There aren’t enough batteries to electrify all cars — focus on trucks and buses instead

Garbage trucks, buses and the van that delivers your Amazon purchases are all prime candidates for electrification. (Shutterstock)

Cameron Roberts, Carleton University

We need to change our transportation system, and we need to do it quickly.

Road transportation is a major consumer of fossil fuels, contributing 16 per cent of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, which warm up the Earth’s atmosphere and cause changes to the climate. It also pollutes the air, threatening health and costing taxpayers billions of dollars annually.

At the same time, electric vehicles are getting cheaper, and vehicle range and the availability of charging stations are improving. This is exciting for many because it seems to suggest an easy and convenient answer to the problem of transportation emissions: if everyone swapped their fossil-fuelled vehicle for an electric equivalent, we could all keep driving, safe in the knowledge that we are no longer killing the planet by doing so — and all while enjoying a new car that is quiet, cheap to power and fun to drive.

Everybody wins, right? Unfortunately, it’s unlikely to be that simple.

The battery supply crunch

Electric vehicles still produce air pollution and greenhouse gases from their brakes, tires, the electricity that powers them and the factories that build them. Even if we can address (or ignore) these problems, there is a much larger stumbling block facing personal electric vehicles as a solution for climate change.

In 2019, the world produced about 160 gigawatt hours (GWh) of lithium-ion batteries. That’s enough for a little more than three million standard-range Tesla Model 3s — and only if we use those batteries for cars, and don’t build any smart-phones, laptops or grid storage facilities.

The battery production capacity currently under construction will allow the production of the equivalent of 40 million electric vehicles annually by 2028, according to one estimate.

An electric car being charged in a parking lot.
Battery production could increase to cover 40 million electric vehicles annually by 2028, but there are over one billion vehicles on roads today. (Shutterstock)

That sounds like a lot until you see that the world produced nearly 100 million cars, vans, buses and trucks in 2019 alone. There are around 1.4 billion motor vehicles in the world today — a number that will almost certainly continue to increase if we don’t take major steps to shift transportation onto other modes.

Even at the projected 2028 level of battery production capacity, it would take us 35 years to replace this global vehicle fleet with electric models. That’s not nearly fast enough to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.

Maximizing climate impact

The unavoidable conclusion is that we will not be able to electrify all of our transportation in the timeframe necessary to deal with climate change. Some journeys will have to be decarbonized through other means, such as cycling, walking, public transit or telecommuting.

A bike and three electric scooters on the street
Electric scooters could help cities move towards zero-carbon mobility. (Shutterstock)

Lithium-ion batteries should therefore go primarily to vehicles intended for long distances or large cargo loads. Garbage trucks, buses, pickup trucks used by skilled tradespeople to get to job sites and the van that delivers your Amazon purchases are all prime candidates for electrification.

That Nissan Leaf you’ve been eyeing, unfortunately is not. You can probably travel on a bicycle or a city bus much more easily than a truckload of power tools, parcels or municipal waste can.

A win-win scenario

There are a lot of side benefits to focusing on commercial vehicles for electrification. Currently, these vehicles often burn diesel, which produces 100 times more particulate pollution than gasoline vehicles.

Diesel vehicles were responsible for approximately 83 per cent of all deaths due to air pollution from road vehicles in 2015, according to the World Health Organization. Diesel freight vehicles also tend to be noisy — a problem that is almost entirely eliminated by going electric.

A futuristic electric truck on a highway near a city
Replacing diesel-powered transport trucks with electric ones could cut noise, air pollution and carbon emissions. (Shutterstock)

For us in Canada, perhaps the greatest benefit to a focus on electrifying the commercial vehicle fleet is that several companies here are already emerging as leaders in developing and building them. Lion Electric, in Saint-Jérôme, Que., makes electric buses, trucks and school buses. New Flyer, based in Winnipeg, has already sold electric transit buses to several major American cities.

And Green Jobs Oshawa has already developed a plan to convert the Oshawa General Motors facility to the produce electric vehicles for the Canadian public sector. Our car sector is struggling, but a focus on building commercial electric vehicles could bring jobs back to this area in a big way.

There’s no way around it: We need fewer cars

As for the rest of us, the solution to zero-carbon mobility looks much more like a bike, a bus seat, a home office, a mobility scooter or a well-worn pair of shoes than a shiny new Tesla.

