• 2 days Iraq Begins To Rebuild Largest Refinery
  • 2 days Canadian Producers Struggle To Find Transport Oil Cargo
  • 2 days Venezuela’s PDVSA Makes $539M Interest Payments On Bonds
  • 2 days China's CNPC Considers Taking Over South Pars Gas Field
  • 2 days BP To Invest $200 Million In Solar
  • 2 days Tesla Opens New Showroom In NYC
  • 3 days Petrobras CEO Hints At New Partner In Oil-Rich Campos Basin
  • 3 days Venezuela Sells Oil Refinery Stake To Cuba
  • 3 days Tesla Is “Headed For A Brick Wall”
  • 3 days Norwegian Pension Fund Set to Divest From Oil Sands and Coal Ventures
  • 3 days IEA: “2018 Might Not Be Quite So Happy For OPEC Producers”
  • 3 days Goldman Bullish On Oil Markets
  • 3 days OPEC Member Nigeria To Issue Africa’s First Sovereign Green Bond
  • 3 days Nigeria To Spend $1B Of Oil Money Fighting Boko Haram
  • 3 days Syria Aims To Begin Offshore Gas Exploration In 2019
  • 4 days Australian Watchdog Blocks BP Fuel Station Acquisition
  • 4 days Colombia Boosts Oil & Gas Investment
  • 4 days Environmentalists Rev Up Anti-Keystone XL Angst Amongst Landowners
  • 4 days Venezuelan Default Swap Bonds At 19.25 Cents On The Dollar
  • 4 days Aramco On The Hunt For IPO Global Coordinators
  • 4 days ADNOC Distribution Jumps 16% At Market Debut In UAE
  • 4 days India Feels the Pinch As Oil Prices Rise
  • 5 days Aramco Announces $40 Billion Investment Program
  • 5 days Top Insurer Axa To Exit Oil Sands
  • 5 days API Reports Huge Crude Draw
  • 5 days Venezuela “Can’t Even Write A Check For $21.5M Dollars.”
  • 5 days EIA Lowers 2018 Oil Demand Growth Estimates By 40,000 Bpd
  • 5 days Trump Set To Open Atlantic Coast To Oil, Gas Drilling
  • 5 days Norway’s Oil And Gas Investment To Drop For Fourth Consecutive Year
  • 6 days Saudis Plan To Hike Gasoline Prices By 80% In January
  • 6 days Exxon To Start Reporting On Climate Change Effect
  • 6 days US Geological Survey To Reevaluate Bakken Oil Reserves
  • 6 days Brazil Cuts Local Content Requirements to Attract Oil Investors
  • 6 days Forties Pipeline Could Remain Shuttered For Weeks
  • 6 days Desjardins Ends Energy Loan Moratorium
  • 6 days ADNOC Distribution IPO Valuation Could Be Lesson For Aramco
  • 6 days Russia May Turn To Cryptocurrencies For Oil Trade
  • 7 days Iraq-Iran Oil Swap Deal To Run For 1 Year
  • 9 days Venezuelan Crude Exports To U.S. Fall To 15-year Lows
  • 9 days Mexico Blames Brazil For Failing Auction

Breaking News:

Iraq Begins To Rebuild Largest Refinery

Alt Text

The Electric Truck Revolution Is About To Accelerate

Cargo transport companies have begun…

Alt Text

The Secret To Replacing Fossil Fuels

Renewable skeptics cite low efficiency,…

Alt Text

Troubled GE Slashes 12,000 Energy Jobs

As General Electric’s stock price…

The Stunning Energy Cost Of Tesla’s Semi-Truck


Elon Musk’s reliance on shock-and-awe tactics and unjustifiably lofty performance projections is creating serious problems for the so-called visionary as a growing number of experts have come forward to explain that many of his claims would defy the laws of physics.

