Electric trucks.

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Northern_Brewer

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I thought weigh limits were put in place because of weak bridge etc

Today we will take a look at the weight of electric cars, which usually are much heavier than their conventional counterparts due to the battery packs - the heaviest single part. The data for dozens of models was provided by Bjørn Nyland, who measures the car's weight by the way of general reviews.21 Aug 2021
Define "much heavier" - one of the few where you can make a direct comparison is the Mini, where the electric version is 150kg more than the ICE version. So about 12%. As long as your tractor unit is <16 tonnes, then a 2t weight allowance would cover the extra weight.

And have another read of #35 above - rather than compare to cars, why not listen to what people who actually make trucks are saying about weight, Tesla say they will have a version that's within a tonne of a conventional cab.

Weight limits are probably more about road wear than weak bridges, there's various exemptions already - in the long term it will be not so much electric trucks getting 2 tonnes more, as ICE getting 2 tonnes less...
 

Northern_Brewer

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Because of China's reliance on coal for power generation, these 'electric' trucks will be 56% powered by coal burning.
Got to start somewhere - that figure is going down year by year, and still means less CO2 than burning petrol/diesel.
 

Irishwizard

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Heavier vehicles == more damage to roads == higher road maintenance costs == more work for local councils == more damaged vehicles because well, local councils?

I have no idea if this actually translates into reality, but it popped into my head and I thought it funny so posted it 😂
Its good then - it creates jobs LOL (Tongue firmly in cheek)
 

Chippy_Tea

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rather than compare to cars, why not listen to what people who actually make trucks are saying about weight, Tesla say they will have a version that's within a tonne of a conventional cab.
I did a quick search and that was the result I got I didn't know Tesla made trucks it will be interesting to see if they can get it to that weight and what the range will be, if they cannot drive it for 10 hours without a charge they won't be any use for artics.
 
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Northern_Brewer

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if they cannot drive it for 10 hours without a charge they won't be any use for artics.
They can always start with niche jobs. Tesco have just announced they will be using two electric DAFs with 100 mile range to do the shuttle between a rail terminal and their Gwent distribution centre on the other side of Newport, looks about 15 miles on Google Maps. It's a neat way to gain experience with electric trucks whilst waiting for technology to progress.

 

Brew_DD2

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Surely they could go down the modular battery route for trucks. I actually think this would be a viable solution for cars too, but the manufacturers would never go for it.
 

Rodcx500z

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I got slated a while back over hydrogen, it is the way forward, whats going on reminds me of the vhs, betamax wars and believe me hydrogen will win in the end
 

Chippy_Tea

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The difference is both videos were out at the same time so customers had a choice and VHS won, you as far as I know cannot buy a hydrogen car and as Hydrogen cars have been around for at least 30 years it makes me wonder why.
 

Nicks90

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I see amazon and ups are also heavily investing in electric vehicles

Whilst I think hydrogen is a good solution, the sheer cost of making it widely available and renewing all the existing refueling infrastructure will be catastrophically expensive. I think it will be much more likely to utilise synthetic fuel (as championed by F1) to power cars and trucks where electricity is not practical. As that can reuse all the existing fuel stations, tanks and physical infrastructure already in place. Also means manufacturers can basically continue making Ice vehicles with very few modifications to use the new fuel.

My big concerns is where we get all this power to charge cars and make synthetic fuel from. Globally its a huge amount of energy required. We need a Tony Stark to come along and make fusion reactors work cheaply and efficiently that can be scaled quickly across the world.
As at the end of the day this is the fundamental crux of the issue, we need cheap energy to power 'things', be it vehicles, homes or factories. At the moment Dino juice is the cheap energy. If we can get something as cheap and in a similar volume, then we'll have no issues swapping over. The issue is renewable isn't cheap and isn't consistent and there just isn't enough of it.
 

Northern_Brewer

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Surely they could go down the modular battery route for trucks. I actually think this would be a viable solution for cars too, but the manufacturers would never go for it.
They could, but from what the likes of Tesla are saying, they're aiming to produce trucks that have enough batteries onboard to last a shift, and that's all that's really needed given how tightly regulated driver hours are. You're right, that modular batteries have a better chance of working for trucks than cars, and I guess the tradeoffs between modular batteries and designing a vehicle around a non-modular battery are different for trucks, but I guess we'll have to wait and see. You may see them first in something like combine harvesters, which when they're needed, are needed 24/7 with little time for recharging, and the electrical supply in rural areas may not be up to the job of high-speed recharging.

I got slated a while back over hydrogen, it is the way forward, whats going on reminds me of the vhs, betamax wars and believe me hydrogen will win in the end
You keep asserting this with no evidence behind it. As has been repeatedly pointed out to you, hydrogen is used at half the efficiency of electricity to is unlikely to be cost-effective relative to electricity just for the "fuel", never mind the huge amounts of infrastructure that need to be put in place (which need to be paid for). And the chemical industry will be sucking up most of the hydrogen supply for the next 10+ years. Hydrogen will only ever be a niche for vehicles, in the same way as LPG is a niche for vehicles and domestic gas.