Some of these solutions can still take advantage of electric mobility without straining the global battery budget. With just over five per cent of 2019’s lithium-ion battery production, for example, there would be enough batteries to provide an Urban Machina electric scooter to every Canadian.

There is already talk of a federal government bail-out of the Canadian car industry, with stakeholders suggesting that this could be an opportunity to encourage the development of electric vehicle production in Canada.

If the government wants to do this in a way that has the greatest impact on the climate, it should look beyond supporting fancy personal vehicles, and turn its attention instead to the unglamorous workhorses that make our society function.

Cameron Roberts, Researcher in Sustainable Transportation, Carleton University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

206 thoughts on “There aren’t enough batteries to electrify all cars — focus on trucks and buses instead

    • Yes in deed Philip,
      I love Anthony and this wonderful website, but when I read the headline from this Marxists article, it was as much as I could do to read the garbage.
      Would it be possible to put one of those health warnings up top.
      You know, like the ones universities use to avoid upsetting snowflakes with true versions of history?
      I am only half joking.

      • Usually it says “From EurekAlert!” at the end. But on rare occasion, the wackiest nonsense doesn’t get picked up by EurekAlert!

        Maybe even the loons at EurekAlert! understand that an 18-wheeler would need to haul around so much battery weight that it would not leave room for cargo.

        • To have any usable range , the trucks battery weight would make it impossible to carry a full size container . In the UK anyway , where the Max Gross weight is 44 tons .
          So until someone discovers a new , previously unknown element which has a much , much higher energy density than Lithium , the idea that battery trucks can do anything
          worth doing is just more insanity from the Green Loony brigade .

        • The author is a history PhD. So not actually an engineer who would be able to analyze things with rigor using engineering and engineering economy methods to know that what he is writing is not feasible.

          Another note: Tucson Arizona progressives in city hall tried to e-scooter thing here. A complete economic disaster. They were an eye sore left everywhere. Lost money with abandon.

          • In Melbourne, OZ, e scooters and bikes do not replace cars. They replace a mix of trams which continue to rumble when we’re not locked down and walking. Apart from being a blight on the cityscape they increase emissions, if that is of any concern to anyone.

          • We’re supposed to get (or maybe already have) three electric buses this year. The express routes only, of course, which at an eyeball estimate only do about 1/10 the mileage of the buses for the plebes. Along with many fewer stops; regenerative braking or not, a stop and restart costs more energy than staying in motion.

            I just hope that none of them catch fire. That would be a major disaster on our busiest streets.

    • Dear Mr. Mulholland,

      Rex J. Fleming: “The Rise and Fall of the Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climate Change”

  1. Question ever wonder why trucks use mostly diesel rather than petrol engines ?
    Certainly not the people pushing this idea , who at no surprise at all do not seem to understand how the fright industry works.

    • I think she does understand how the fright industry works. That’s why she wrote this steaming pile. There is so much utter BS in this article that one comment couldn’t even begin to critique it.

      Patrick Healy, articles like this are invaluable to this site. WUWT needs to publish everything on the subject, not just to quash the political attacks, but to allow us readers to make an informed decision.

    • who at no surprise at all do not seem to understand how the fright industry works.

      No, they are quite well verse in the fright industry. The freight industry, on the other hand… yeah they have no clue.

      (sorry, with a typo so freudian, I just couldn’t resist)

  2. Road transport pollutes the air? Take one modern petrol car and prove it!
    Driving one down Oxford St. CLEANS city air!

    • They want to see real pollution just try and electrify everything. Imagine trillions of batteries and the material required to make them , dispose of them, charge them, wow, a planet denuded.

  3. I would like to see an electric, long-haul, truck cross the Andes from Mendoza, Argentina, to Santiago, Chile. Wouldn’t even get to the border tunnel. Electric scooters? My wife and I were walking along the street next to the beach in Los Angeles when several zipped by, looking none too steady. I mentioned to my wife that they looked dangerous. The guy next to us said he is an Emergency Room Doctor, and their clients are now dominated by a mixture of drug overdoses and electric scooter crashes.

    • Just after I posted this comment I read that yesterday Simon Cowell fractured his back while testing a new electric bike at his house in Kalifornia. Bike, not scooter, but for sure it’s the electric part that got him.