The latest group to call bulls--- is Aurora Energy Research, a European consultancy which estimated that Tesla’s electric haulage truck will require the same energy as up to 4,000 homes to recharge – a stunning claim that would seem to raise serious questions about the projects viability, according to the Financial Times.

(Click to enlarge)

According to these scientists, modern battery technology is incapable of supporting anything close to the 30-minute charging time Musk has promised for the new Tesla semi-truck.

The U.S. electric carmaker unveiled a battery-powered truck earlier this month, promising haulage drivers they could add 400 miles of charge in as little as 30 minutes using a new “megacharger” to be made by the company.

John Feddersen, chief executive of Aurora Energy Research, a consultancy set up in 2013 by a group of Oxford university professors, said the power required for the megacharger to fill a battery in that amount of time would be 1,600 kilowatts.

That is the equivalent of providing 3,000-4,000 “average” houses, he told a London conference last week, 10 times as powerful as Tesla’s current network of “superchargers” for its electric cars. Tesla declined to comment on the calculations.

Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, has previously said the megachargers would be solar-powered but the company has not confirmed whether they will also have a grid connection for when it is not sunny.

Many of Tesla’s current superchargers are powered in part by renewable energy. The company is also experimenting with storage batteries to ease demands on the grid. Related: Russia Ups Oil Price Forecast For 2018

Tesla has promised to begin delivering its trucks in late 2019. Electric battery capacity has been improving at a rate of roughly 8 percent per year – and some have posited that Musk’s lofty claims are merely just him trying to anticipate what will be possible as the first batch of trucks are being assembled. However, if Aurora’s assessment is accurate, then the technological advancements needed to enable a 30-minute charging time for a semi-truck are still years, if not decades, off.

Furthermore, Musk has said little about the enhancements to the power grid that would be needed to power fleets of Tesla’s semi-trucks.

(Click to enlarge)

“There are smart and dumb ways to incorporate this level of capacity requirement into the system, but either way, fully electrified road transport will need a large amount of new infrastructure,” Feddersen told the Financial Times.

National Grid, which oversees Britain’s electricity system, has suggested that in the most extreme scenario, electric vehicles could create as much as 18 gigawatts of additional demand for power at peak times in the UK by 2050.

This is the equivalent capacity of nearly six nuclear power stations on the scale of the Hinkley Point project under construction in the south-west of England. Related: Iran’s Elaborate Sanction-Skirting Scheme

Aurora posits that Tesla could try an engineering solution called segmenting – but that approach would come with technological hurdles of its own.

“The fastest chargers today can support up to around 450kW charging, so it’s not clear yet how Tesla will achieve their desired charging speeds,” said Colin McKerracher, head of advanced transport at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a consultancy.

“One option may be to segment the battery somehow and actually charge different segments simultaneously. This adds additional costs and we haven't seen anything like that done at anywhere near this power output.”

By Zerohedge 

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:

Back to homepage

Leave a comment
  • Bill Simpson on December 05 2017 said:
    If the cost of electricity is a lot lower than the cost of diesel fuel, the electric vehicles still comes out ahead because the drivers don't make a lot per hour. The truck drivers working for big firms could simply switch trucks, while the one they drove in on is charging. In ten years, they won't be doing much driving anyway. They will be along for the ride, if along at all.
  • David on December 05 2017 said:
    I remember an article posted by Seeking Alpha a while back where someone analyzed the claims. That article displayed images of the charger plug as well as internals of the truck in question. The conclusion was that due to the shape of the plug it is in fact a parallel charger with 8 supercharger inputs which would provide sufficient power (accounting for most recent improvements) to reach these high targets.

    Also, please stop using phrases like ‘when the sun doesn’t shine’. This is simply not an intelligent way of describing the situation since there are other options like batteries, which Tesla assembles themselves, that may let them avoid/minimize or smooth out grid connections so that so much power is not pulled from the grid in sudden spikes. At the very least this should have been mentioned as a possibility.

