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Can they run millions of 18 wheeler's on batteries?

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Can they run millions of 18 wheeler's on batteries?

Unread postby slackercruster » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 14:39:45

I say it is not practical. A dem I talked with said give Tesla time.

What is your verdict.
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Re: Can they run millions of 18 wheeler's on batteries?

Unread postby Plantagenet » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 14:51:58

Think its more likely they'll convert the US long haul trucking fleet to run on natural gas.

This process is already underway. You can buy NG 18 wheelers right now from Freightliner

freightliner/trucks/natural-gas

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Freightliner CNG powered 18 wheelers are on the road right now
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Re: Can they run millions of 18 wheeler's on batteries?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 15:30:47

Battery power would be difficult in this class of heavy truck, or in trains, or in ships. However if you would widen the topic to electric drive, there are possibilities. This is the Nikola 1, which exists as a prototype, not yet in production:
Image
The drive technology is hydrogen fuel cells plus electric motors. The specs are impressive:

100% ZERO EMISSIONS
HYDROGEN POWERED
800 - 1,200 MILE RANGE
15 MINUTE REFILL TIME
NEVER PLUG IN, 100% ELECTRIC DRIVE
1/2 THE OPERATING COST COMPARED TO DIESEL
2,000 FT. LBS TORQUE
1,000 HORSEPOWER
320 kWh BATTERY
REGENERATIVE BRAKING
SLEEPER CAB FOR EXTENDED LONG HAULS

The price is $375,000 which is approximately twice the purchase price of a diesel long-haul tractor of the same class. This has the standard trailer hitch and supports standard trailer air brakes. The hydrogen distribution and retail network does not yet exist, which is a chicken-and-egg sort of problem.

In the past, hydrogen fuel cells were somewhat prone to explode, and required somebody with the skills, training, and courage of an astronaut to operate. However the sophisticated software and monitoring used for operating Lithium batteries is already more complex than this application. Until the software is debugged, it would be normal to expect a few - ah - incidents.
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Re: Can they run millions of 18 wheeler's on batteries?

Unread postby diemos » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 15:49:28

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Re: Can they run millions of 18 wheeler's on batteries?

Unread postby MD » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 16:02:57

There is precedent in diesel/electric locomotives. The zero speed torque of a series wound dc electric motor is as close to unlimited as any traction based motive force ever invented.

After that, it's all about the batteries and the ability to attain and maintain constant speed. That means closing the interstates to non commercial traffic, which will happen one day, by my crystal ball gazing.
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Re: Can they run millions of 18 wheeler's on batteries?

Unread postby kublikhan » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 16:49:51

I agree with many of the posts here, not practical to do long haul trucking via batteries. It would be more practical to use an electric railroad. Although electrifying freight railroads in the US seems unlikely to happen anytime soon. Electric trains are common in Europe though.
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Re: Can they run millions of 18 wheeler's on batteries?

Unread postby MD » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 16:55:52

kublikhan wrote:I agree with many of the posts here, not practical to do long haul trucking via batteries. It would be more practical to use an electric railroad. Although electrifying freight railroads in the US seems unlikely to happen anytime soon. Electric trains are common in Europe though.


Electric locomotives still run all of Amtrak north of Virginia. Diesels run south, but they still use traction DC motors for their motive force. Diesel locomotives for freight are still diesel powered DC. Motor to wheels on trains are series wound DC. That's what works best and has been so for almost 100 years
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Re: Can they run millions of 18 wheeler's on batteries?

Unread postby kublikhan » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 17:07:50

Yeah I was referring to fully electric freight trains, not the diesel electrics. There's very little fully electric freight in the US.
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Re: Can they run millions of 18 wheeler's on batteries?

Unread postby MD » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 17:12:19

kublikhan wrote:Yeah I was referring to fully electric freight trains, not the diesel electrics. There's very little fully electric freight in the US.

and until the day that batteries can replace a diesel generator with a fuel tank in the same energy to weight over distance ratio, that won't change. that solution is still in dream stage, with no concrete answers in sight. It will happen in trains before trucks, if it ever does.
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Re: Can they run millions of 18 wheeler's on batteries?

Unread postby kublikhan » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 17:23:48

If/when electrification does come to US freight, I'm with diemos and putting my bet on catenaries or third rails. It just seems a more practical way to feed electricity to locomotives than batteries.
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Re: Can they run millions of 18 wheeler's on batteries?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 17:53:16

The two freight networks do not really overlap and don't compete head-to-head in very many parts of the country. The major rail lines were built in the 19th century, then upgraded for heavier rolling stock in the later years. The Interstate Highway System was built in the late 20th Century by Dwight D. Eisenhower, and heavy trucks can also use many secondary roads at lower speeds.

