger | 05. Juni 2015

Let’s Make This Simpler

Free (or INCREDIBLY cheap) Energy. For everyone. Everywhere. Like Star Trek <- srsly. Before you freak out and scream “Impossible!!!”, let me gently remind you that nearly everyone I tell that SuperChargers are “free for life” spend the next 30 mins to an hour (depending on how stubborn and misinformed they are) trying to convince me of why that will NEVER work, NEVER scale, and NEVER be “allowed” to happen. Then I tell them, ALL those things are ALREADY happening. It’s working, scaling, AND being “allowed”. Then they sorta stare blankly for a second, with a puzzled look, feel kinda stupid, shrug and say, “Well, good luck to him, because the government and/or big oil isn’t going to allow him to keep doing that forever. They’ll kill him first.” On a side note, I often fear for Musk being assasinated, then I remind myself “Self, it’s ok. Not because that’s not possible (it is VERY possible) but because all (or just enough of) the important people that might want him dead are going to become even richer (in the long term) because of Elon and his company’s efforts. If they kill him, they’ll be burying untold future fortunes. So in a way, their greed along with his strategic business alliances, is kinda keeping him alive <- I think <- but I’m just a guy on the internet that loves Elon Musk and wants him to live to at least 333 <- So WTFDIK?

Decentralized and Diversified Micro-Utilities (Hopefully Operated by Us <- the Users BEING the Owners) : This will entirely eliminate the need for ANY coal, nuclear, or any other ICE-age energy production methods. It’s already going to happen (in SOME way, to SOME degree - what with SolarCity and the PowerPack’s infinite scalability) I posted a rant about that last year. Feel free to Volkerize Tesla Energy if you’d like to make fun of my other Tesla Energy predictions <- BTW, I TOTALLY called the name being “Tesla Energy” <- Because it was TOTALLY obvious :) <- I’m sure Elon is just late with sending me my royalty check. > However, if Solar Roadways can ALSO get into the picture on a LARGE scale, it will all happen much, MUCH faster, as well be FAR more decentralized <- making it near impossible to damange or destroy our grid (or over use to the point of brown or black outs). SR also brings a few things to the table that Tesla (even with the help of SolarCity) does not directly address > coast-to-coast energy distribution. If Tesla Energy is the Pizzeria that makes the fan-taste-ic sunshine pies that we suck up our succulent pepperoni joules from, then Solar Roadways is the deliver boy (tips appreciated).

A Hat Trick of NEW Industries is Born : 1) Road-worthy <- or whatever they’re going to call it -> Glass Manufacturing . The Guts : LED, heating elements, battery packs <- hmm, I wonder who might be able to make a LOT of battery packs for ALL the Solar Roadways of the world? > Software : Software to control, manipulate, secure, maintain, monitor, and alter these systesm will be an industry unto itself. This will be EVER evolving in BOTH the residential AND industrial arena.

Not to mention all the new (or shifted from concrete / asphalt workers) jobs that installation and maintenance of the panels themselves will create (I see this as the mechanic vs horse-shoe-blacksmith situation <- it’s probably, at least in part, moot).

Alright, time to make the dough.nutz, for awhile, then it’s off to find some Zz’s. Goodnight my Grinning friends.

Detroit SuperCharger | 05. Juni 2015

Wow. REALLY gotta practice the whole "formatting" thing when I'm not sleepy. Ah well, maybe tomorrow :) Cheers!

Timo | 05. Juni 2015

Energy Used to Melt Ice vs Energy Gained in a Year : This is SO beyond wrong, it’s not even worth debating.

Really? Do you have any idea how much energy is needed to keep road at +5C degree in -20C weather while it is snowing?

Water is really really good at absorbing heat. It takes a lot to heat snow to water and then keep that water from freezing. 1cm*10m*10m is one ton of water.

You also make junctions very dangerous with that.

I also very much doubt that that "projected lifespan" is even close to reality.