My big concerns is where we get all this power to charge cars and make synthetic fuel from. Globally its a huge amount of energy required. We need a Tony Stark to come along and make fusion reactors work cheaply and efficiently that can be scaled quickly across the world.
As at the end of the day this is the fundamental crux of the issue, we need cheap energy to power 'things', be it vehicles, homes or factories. At the moment Dino juice is the cheap energy. If we can get something as cheap and in a similar volume, then we'll have no issues swapping over. The issue is renewable isn't cheap and isn't consistent and there just isn't enough of it.
Well - we use that much energy now in petrol/diesel, but since electric cars are so much more efficient than dino juice cars, you need less energy in absolute terms. It's not nothing to electrify the UK's vehicle fleet, but it's doable - in the electric car thread I calculated it's the equivalent of 18GW 24/7, or 54 GW between 10pm-6am, compared to total generation capacity of >75GW (and in 2020 43% of British electricity came from renewables). You do need some more generation capacity, but not as much as you might think - and eg the UK is already aiming for another 40GW of offshore wind generation by 2030.

Because "renewables" - in the form of offshore wind and solar *are* the new cheap forms of electricity generation - even before the recent chaos in the natural gas market, they were cheaper than gas. Yes, there's issues with availability, but they're getting better - and the batteries in cars could help with that on a short-term basis.
 

Northern_Brewer

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Good overview of where the truck and bus market stands :
 

jof

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Good overview of where the truck and bus market stands :
I can see it working quite well for busses as you could put induction charging loops at some bus stops to top them up as they go.
Not sure if would work as well on long distance coaches though, how often do they stop at motorway services?
 

Northern_Brewer

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Not sure if would work as well on long distance coaches though, how often do they stop at motorway services?
With the heavy stuff, the rules on driving time are as important as anything. A coach driver can't normally drive more than 9 hours in a day (although there's various exemptions), and can't drive more than half of that without a break of 45 minutes, or two of at least 15 and 30 minutes. AIUI National Express has one driver per journey so has to obey those rules, Megabus swaps drivers to get round them.

If you assume that electric coaches will look something like the Tesla Semi, which will come in 300 mile and 500 mile versions (and Musk has talked about >600 miles) then that would cover most coach journeys in the UK - London-Glasgow/Edinburgh is 400 miles, London-Dundee is 460 miles. Obviously something like the "electric motorways" posited in the first post would be really useful for coaches, although perhaps not in congested areas as they'd want to go faster than all the trucks in the left lane.
 

Awfers

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Another alternative would be for the EU (and other governments) force the car manufacturers to standardize on a single battery shape (as they have done with USB-C chargers for mobile phones) and have the batteries be "hot swap-able" at service stations in case you need to travel from Norway to the south of Spain without having to stop every few hours.

One interesting thing I had heard locally was that the companies that offer the charging stations (in this case in France) would charge what is essentially a roaming fee to foreigners to charge their electric cars. Charging at home cost something like £5, but if you were to drive to the middle of France, it cost something along the lines of €160 to charge your car... That should be criminal..
 

Brew_DD2

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Another alternative would be for the EU (and other governments) force the car manufacturers to standardize on a single battery shape (as they have done with USB-C chargers for mobile phones) and have the batteries be "hot swap-able" at service stations in case you need to travel from Norway to the south of Spain without having to stop every few hours.
That's exactly what I was suggesting. Surely modular design has to be pushed. It makes far more sense.
 

Northern_Brewer

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Another alternative would be for the EU (and other governments) force the car manufacturers to standardize on a single battery shape (as they have done with USB-C chargers for mobile phones) and have the batteries be "hot swap-able" at service stations in case you need to travel from Norway to the south of Spain without having to stop every few hours.
Conversely, they've not enforced a standard battery shape for phones, and cars face something of the same problem - it's hard enough to optimise all the requirements for a car, without adding another one in the form of predefined battery shapes, it adds 10-20% to the volume of the car AIUI.

Also - all the calls for modular batteries are largely premised on charging being too "slow" for "normal" use, and it's not clear that will be the case. There may be local network capacity constraints, particularly on eg Bank Holidays, but I'm not sure that will be enough to drive uptake of modular batteries when many, many EV users will only ever either charge at home, or charge at home with the occasional top-up at a hotel etc.
 

Nicks90

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You'll never get modular batteries in passenger cars. They are designed to fit the chassis (often forming part of the structural strength) and to fit the wheelbase, width and suspension components.
Now modular for light trucks, vans and hgvs is a real possibility due to their flat floor layout and standardised platform.
There are many haulage firms running one truck with 2 drivers to operate it 20 hours per day, this doesn't leave enough time for recharging. Having a battery pack would be ideal. Also means they could have batteries being charged using their own solar panels and wind turbines depending on the size of the location.
 

Awfers

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You'll never get modular batteries in passenger cars. They are designed to fit the chassis (often forming part of the structural strength) and to fit the wheelbase, width and suspension components.
I would disagree. If governments can legislate for car designs to be made to include headlights, taillights, turn signals, seat belts, speedometers, safety glass, airbags, catalytic converters, less polluting engines, and reduce injury when they hit a pedestrian, then they can legislate that batteries should be of a certain size, weight and easily removed for swapping out.

The manufacturers need to adjust as they have already been doing over the past 50 years, rather than treating batteries as a mid to long-term profit centre when they need to be changed (Tesla asks USD 16'000 to do this, apparently)
 

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