That is why trains carry 15% of the freight and trucks 85%. However when very heavy freight (greater than 30 tons per load) is carried, rail is your only option, as trucks are legally limited to 40 tons total weight with a tractor/trailer that weighs 9-10 tons empty. Therefore very heavy cargo such as iron ore or grain is carried by train.

Note that while the Interstate Highways could utilize catenary systems, trains are easier to retrofit than trucks. Here in Silly Valley we have an electrified light rail commuter system (built that way), but the diesel CALTRAIN which runs from South of Silly Valley all the way to downtown San Francisco is a stubbornly diesel conventional train, the economics for the catenary addition are just not there, and fuel would have to be 4X as expensive for the catenary to make sense.
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Re: Can they run millions of 18 wheeler's on batteries?

Unread postby slackercruster » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 18:20:00

Thanks for the feedback.

Looks like they have done more work on it than I expected. Impressive!
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Re: Can they run millions of 18 wheeler's on batteries?

Unread postby Tanada » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 21:45:51

Just switching all the long distance freight to conventional diesel electric locomotives and making all the semis the spokes out from the rail hubs would do wonders for cargo fuel efficiency. The thing is that requires the resumption of warehouses and the end of just in time shipping, something anathema to current business models of operation.

The old complaint about warehouses was twofold, they need excellent records to keep track of every bit of goods stored, something computers now make much easier with barcode logging, and they require money be invested in physical goods and the storage of those same goods instead of the money constantly being in motion from buyer to seller to producer to financial institution.

Get rid of JIT as a way of life and shipping cargo can shift back to rail and water modes of very efficient transport. Demand JIT continue and you require many thousands of individual units to move individual cargoes at on demand times instead of at convenience times.
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Re: Can they run millions of 18 wheeler's on batteries?

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 22:00:59

Seems like rather pointless question since we don't have millions of electricity powered 18 wheelers. Seems a better question would be what needs to happen to motivate trucking companies to scrap their diesel powered fleets for new electric rigs? Same issue with fossil fired power plants. The economic gap between building a NEW wind or solar plant compared to a NEW ff plant may have shrunk. But it's a very different matter to voluntarily replace a paid off EXISTING ff plant with a NEW alt plant.
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Re: Can they run millions of 18 wheeler's on batteries?

Unread postby evilgenius » Tue 24 Jan 2017, 12:26:17

Tanada wrote:Just switching all the long distance freight to conventional diesel electric locomotives and making all the semis the spokes out from the rail hubs would do wonders for cargo fuel efficiency. The thing is that requires the resumption of warehouses and the end of just in time shipping, something anathema to current business models of operation.

The old complaint about warehouses was twofold, they need excellent records to keep track of every bit of goods stored, something computers now make much easier with barcode logging, and they require money be invested in physical goods and the storage of those same goods instead of the money constantly being in motion from buyer to seller to producer to financial institution.

Get rid of JIT as a way of life and shipping cargo can shift back to rail and water modes of very efficient transport. Demand JIT continue and you require many thousands of individual units to move individual cargoes at on demand times instead of at convenience times.


And then there is what 3d printing is going to do to JIT. If it takes, it will keep it, but shift it completely away from any kind of distance manufacturing.

Reading this thread so far made me think of Don Saddoway, the MIT professor, who came up with a chemical battery. His battery is as big as a storage container. I watched news about it for a while, but never heard of it taking off. It was so big and heavy that, apparently, it was impractical for anything but backup city block power. There isn't much call for that as yet, so it hasn't found much of a market. I wonder if several further iterations of his kind of battery might one day power a different kind of delivery truck? There's a lot of room to play with in regards to what is a practical form for a delivery truck in a 3d printing dominated world. Raw materials for printing would be the thing people wanted. We don't know if that would mean huge three trailer or more road trains behind an autonomous cab that could use an iterative battery derived from Saddoway's idea, or smaller garbage truck sized delivery trucks with some kind of hybrid power system. One things for sure, the world is going to change.
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Re: Can they run millions of 18 wheeler's on batteries?

Unread postby penury » Tue 24 Jan 2017, 13:26:54

I must concur with Rockmans point. The limiting factors must include the "economics" of replacing the current fleet with "renewables" The cost will I presume be large enough to require a phase in over decades, Do we have decades?
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Re: Can they run millions of 18 wheeler's on batteries?