    • Yes, its obvious when you look at them, and its even more obvious when you look up the stats. Scooters are simply idiotic as a mass transit idea. Folding electric bikes, maybe, though even then with their small wheels and very odd steering compared to a full size bike this might increase accident rates. Its also possible that electrifying them will make them more accident prone – increased speed is the problem.

      There is a real problem with bikes as mass transit. It does lead to lots of accidents. They are admittedly low speed for the most part, and if you segregate the bikes from cars and pedestrians, fatalities will be rare. But its a consideration to think about when planning. If you have friends who cycle a lot, ask them how often they have come off in the last few years. The answers will surprise you.

      Not to mention the fact that in many cities winter temperatures are too low and summer ones too high to make year round use realistic. You cannot expect people to bike at 20F, most people cannot and will not. Nor can you at 90F.

      Amsterdam is an exception. Mild climate. London could be too.

      I guess the Chinese cities were exceptions too, under Mao. Not because of climate, but because the regime could issue orders and it didn’t matter how you felt. Maybe that’s what the Greens have in mind? Mandatory scooters?

      • People fall for these lies.

        “Electric scooters could help cities move towards zero-carbon mobility.”

        • In a sense its true if the electric scooters remove fools from the roads through attrition.

        • In a sense its true if the electric scooters remove fools from the roads through attrition.

      • Pedal bikes are a Victorian transport solution which should be reserved for sport use. Like horses. They are too dangerous for modern speeds.

      • They are of course a joke in inclement weather. Rain, wet road, snow ice. Just useless eye sores. And this guy is in Canada so he should realize that.

    • Potholes, wet manhole covers, oil, general debris and all the other things cyclists and motorcyclists fear are lethal to something with 6″ diameter wheels travelling at 25mph.

    • According to government data, Canadians under 50 have the same death rate from cycling as covid-19.

    • “Lithium-ion batteries should therefore go primarily to vehicles intended for long distances or large cargo loads”

      Yeah, a large percentage of the truck would be batteries and the load much smaller. This is NOT an improvement.

      They are also ignoring the fact that, five years down the line, the 40 million batteries from five years ago are going to need to be replaced, if not sooner due to fast charging reducing battery life. Thus, they would need to have an 80 million battery production and, five years, after that, the first 40 million will again need new batteries, they will want to produce batteries for 40 million new cars, and the second batch of 40 million vehicles will need new batteries, such that the capacity of battery production will need to be 120 million.

      The same scenario applies to wind turbines. Their lifetimes are much shorter (about 12–15 years, with increasing maintenance and decreasing power production in the meantime) than that of a coal-fired power plant, at 50–60 years with occasional easy upgrades. We already have 10s of thousands of dead turbines in the US, largely left dead in place and totally unrecyclable. Build a million wind turbines and by year 12 your need to double your production and at 24 years increase it to three million. It’s a no win situation, particularly if you also have to maintain backup power at the same tome for all this unreliable intermittent power.

      In the EU, they have the idea that you can phase out backup power as they increase wind and solar. What they miss completely is that they also have to increase the backup power to match the increased fragility of the growing renewable power.

      Of course, all of this presupposes that they intend to even try to provide the people with a decent reliable power supply. That’s the key, when they push a clearly unworkable plan, there must be other goals in their agenda. This is exactly why they are pushing masks today for the scamdemic even though it is clear that they do not work and can actually make healthy people ill. There must be another unmentioned goal.

      • He pretends also the batteries don’t have to be recharges from a grid source that would require an immense scale up using fossil fuel generation.

        And yes, there are other goals at work now from the Socialists.

        “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”
        -Voltaire

      • “Lithium-ion batteries should therefore go primarily to vehicles intended for long distances or large cargo loads”
        I think Mr. Roberts got his cart in front of his horse. To get “carbon free” we need to start with construction and mining equipment so there wont be any “carbon”emissions” generated in putting up the windmills that will power the truck batteries when it is their turn.
        The drag line used for overburden removal in the Berkley Pit in Butte had a 75 yd. bucket and was electric but the extension cord was about 2 ft. in diameter.

      • Charles H:
        Exactly. And Li batteries (like much of wind turbines) are currnetly not able to be recycled.
        Two quotes from George Orwell:
        ” Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.”
        ” The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it”.

        So, prepare for a lot of hate since reason, logic & science are being replaced by magical thinking.

  4. “Cameron Roberts, Researcher in Sustainable Transportation, Carleton University”

    After reading this nonsense I had to go back to check who it could be had written it. A ‘researcher’ at a Canadian Uni!! Surely not. This guy must live in la-la land along with unicorns.