    There’s no doubt though that electrified transportation will increase the amount of energy the grid will be required to handle in the future. That seems obvious.
  • Billy G on December 05 2017 said:
    Keep buying buggy-whips. There isn't any infrastructure for petroleum-burning motor carriages. Draft animals have pulled humanity for 2,000 years, these newfangled inventions are just plain silly.
  • Anthony Maw on December 06 2017 said:
    One postulates the practicality and vision of a future where electric vehicles supplant hydrocarbon burning internal combustion powered vehicles. Much of the global energy consumption is for transportation currently burning hydrocarbons for which substitute energy sources are not really practical. In a nutshell, where are we gonna get the scaled up sources of electricity from ? Are we going to have enormous forests of wind farms as far as the eye can see, maybe with solar panels in between, and enormous warehouses full of batteries for when the wind-don't-blow or the sun-don't-shine ? How much would it cost to build and maintain such infrastructure ? Or will we just built more nuclear power generation facilities ? An inconvenient truth about vehicle electrification is that ***we can't all switch***.
  • JR on December 06 2017 said:
    sigh.... defy the laws of physics.


    Fast summation, its about carferries between Denmark and Sweden that shall be converted to battry power. Battery 4.160 kWh (thats 41 Tesla Model S) and the charing time shall be 10 min... its all about how many amps you want to use... a robot will conect the cabel to minimise the risk..... so "30-minute charging time for a semi-truck are still years, if not decades" are totaly wrong.... a better question how long time will it take to build out a net for "super charging"
  • Null on December 07 2017 said:
    Dear Anthony Maw,

    Well, yeah. But it's not nearly the area you think. Certainly won't seem that way as it will be distributed throughout each grid in various sizes... From a few KW to many MW.

    But until then, it's still far cheaper and far if you run them off the current idled generation particularly at night.

    But still the trucks will ship 2019 or so, in small numbers deployed scattered throughout and mostly charged at night when they ground out way too much power they'd rather sell.

    So yeah, not the moon shot, not even the challenges of building the Iowa class battleships.

    Besides, they're deploying storage batteries at many current supercharger sites now. Imagine what they could make in selling some fraction of that as grid services... firming up weak spots in a particular grid points.
  • Peter on December 07 2017 said:
    Batteries are heavy. Trucks are limited by law as to how much they can weight. More weight in batteries mean they can't transport as much in cargo. This mean less revenue and profit.
  • Desotojohn on December 07 2017 said:
    Has a thermal engineer looked at charging batteries at this rate? Would a hot summer day effect charging rate? Just curious ...
  • Marcus Rönningås on December 08 2017 said:
    @JR: Great article !

    There are always thoose who will use arguments instead of facts when they want to "market" an opinion. And an opinion is al that zerohedge presents in this case. They are just scared of change.
  • Bob S on December 08 2017 said:
    The truck makes no sense, by the science of batteries and storage, the weight of the batteries kills any efficiencies desired, all it will haul is toilet paper and popcorn. And, oh yeah, it will take the energy of 4,000 to charge it, along with the fact that the charger for this doesnt exist, and would also be a High Voltage danger zone. All Musk is doing is the old "Squirrel!" routine, to deflect from his failing Model3 enterprise. Nothing like burning a BILLION dollars a month and little to show for it
  • Donald Clifford on December 08 2017 said:
    Does anyone know at what price electricity becomes cheaper than liquid fuel, to power motor vehicles? Obviously cheap electricity opens up many possibilities.
  • Abel Adamski on December 12 2017 said:
    I understand they will be parallel charging 4 sets of batteries, possibly more.
    Battery weight, originally it was 160 Watts/Kg, then up to 240 and currently Tesla is doing 300. Other companies are developing 450 with even higher density on the way.

    The weight of batteries and motors and drive train compares more than favourably with a Diesel Motor, transmission, Cooling, drive train and tank full of fuel

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News