The Truth About The Tesla Semi-Truck

Share this video on

What's Hot

What's New

Top Grossing

Top of the Chart


Real Engineering : Here's the website: Seriously though, if you want to see more sites like this, and better ones, please consider supporting on Patreon.

Tim Kennedy : thank you for your video. I'm a truck driver and there's 4 points where you're not accurate. 1. First you assume that the shell of the Tesla truck weighs the same as a diesel truck. This is inaccurate because Tesla is using advanced materials and engineering to save weight off the cab. Materials like aluminum and carbon fiber. 2. Secondly you say that no truck driver should use the zero to 60 in 5 Seconds without being immediately fired upon arriving at their destination. For starters the 0 to 60 in 5 seconds is without a trailer or load. Just being bobtail the 0 to 60 in 5 seconds is very useful in order not to impede the flow of traffic. Then when you are fully loaded, you can accelerate 0 to 60 in 20 seconds as long as you have a properly secured load it is also very useful particularly for on ramps so that you can match the speed of traffic on the expressway. 3. You're partially right in saying they didn't release the weight of the truck because they didn't release it the night of the event however the president of the truck Development Department did announce a few days later that the truck would be at a similar weight to conventional trucks. They still don't want to put a hard number on it, I assume because the weight will fluctuate as they continue to design the truck before production. 4. Finally you mention that if you drive through mountains that maybe this truck isn't for you. The particular features of this truck makes it very well suited for mountains. The power, the flat torque curve, the regenerative braking to recharge the batteries and free you from the worry of over heating brakes that cause you to losing control of the vehicle while descending. There's just so many things that make this truck perfect for climbing and descending mountains. P.S I've already put my 20k down for my reservation eagerly awaiting delivery. Thanks for your work, love your videos

Michael Cross : I'm a truck driver here in the states. For something like this to work for over the road drivers it will need to go at least 650 to 700 miles on a charge. It needs to have the power to carry 40tons up a 7% grade at a acceptable speed. Recharge within 8 to 10 hours during the drivers DOT break period. It will need a APU to recharge the truck if the driver can't get to a truck stop.

moesgymmom : 600 mile range now

Dark GT : That truck will fail, why? Because is limited range and slow to charge. Truck that isn't running lose money.

Russell Popham : So in answer to all the Tesla/Elon haters who think electric semis are impossible and that Elon is wasting his time trying to build trucks when his automotive division is struggling to become profitable and other disparaging forecast of doom, all I can say is that you just don't understand what makes Elon tick. While many of your objections would make sense if you were dealing with your average CEO of your average auto manufacturer, but then they would have more interest in simply making a profit, whereas Elon has always said that his main motivation is NOT about the money, but about SAVING HUMANITY. Now I know that sounds like self-aggrandizing hubris, but again, Elon is not your average human being, lol. Of course he understands and has said that he realizes his companies have to be profitable or he would be out of business and fail at his overarching mission. So he continually walks this thin line of pushing against every boundary, often in many directions at once, and while this sometimes leads to failures in forecasting potential hurdles (like the design problems with the Model 3 FACTORY, not the car, in putting too much automation in), which often leads to setbacks, although largely in failing to meet self-imposed and sometimes unrealistic timelines. He's also going in a dozen different directions and really doing what NO other person on the planet does, and that is not an exaggeration!!! I mean who else in the world builds and runs not just one successful company (and yes we can argue the definition of successful, but I think we can use simple valuation for now), but how many can claim FOUR major entities, and with several other "irons in the fire" with potential for the not to distant future. There's SpaceX, a company that in the span of a decade went from one man designing his own rocket engines (seriously, for fuck's sake, WHO just decides to design his own rocket engines without even being a rocket scientist ;?) to the MOST SUCCESSFUL ROCKET LAUNCH PROVIDER ON THE PLANET. Oh and btw, they've started building the BFR, the largest rocket ship ever, with the potential to carry as many as ONE HUNDRED passengers to Mars ;?) Then of course there's Tesla, which not only has become the only successful all electric vehicle company of its scale in the world (again going by valuation) AND oh btw, they are also leading manufacturers of batteries, and have become one of the leading innovators in increasing energy density AND will soon be the worlds largest producer of said batteries once the Gigafactory is completed (oh and btw, with two more Gigafactories in the works). They also make residential battery storage units to overcome the constant fly in the ointment of supplying renewable solar/wind energy when the sun goes away at night and the wind stops blowing. Oh yeah, they also are building giant versions of these for use by entire communities/towns/cities to do the same on a much larger scale, (so LOTS of different irons in the fire with just this one company). Many people have pointed out that Tesla is actually a battery company that happens to make cars (and soon to be trucks), which is probably closer to the truth. Then there's Solar City, which I believe is now the nation's largest residential and commercial solar installer AND has designed new solar roofing tiles that are hitting the market and will make a HUGE impact in growing that market. Then there's The Boring company, which is still something of a startup, but with contracts in several areas of the country to build a variety of different subterranean transport systems in the next few years. Oh yeah, then there's Neurolink, which is researching the possibilites of creating devices that can be implanted in the human brain, with the purpose of helping human beings merge with hardware and software in order to keep up with advancements in artificial intelligence (again, to protect the human race from becoming "obsolete" in a future where AI surpasses natural human intelligence). SO BOTTOM LINE IS, where other people see Tesla's entering into the trucking industry with their new semi as a distraction or overreach, if you understand Elon's vision, it is simply part and parcel of a LARGER GOAL which is to FREE HUMANITY FROM IT'S ADDICTION TO FOSSIL FUELS, thereby making a massive reduction in greenhouse gases and thus help in the global fight against climate change, one of the biggest existential threats facing our species. Pretty simple when you look at it from that perspective, lol.