Unread postby SeaGypsy » Tue 24 Jan 2017, 16:40:18

Tanada wrote:Just switching all the long distance freight to conventional diesel electric locomotives and making all the semis the spokes out from the rail hubs would do wonders for cargo fuel efficiency. The thing is that requires the resumption of warehouses and the end of just in time shipping, something anathema to current business models of operation.

The old complaint about warehouses was twofold, they need excellent records to keep track of every bit of goods stored, something computers now make much easier with barcode logging, and they require money be invested in physical goods and the storage of those same goods instead of the money constantly being in motion from buyer to seller to producer to financial institution.

Get rid of JIT as a way of life and shipping cargo can shift back to rail and water modes of very efficient transport. Demand JIT continue and you require many thousands of individual units to move individual cargoes at on demand times instead of at convenience times.


I drive 16 & 18 wheelers for work. On top of what you just mentioned, there is now RFS tagging, combination tagging. The business I work for now is managed from Vietnam & Malaysia. Every document is created in triplicate & ipad photographed & forward to head office. Every bit of data gets entered on excel which is checked in Australia twice, then again in SE Asia. Each employee generates over $500k AUD turnover. Fuel for our $3 mil fleet is about $400,000 per year, of $15 million turnover, all a tax write off. Things would have to get pretty drastic before it would be worthwhile to switch this fleet to electric, even with most work being urban & potentially each stop could recharge.
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Re: Can they run millions of 18 wheeler's on batteries?

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Tue 24 Jan 2017, 17:19:45

Good data, trucker, thanks. And then the possibility of a slow transition as the diesels wear out? Brings us back to the infrastructure build out. Since we're talking theory we don't know what roadway facilities would be required. But if they are substantional then the same problem with some other alts: the infrastructure won't get built until enough vehicles are on the road but no massive vehicle build out until the infrastructure is in place.
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Re: Can they run millions of 18 wheeler's on batteries?

Unread postby Zarquon » Tue 24 Jan 2017, 17:54:06

You can still find 1950's gas guzzlers in Cuba, shark fins and all. If the US began a massive transition to electric, hydrogen- or hamster-powered trucks, the old fleet would be sold for pennies to developing countries and continue to run until literally falling apart. If you can get a used truck for a song, fuel costs become a lot less relevant.

The problem with any transition is that the US has almost the lowest fuel prices on earth (not counting heavily subsidized fuel in OPEC countries):
http://www.globalpetrolprices.com/gasoline_prices/
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Re: Can they run millions of 18 wheeler's on batteries?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Tue 24 Jan 2017, 21:10:57

Yes, the low fuel costs identified by Zarquon are THE primary problem with the transition to EVs. The largest consumer of oil (or perhaps now, second largest after China) also enjoys volume wholesale petroleum pricing and low retail prices for refined fuels.

This is why I tend to depart from my libertarian views in this matter, and advocate enhanced gas and diesel taxes with the mandated use of the tax revenues for the construction of EV charging infrastructure.

I'm not kidding about this. Trump needs to add $1 per gallon tax to each gallon sold, and bump that $1 for each year he is in office, and keep the current EV incentives in place while doing so. We HAVE the technology we need to replace 95% of the consumer vehicles, and we need to build the charging infrastructure.

If he has real cajones, he should ban new ICE vehicles in say 10 years. If he wants to make an exception such as say a $25,000 "gas guzzler" tax for a new ICE vehicle, I'll listen to the argument, at least. Nor would I add the gas guzzler tax to a vehicle that burns alcohols, LPG, CNG, biodiesel, etc - anything but petroleum derived gasoline and diesel fuels.

You see, I really do believe in the oil peak and the production decline afterwards. If we can get ahead of the lagging demand curve on the downside of the peak, we can have oil for every other purpose than fuel without importing any, for several more decades. All the oil we have still gets pumped and consumed, it will simply last longer my way.

The recycling of our ICE fleet into EVs, the charger infrastructure, the advent of auto-piloted public cars, and new rail/bus public transport will make lots of jobs for decades to come. We should embrace the changes, not resist them, because change is needed.

If, like me, you own and want to keep owning a classic vehicle like my '67 Kaiser Jeep, then you are free to do so, and while you will have to pay a premium for the fuel, you won't be paying the $25,000 gas guzzler tax. We are not doing anything to make gasoline and diesel go away, we are just making a change from ICE vehicles to EVs. That's all it's about.
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