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

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.

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

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."

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Sapphire Destiny : You're pretty wrong and miss-informed to be calling yourself an engineer, or to even be making this video.

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

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++

Robby H : The batteries are going to cost more than the truck?!?!?’re dumb! Yes, dumb skeptics are to be ignored! What does 240 gallons of diesel fuel weigh??? About 1700 pounds? Didn’t see that math in this video...oh, did you read no brake pads?? Never a need for an engine overhaul; not to mention a million mile warranty! Umm; what did Tesla give their figures based on, $2.50 for a gallon of diesel fuel?’s more than a dollar per gallon increase over that figure in the as Elon said; conservative figures... Listen to truck drivers when we say...the best next thing to sliced bread Maybe make your next video on sliced bread!! 🍞😂😂😂😂😂😘

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

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.

WanderLust : Should also consider the cost of a driver ;) Fully autonomous truck would be 70-80 K cheaper a year on top of fuel savings etc.. :P

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

mrspeigle1 : Speaking as a truck driver with over 10 years of experience, you can reasonably expect to spend about $34,000 per year on fuel assuming you're averaging 2500 miles per week, and in a truck that average is 10.1 miles to the gallon which is very good fuel economy. That being said the range estimates on these vehicles are extremely limiting in my humble opinion with diesel fuel I expect to get approximately 700 to 800 miles on each fill up. There would need to be very serious changes to improve structure to make this a viable solution particularly for warehouses and loading docks where trucks will spend an hour to two hours sitting and getting unloaded. And don't quote the 30-minute break rule at me because I can tell you from experience it is very rare that you get to choose where to take your 30 minute break. Personally I think Tesla dropped the ball on this in putting its Research into semi trucks, a much better investment would be short-range buses such as city transportation and school buses where the shorter-range and lighter weight of the cargo will offset the disadvantages of battery power.

Duncan McCloud : Assuming an 800KWH battery system, in my area where elec. is relatively cheap it would cost $65.04 to recharge the Tesla. My friends X15 Cummings diesel well streamlined tractor trailer makes the same 400 mile trip (with 20,000 lbs on board) at a cost of $51.12 in diesel. The Tesla website says it will save 200K on fuel. If it can't even match the diesel now, just how is that going to happen. Additionally in NY City the Tesla charge would have cost $104.00 almost double the cost of diesel. 83% of the power in the US comes from fossil fuel and nukes and as a result of that the Tesla is neither Green nor Sustainable. I'm not anti EV actually I love them but I am anti bullshit and this reeks.

Vergmo G. : Phewwee.... I am glad now! Tesla survives....

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.

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

MultiTacs : I have a giant problem with batteries period. The only reason electric vehicles are being researched is climate change. The only reason Musk has spent the money he has is like wind and solar, massive tax payer subsidies. If your worried about burning more fossil fuels electric cars are useless unless we go nuclear and build huge capacity. Wind and solar are way to expensive and unrealiabke to put 110, 000.00 plus trucks on the road that need recharging???This is a very poorly thought out approach. More batteries means more energy generation and coal, natural gas and nuclear are the only efficient reliable sources.

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

Lebron Traveled : So many beta males going to war for a company and a guy who doesn’t even know your name. The Tesla semi isn’t practical and has a long way to go. It’s obvious. If you have to start putting conditions on how/when/where the truck operates, then it’s automatically inferior to diesel trucks.

Danny Laughlin : Just a well marketed brand ? Before Elon musk showed up there was stagnant progress in electric vehicles. He has said ok numerous occasions he is happy if another company takes the lead, unfortunately oil companies have their claws that deep in car manufacturers, it has taken an Elon musk to push the whole thing forward. I think you missed the point of all this to be honest

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.

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

Tim mi : For example, the Tesla model 3 weighs the same as a Nissan GT-R, has a 600-mile range (more than the Nissan GT-R). That kind of throws all your assumptions and ensuing calculations out the window. @RealEngineering: your knowledge seems somewhat dated. Time to go back to school.

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?

Studio7 uk : 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 %.

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

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.

gadan : Tesla should make electric boat engines. All boats out in the water is throwing out gas in the water and if it was electric engines then they would be pretty fast also!

truthjunkie3 : Tesla has plenty of problems and challenges but this video quickly loses credibility and starts spewing its own inaccurate and strongly opinionated statements. Loses all credibility. Confuse people with lots of numbers mean meant to distract. Any real analysis could have avoided that. Besides the heavy bias, there’s no mention how the electric motors are likely much lighter than Diesel engines leaving weight savings for batteries. Discussion of inertia when this is unnecessary to consider if just measuring efficiency driving in a straight flat line without stopping. Then makes an absurd comment about not driving in hilly country. Amazingly stupid statement. The test specified conditions not that it can’t do hills. EV would be exceptional in hills because of its ability to recover energy on downhills. Makes a comment saying all the power to accelerate is unnecessary but no mention how that power allows the semi to maintain speed up steep uphills. Bottom line. A silly hit job with no useful insight. I’m constantly shocked and amazed that misinformation videos like this are made. Who’s funding them. What is their agenda. Why do people feel the need to misinform in this way?

fly1063 : You made a mistake in your equation, the speed (fluid speed) is not to the cube but to the square!! Correct me if I'm wrong.

