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Tesla Truck Could Threaten Big Chunk of Oil Demand


Tesla Inc.’s unveiling on Thursday of a new electric truck showed Elon Musk can match Steve Jobs’s ability to wow the tech crowd with a glimpse of the future. If he can equal the manufacturing prowess of Apple Inc.’s current Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, he might just clobber the oil industry too.

That’s a big if, given Tesla’s current inability to meet manufacturing targets on the mass-market Model 3 electric car. But if the company really can deliver a battery-powered big rig with a 500-mile range and lower lifetime costs than diesel vehicles, then a big chunk of future oil demand growth is in peril.

Road freight accounts for about a fifth of world oil consumption, mostly diesel, according to the annual World Energy Outlook published by the International Energy Agency this week. Trucks are responsible for about 60 percent of the increase in global diesel demand since 2000, the report shows.

Freight will be even more important to the oil market in the future. The IEA expects gasoline demand to start falling before 2040 — in part because of the big increase in electric cars — but it says road freight and aviation will have no choice but to keep using oil. Buses and trucks will drive a 2 million barrel-a-day increase in diesel demand from 2016 to 2040, and overall oil demand will keep growing, it said.

Musk said his new truck “can transform into a robot, fight aliens and make one hell of a latte.” Showmanship aside, if the truck is a success, the IEA’s forecasts may prove wildly optimistic.



21 Comments on "Tesla Truck Could Threaten Big Chunk of Oil Demand"

  1. baha on Sun, 19th Nov 2017 8:41 am 

    The life of a truck driver. Kicked back, sleeping on the job while the truck drives itself. And waking to fresh latte. Where do I sign up?

  2. Sissyfuss on Sun, 19th Nov 2017 10:36 am 

    Musk has fully adopted the merchant mentality of the American psyche. But the more showmanship he exhibits the less I trust him. One of the problems with e-trucks is the massive batteries lower payload quantity to be moved because of road weight restrictions. But in the age of Trump all regulations are fake rules.

  3. rockman on Sun, 19th Nov 2017 11:48 am 

    I suggest we continue this discussion when he sells the first truck.

  4. Go Speed Racer on Sun, 19th Nov 2017 6:23 pm 

    LOL. wait til the first truck-battery fire.
    It will be nuclear and kill a dozen.
    Real good PR.

    The mathematics show it takes about
    10 tons of batteries to run an 18-wheeler
    600 miles. That’s not economical.
    And the cost of periodic battery replacement
    wont pencil out well.

    AND there is all this green foam going down
    the river, it pours into the river from
    the pipe sticking out the back of the
    battery reclaim facility.

  5. Makati1 on Sun, 19th Nov 2017 6:28 pm 

    More techie dreams. Maybe they are all on crack?

  6. Anonymous on Sun, 19th Nov 2017 6:45 pm 

    Feels like a stunt. Right now, that thing is a prototype. Articles I have seen have been negative on it.

  7. Go Speed Racer on Sun, 19th Nov 2017 8:01 pm 


    Picture taken right after they put
    1000 hours onto the battery pack.

    This is a very good product because it
    puts out large quantities of black smoke.
    With that much black smoke pouring out of
    burning Tesla rigs, we won’t have to to
    set fire to old sofa’s anymore.

  8. joe on Mon, 20th Nov 2017 4:59 am 

    How much carbon burned to charge up the battery? Lots of co2 released to put a man out of a job. The rich get richer. Baha, when people finally accept this tech, how long until you can’t afford that latte cause there won’t be anyone monitoring? 1 yr, 5 hrs? Imho this has nothing to do with saving carbon and everything to do with preserving what’s left to do with keeping what’s left of affordable oil for industries that really need it like aviation.

  9. Babtized on Mon, 20th Nov 2017 9:37 am 

    If battery powered transportation is to work, it will be with these
    big rigs. We shall soon see. I love living in interesting times.

  10. Ghung on Mon, 20th Nov 2017 9:56 am 


    Picture taken right after they put
    1000 hours onto the battery pack.”