As for "saves energy" from this list:
Traffic Lights
Parking Lots

It doesn't really save anything, same electricity need they still have no matter what the source.

There are other similar things in rest of your posts, but I don't care enough to point them out. This thread is about Tesla semi, not about solar roads.

Detroit SuperCharger | 05. Juni 2015

@Timo :

Melting Squishy Numbers
While I don't have, nor did you post, any actual numbers for energy required to melt ice/snow in specific circumstances, I do not believe we need them. Here are three "Squishy Math" reasons why :

1) Area : If it only takes the "Blue Square" area, as Elon illustrated, to power the whole US, and if all the highways square footage totals MUCH MORE than that (let's be conservative and guesstimate 10x the "Blue Square"). Then we've got 10 times the energy needed to run the whole US <- THAT should be WAY MORE than enough to melt ALL the snow/ice in ALL the cold places at ANY temperature that it could possibly be in any populated area (one with roads).

The cold hard truth is, with THAT kind of energy surplus, the "cold" ain't that "hard" to melt where and when needed.

2) Roads Like Roots Reach Everywhere Oh, the Places We'll Road! : An obvious (yet very important point) to point out here ~ roads roll everywhere, in both hot AND cold states. There are significantly more "hot" states, or at least states that aren't below freezing more than 3 months a year, and they are all connected. So . . . extra energy from the "hot" states, not needed for melting snow there, could easily be used in the "cold" states.

3) Happiness is a Warm Road (or sidewalk, driveway, park, etc) : They already do this (both electrically and/or with buried heated water pipe systems) in MANY public (and some private) places I frequent, and it's apparently worth whatever that costs <- as their solutions don't actually harvest ANY energy, they just USE it.

Now I know ^NONE OF THAT^ uses any specific numbers, but again, we don't need to. The specific numbers for heating roads in specific temperatures are so overwhelmingly in favor of "it would work" that there's no need for granular detail about the answers.

I look at balancing my checkbook the same way <- I don't do it. It's a waste of time. I just keep over $1k minimum in there at ALL times. 1k = "zero" for me. Everything's on auto payment, and the pennies/bucks lost (if any) are my "I don't have to waste time balancing my checkbook" fee.

"It doesn't really save anything, same electricity need they still have no matter what the source."

Ummm . . . what? That "same electricity needed" is now FREE, from the SUN. So . . . . yeah, it DOES save something. It saves EVERYTHING, actually. You DO SEE that, RIGHT?

Off Topic : Only point we agree on. So I'll leave it there.

Brian H | 07. Juni 2015

Transfer of that much energy from warm to cold states is not done "easily". Transmission is far from free.

Detroit SuperCharger | 07. Juni 2015

I know long distance energy transfer has some "leakage" issues, but I also know my local utility doesn't seem to have any problems distributing it for dozens of miles in all directions (so probably at least a coupla hundred miles). Now, I'm no electro-energy-ologist-ician, so I don't know exactly at what distance that leakage becomes significant, but until the concept of teleporting energy (apparently that IS a "real" possibility ) I guess we'll just have to settle for losing some joules during transporation. However, if it's "infinite" and "sustainable", what does it matter?

That said, doesn't the simple logic go something like this? . . .

The Solar Roadways are connected, and massive wires (via the cable corridor) span every single stretch of highways where they're installed.

Throw in some mega-watt level PowerPack installations in all major cities / junctures to serve as energy distribution nodes for each area, and we have a potential (albeit not perfect) solution, right?

Doesn't that make energy transfer "easy"? Or at least "easier" + "clean & sustainable" which = "good enough".

Again, not an electrician here, but I'd be interested to here what the actual limitations are from anyone who is.

al | 13. Juli 2015

Looks like BMW already did what many of you said was impossible. Backtracking anyone...

grega | 14. Juli 2015

A 60 mile range for the whole day is a brilliant use for BMW's EV truck.

It's the longer distances I debate. Though I'd love to see a semi with 5 Tesla battery packs pull into a Semi-Super-Charger, and charge all 5 packs simultaneously.