Jordan Lau : Are you wendover's brother

3DPeter : Elon Musk comes with results like electric cars, electric trucks, the powerwall, and did shoot a car in orbit with the help of reusable rockets that land themselves. So what do you have, besides alot of negative bla bla? Can't do it, impossible, can't be done, won't work, bla bla bla, that's al you have you idiot! When i started with electric rc cars 35 years ago, they had a battery pack that had 1,1 amps, and now the same size battery has about 5 up to 7 amps, and gues what? The technology of making better and more compact batteries isn't over, so stop complaining and be negative, because even rome wasn't built in one day, and you have to start somewhere. 20 years ago we already could built electric cars, but they only could do about 100 miles on one charge, so not good enough to sell to the public back then, but that al did change alright, because now they run a few hundred miles on one charge, and that wil get better in the future, but not when you keep on being negative and say that it can't be done, because science already showed that the word "impossible" isn't in their dictionary! So screw you and you negative video, because you are full of words and shit, so you should become a politician, because al they do is talk and talk, and al that talk didn't make the world a better place, so the perfect job for you!

Kevin Lee : There are numerous things Musk is not taking in to effect, unfortunately. I will say that ~someone~ needs to invent something initially so that others can reverse engineer it and make it better. That's been going on since the beginning of history. Could there be fully electric tractor trailers in the future? Sure. We didn't think two hundred years ago we'd be able to fly around the entire planet in about an hour but we can now. One thing is that the cost is outrageous. The average day cab costs $165,000 and these Tesla trucks seem to be in excess of a quarter million each. Public opinion aside, trucks are actually quite fragile and have about ten times the parts on them that the average car does. Nearly every truck is nothing more than a frame with a motor on it and wind deflection devices hung around the machinery. They aren't the battering rams that Hollywood would like you to believe. No thanks to government over-regulation by nerds sitting in cubicles that don't know how to drive a truck let alone ever even getting inside one they are also extremely persnickety the older they get but are this way even when brand new. The are extremely expensive to repair and a truck being repaired is not making any money. In fact, a truck that is not moving is technically losing money. Every time you need to stop these vehicles to charge them they are losing money. As shown above the average cost to move a semi-tractor trailer down the road is about $1.50 and that includes driver wage, fuel, maintenance and all the taxes and insurance required. Driving a vehicle a few extra miles a day out of route cuts in to profit substantially by the end of the year and also adds additional unnecessary wear and tear. Another thing not mentioned by Musk is that a lot of truck companies "hot swap" or "slip seat" drivers in the same vehicles to keep them moving. Many companies have a certain amount of power units and then have 35% to 100% more drivers than that number so there aren't too many trucks sitting idle. If the Tesla truck takes more than fifteen minutes to charge it's going to be an enormous waste of usable time and any savings shown above ($1.26 compared to ~$1.50/mile) is immediately lost due to idle vehicles. Musk says his trucks with the "larger" battery can run 500 miles. This may be okay in some European countries but in the United States drivers frequently do 650+ miles in a single day. The average United States tractor with dual 120-150 gallon capacity tanks can easily do over 1200-1500 miles between fuel stops. Also, depending on population density you can easily average close to 70mph for extended periods of time which means even less range on a battery. Battery operated motors tend to have one gear and the harder you run them the more quickly they discharge. Since most drivers are paid by the mile they want to go at least the speed limit in all the states they visit. Many companies have imposed speed limits in their rules and "govern" trucks to a restricted speed limit such as 65mph or 62mph and can't go 70mph in a state that allows it. I'm not saying these battery trucks will not go 70mph but they will use significantly more energy to travel at that velocity than 50mph mainly due to wind resistance regardless of drag coeffecient. Diesel fuel is a more efficient form of energy currently than batteries. In fact, diesel is more efficient than gasoline but gas motors can't generate the torque that diesel motors can so heavy hauling vehicles will nearly always be more cost efficient as diesel than gasoline. I'm really trying to not hate on Musk. In fact, my company does a lot of parts for Tesla among other manufacturers, I just think he's got a good idea but it needs to be much better before it turns an industry on its head.

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

The Bipolar Bear : In your calculation of the "empty truck's weight", did you MINUS the weight of a truck ENGINE? around a tonne.

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.

annesdatamine : The amount of denial in this thread is staggering. Many people here will be shocked to discover they have to find ever more elaborate and unconvincing excuses to explain away the EV revolution.

Minecraft Ranger 7.0 : With the acceleration being .... math math more math .... 500 mike variant.... math math math. WTF did he say?

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