    Looks nothing like the Tesla truck. But I’m betting you knew that. Go troll somewhere else.

  11. bobinget on Mon, 20th Nov 2017 12:59 pm 

    Anyone remember the old trolly* overhead wire set-ups? Semens has a few miles of test beds set up for semi trucks. No need for tons of batteries.
    Trucks can change lanes, make deliveries to that ‘last mile’ on smaller batteries.

    * still used in Europe and trains here.

  12. MASTERMIND on Mon, 20th Nov 2017 1:16 pm 

    The trucks battery weighs over 22 tons and cost 200k grand alone. And will have to be replaced after several years. A normal semi cost around 120k and can go over one million miles. This is just a PR stunt to promote his Tesla stock. Just ignore it.

  13. dave thompson on Mon, 20th Nov 2017 2:17 pm 

    Tesla making semi trailer trucks driven by batteries, I will believe it when the deliveries are made and the total costs are tallied.

  14. GregT on Mon, 20th Nov 2017 2:35 pm 

    “Anyone remember the old trolly* overhead wire set-ups?”

    Still used all over Vancouver BC, since 1948, for public transit.

  15. pointer on Mon, 20th Nov 2017 5:38 pm 

    Here’s an idea: How about not transporting so much stuff over such great distances?

    Trucking problem solved. You’re welcome.

  16. Kenz300 on Mon, 20th Nov 2017 6:44 pm 

    The future is electric. No noise. No emissions. Cheaper to operate. Less maintenance costs.

  17. Go Speed Racer on Tue, 21st Nov 2017 4:04 am 

    Mastermind glad to read your post.
    Agree. Tesla is forecast to fail. Runs on hype.
    If they had stuck to electrified VW Beetle’s,
    it would make sense. But they build monstrosities.

    It’s also very dumb how they put in a 27”
    computer monitor for a dashboard. Morons

  18. RR on Thu, 12th Jul 2018 6:13 am 

    1. Everyone who has bet against TESLA to date has failed.

    2. Elon Musk has numerous Military Industrial Complex contracts that have given him access to the organizations that make the fundamental decisions about the direction the United States will take.

    3. Americans are tired of the War on Terror and see Oil as a direct market corollary to this War.

    4. SpaceX and Elon’s other companies can easily be leveraged to assist with TESLA motor’s success and basically NASA and the Military Industrial Complex loves Elon Musk as much as the American public does.

    5. China has decided to leave oil and go fully electric and even if TESLA does not succeed, China has proven to be a game changer.

    6. Anyone born after the year 2000 is disgusted by oil and the War on Terror.

    In short, oil demand needs to come from innovative solutions such as the oil industry making sure there is a 3D printer in every home and that everyone knows how to use them to make plastic products of every shape and size imaginable.

    The oil industry also needs to figure out a way to make sure that 80% of plastic is being recycled because there is growing anti-plastic pressure because of the amount of plastic in the ocean and it is getting to the point where it is beginning to threaten other industries such as the fishing industry.

  19. Antius on Thu, 12th Jul 2018 7:30 am 

    RR, sorry to hear that you are disgusted by oil, whatever that means. You sound young and idealistic.

    Tesla is showing poor profitability precisely because Musk failed to understand the technology he was investing in. The world already has a growing market for hybrid vehicles precisely because hybrids are a more flexible, lower cost technology that provides most of the benefits of going pure electric, without the huge battery cost and recharging difficulties.

    Young and idealistic people tend to get excited about pure and revolutionary technologies rather than more practical evolutionary ones. An idealist will always push ideal solutions and will always end up being disappointed when the world fails to work out that way. In real life, most people are looking for practical ways of meeting desired ends at a minimum of cost. They aren’t interested in anyone’s ideals of perfection; they are looking for solutions that work. This is why idealism from people that are disgusted by oil, and seduced by elegant ideas of one kind or another, always ends up crashing on the rocks and leaving its adherents disillusioned and disappointed.

  20. MASTERMIND on Thu, 12th Jul 2018 7:35 am 


    Bloomberg calls out Musk & Tesla for burning through $7,430/minute

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