Eric Little : Great Video. I too had fears when I placed my pre-order. But as the owner of a small trucking company, most of my maintenance costs go towards engine and fuel line repair. The convenience of never going to the pump reduces labour costs. Overall, Tesla is more than a vehicle manufacturer, they inspire my generation to solve problems and empower change.

simplyargenis : electric semi truck hack: only go downhill

Skip Long : Ummm buddy, the Tesla truck is going to way the same as a regular tractor. The power-train and axles of a diesel truck way the same as the battery pack and motors. This was made available from Tesla a while ago, how did you not know about this?

Andy Harman : Real Engineering did a lot of fast talking on his analysis of the battery pack weight, so how about a simple series of calculations to see if it is reasonable.  It takes about 200 kW of power to push an 80,000 pound Class 8 truck down the road at 60 mph with no grade or headwinds.  Do that for 8 hours, to go about 500 miles, and you have done 1600 kW*hrs of work.  The battery pack in the Tesla P100D Model S weighs 1400 pounds, so linearly scaling to get 1600 kW*hrs of battery capacity would yield a battery that weighs 22,400 pounds.  And this is optimistic because my simple calculation assumes 100% motor efficiency, which they won't be, and that the battery pack can have the same energy density as the P100D pack, which it won't, because the continuous high current output would require a larger battery case with improved cooling and larger conductors.  The diesel-powered equivalent truck has a 3500 pound engine, a 1500-pound transmission, and would get about 6.5 mpg, requiring 77 gallons of fuel at 7 lbs/gallon to go 500 miles.  So the total weight of the propulsion system and fuel would be 3500 + 1500 + 539 = 5539 pounds.  Based on this simple calculation, I would say that the Tesla truck would have at least 8.5 tons less payload capacity than existing diesel trucks.  This Tesla truck thing is beginning to look like BS.

Rvd Boston : Reality and truth don't matter anymore. It's all about hype. And Elon is a king of hype.

FutureNow : I honestly wouldn't even mind getting stuck behind a Tesla semi-truck on the highway. That's a gorgeous looking truck.

Jason Goodacre : I trust Elon's numbers. All Tesla's cars up to now have exceeded expectations. Why would he has not done the math on truck weight and range. Your video title is misleading. All the companies that have pre-ordered test units will of course scrutinize their performance. This is fake news.

ziasong : Quicker acceleration and torque at zero speed help a lot in uphill traffic.

Goldn Messi : You have to start somewhere, and this is above and beyond a GREAT START, no doubt. World was made by those who dared to dream big, break belief in set way of thinking, disrupt to innovate. If a building size Plane can fly, then this electric truck can surely run limitless. Give it few more years.

Hot Shame : I'm pretty sure real engineers were behind these trucks... so i don't think they would waste millions on a truck if it didn't work.

MasterMazeProductions : Dude you really took this channel to the next level by actually going through a recent scientific paper to explain how to calculate these values and then paying to have a site made to run the calculations. A++

Oby-1 : You said the truck had very efficient engines. It has no engines. It has motors. So much for engineering.

Guns Cars and Digits : I like your channel quality and respect your calculations, but I'm more on the skeptical side. 33KWH in a gallon of diesel, 40% efficient diesel engine, 200 gallons of diesel. 33*.4*200=2640 KWH. I don't want to be negative about this truck, because in theory, if it's 1/3 the drag of a normal truck, you get 792 kwh, so things look bad. We're not even doing the 300 gallon trucks. Now, that's okay. I honestly am an advocate of shipping things via train. If we do that, then short range trucking is much more efficient. I think that's where things would have to go if we want more electric stuff.

dakota croasdale : it's not manual, and it doesn't roll coal. so I don't like it

Jeffrey Fei : You can't really say it is clean simply because it runs on electricity when ~64% of US electricity generation comes from fossil fuels and half of that comes from coal which generates worse pollution than diesel. This doesn't even include the pollution generated by manufacturing the batteries

M Goobie : 1:18 this graph clearly shows that we should be running trucks off Plutonium 238

Alan Land : There is always something suspicious about didactics labeled "the truth." They ALWAYS seem to reflect someone's personal AGENDA, in which they define "the truth."

Vince Bellisano : Old news. The truck already travels 500 miles.

Adrian Soto : Maybe Musk should finish one project before announcing a 9th one. Did Musk say how long it will take to charge? The benefits of traditional fuel, is that in a few minutes you can refuel and get back on the road. The 500 mile truck, can really only go 250 miles. Because it has to come back in order to charge. I doubt every single truck stop is going start putting the power supply to charge the electric trucks in their massive lots. Even if they did, it would still take hours to charge up. This would add a lot of time to any shipment of significant distance. Repairs would be expensive too. If you break down in the middle of the road, the only person that could fix the vehicle is a someone who specialized specifically in the trucks.

Oscar Mayer : Where do you get the power to charge the battery's... Most likely coal...

FutureNow : I wish this channel existed back in the day when I was in an engineering magnet program and robotics team. This is a way more interesting "word problem" than some abstract sphere in a vacuum.

Bob Wolf : This is a long post but consider the following facts. I am an Owner Operator of a one man trucking company. As an outdoor sportsman, I am all about conserving resources and the environment. You are forgetting several Important factors. Negative 1) Environmental impact and pollution created is actually greater than a conventional vehicle, from obtaining and processing the raw materials; to disposal of the vehicle. 2) The political sucking up required as the raw materials are located in the same unstable countries that petroleum is located. 3) The amount of energy required to manufacture the vehicle components. In addition most countries including the USA don’t have an environmentally friendly and cost effective plan to dispose of used components. 4) The electricity required for operation has to come from somewhere. This means more power plants. The best case will be natural gas or nuclear however coal will be the most cost efficient choice. 5) Mass usage of EV’s will also require massive upgrades to the electrical grids and more power plants. As a result additional pollution and environmental damage created by obtaining more resources and the manufacturing, building, installation, maintenance, and eventual disposal the used or outdated grid. All this as well as the cost of manpower, transportation, zoning, permits, environmental impact studies, and work delays and stoppages due to conflicts of interest and land use. This results in additional expenses. 6) The money has to come from somewhere; so in the end; the cost will be passed on to every consumer and taxpayer regardless if they use the resources or not. 7) In any business small or large even the individual/ employee. Profit is everything, profits create jobs. And in the trucking industry profits are slim, payload + range /miles = income. Losing at least 50% of your gross weight for batteries is a horrible trade off. This will require exponentially more energy to deliver the same amount of freight. Looking at the facts, at this time and the real world technology we have today the EV is a potential environmental and financial apocalypse.

Pei-Chun Kao : Most trucks don’t drive around fully laden on their knees, most need volume of the trailer not weight of cargo as a consideration.... battery weight totally irrelevant for a lot of haulage companies as they rarely drive around pulling the max gross capacity... half the time trucks are pulling around empty trailers back to depots after delivery. Granted if weight was an issue then some haulage companies will continue with diesel but I would put money this relates to only a small %.

CJ Hagg : The Wh/Kg chart fails to take into account that electric motors are around 90% efficient, diesel engines less than half that. Electric vehicles don't need as many joules of energy to accomplish the same amount of work. True, the first generation of electric semis wont have a 900 mile range but there are enough trucks running a shorter circuit to create a good market for trucks like these. Several companies have put in an order for dozens of Tesla semis, 125 in the case for UPS. I don't think they are that stupid.

Igor Barsowski : Precondition: By 2015, fuel will be at USD 1 per liter. By 2020, fuel will be at USD 2 per liter. After 2020, the fuel for TRUCK will be so expensive that it will not be economically feasible. The transport will have to change the drive to electricity or some other. How long can you keep the oil on Earth? Where is the closest spot in the observed universe a new energy finding for classic cars and transport?

Jordan Lau : Are you wendover's brother

bigratkiller1 : So seriously! you think you have done the math better than Tesla??? as well as the companies that have placed orders for tesla semi units??? The companies run by bean counters whos job it is to maximise profits and efficiancy??? You have no real data to work from so it would be best to reserve your opinion until you have something tangeble to work from instead of guessing. As we all know an electric vehicle just isn't plausable whatsoever which is why every majoy manufacurer is scrabbling to get an ev to market in time to compete with Tesla. What you are doing is NOT "Real Engineering"

Lynn Baker : I saw a different video, that Tesla's trucks needs 14 tons of batteries (US) just to operate. And a 12 KW diesel generator to recharge the batteries in ½ an hour. Not very Earth friendly.

vsGoliath : It's amazing how many people in this comment section think they know better than Telsa's designers and engineers, or the companies that have already pre-ordered hundreds of these semis because of the specs and operating costs. Also, I didn't realize how many people would get upset over a perceived slight at their poor wittle diesel trucks. No one is forcing you to buy a Tesla, get over yourselves. Like it or not, these things are the way the future is heading. If it's not Elon and Tesla, someone else will do it and we'll all be driving these eventually.

Stoopingcrane : Read the whole story (in a book, or maybe a finacial report) about how elon continues to make scientist " cough cough, carbon crew, short sellers ", like this eat craw. Just read something and you will do wonders. Not online.... go quickly before all your sciences are co opted by opiniated folk who dont actually make or do anything and have no editors. If anyone tells you there is only one way to do something , you can be sure they are full of shit (no matter the maths) and that they are lazy . Books have editors..... youtube does not

Young Suk : Pls use metric so the rest of the world don't have to convert in their minds what 300 n 500 miles means

Homecomfort : There are those who say battery propulsion cannot be done in the real world, and then there are those(Tesla) doing it, and improving it all the time.

Engineer4Free : Great video man!

BEYOND MAD : It looks a vacuum cleaner. No soul.

juniorJRS : You know nothing about trucks or truck driving or anything to do with driving or this industry. So please be quiet

Abhishek Jaiswal : Plutonium powered truck! Dude you are visionary.

Patel Vidhu : Electric truck is not possible. More load more battery weight and this is very big problem.

Luke Bowering : It's not marketing, he just makes products that people want to see in the world. They don't have a marketing department and hires no professional marketers. Truckers will get fired if they go 0-60? Ok your an idiot, that's why I don't watch this channel.

Geoff Dearth : Aren't we getting ahead of ourselves? When Tesla hasn't made any money building cars yet?

Jon T : so this video is another exercise by someone trying to prove they are smarter than elon musk and his team of scientists and engineers,and that they have not considered all the technical,economical and engineering questions they've considered?

DirtyAtreyu : A little disappointed about the click bait title. Usually skip anything starting with "The Truth About," however I know you make quality videos so I made an exception. Might want to reconsider for others who are not familiar with the quality of your work.

TurboBass : You're wrong about what? It's not a cost effective replacement for diesel semis, so it is likely to not be adopted without some government subsidies and tax incentives.

Blunt Politics : Clearing up a factual error: 2:50 Tesla DOES produce batteries. It's the stated goal of the factory they built and opened for partial service in 2016.

Ung Grabb : Fraud and a cult. 16 tons worth of batteries. Useless