    I suggest he tries some real-life research and takes an EV – I doubt there are any heavy-duty trucks available in EV-mode right now – by driving a good distance across Canada in the depths of winter and see how well that works out. In the UK we get a TV prog about Ice-Road Truckers in the Canadian north who drive huge rigs across frozen lakes to keep industry and towns supplied. Has he researched that to see how EVs would manage? What nonsense.

    • Ah, but they have no intention of people being able to drive the ice roads in the winter. They expect such foolish industry to cease and THEN the trucks are not needed, are they?

      They imagine there will be charging station for these huge battery-heavy trucks all along the way, which in itself means that power has to be provided over long distances, which in itself causes energy losses. It would sure change the problem of truckers driving too many hours when they spend most of their time charging their trucks.

  5. That’s not nearly fast enough to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.

    This base assumption has yet to be proved. It is based on models none of which have been correct in their forecasts that use multiple tuning parameters to match them to the past. However, each model uses different values for the tuning parameters – e,g, the effects of aerosols – showing that the values are not based on either observational reality or ‘science’. Then all these disparate models with varying numbers and values of parameters are ‘averaged’ together and falsely called an ensemble.

    So before the world does another mistaken ‘lockdown’ on the internal combustion engine, demonstrate a correct forecast from the climate models. Every model should use the same tuning parameters after all they must be the same values in the real world. There is also a requirement for formal governance on the comparator data which suffers from multiple undocumented ‘adjustments’.

    Otherwise this is just waving JuJu at us as justification for removing personal transport from everyone. Removing personal transport might be fine for townies but may be impossible in sparsely populated areas and could be extremely dangerous and life threatening in areas that need rapid evacuation for say hurricanes.

  6. I see that Personal Private Transport is still under attack.
    Who wants to use public Transport at this moment in time? !
    Another thinly-disguised attempt to get the peasants to cram into trains and buses, leaving the roads for the 1% and trucks.

  7. This truckers last run this week. (All times EDST)
    Departed Anderson, IN in my 2015 Freight Liner Cascadia with full tanks carrying 220 gallons of Diesel. I was pulling a 53′ dry van trailer with 15,000 lb. of replacement/service parts for Toyota vehicles bound for their distribution center near the airport for Kansas City.

    Arrived at the receiver at 11:30 for a 13:00 appointment. Had to wait. Dropped the loaded trailer I brought, hooked to a trailer being loaded with 14,000 lb of empty parts racks and bins and waited.

    The trailer was loaded at 13:00 and I pulled it from the door. Parked it next to the trailer I brought and dropped it. Then hooked to the trailer I had brought and backed it into the door I has pulled the other trailer from. Then I hooked to the trailer I had pulled from the door and took off bound for Hebron, KY.

    I took a 10 hour break at the TA truck stop in Concordia, MO and idled the truck as I slept for climate control.
    10 hours and 20 minutes later I was on the road again. Had to detour off I-270 at St. Louis and take I-170 down into town to catch I-70 because a portion of I-270 was closed for repair during the early morning hours.

    Arrived at the receiver at 2200 Gateway in Hebron, KY at 11:30. Had a significant delay because dispatch had provided incorrect instructions for what I was supposed to do when at the receiver. Finally dropped the loaded trailer there and then bobtailed the 2 1/2 miles to the truck entrance to the Toyota DC in and there hooked to an empty trailer to bring back to the terminal in Anderson.

    Made it back to the terminal at 15:00 having only 8 minutes remaining of my 11 hour maximum allowable drive time. Put 2.2 gallons of DEF and 176.8 gallons of fuel in the tanks to fill them up.

    I challenge anyone to provide the name and model of an electric truck that has the endurance for that . of performance. I don’t think there will ever be an EV that will be able to do that. Let alone haul 45,000 lb of freight over mountains or hills in subzero weather which is what a diesel can do. The weight of the batteries alone would preclude it since the maximum standard GVW is 80,000 lb.

    So the above article is pie in the sky horse manure in the opinion of this person that actually knows something about big trucks hauling freight.

    • “I challenge anyone to provide the name and model of an electric truck that has the endurance for that . of performance. I don’t think there will ever be an EV that will be able to do that.”

      The Tesla Semi which is now scheduled to be released in 2021 likely has the capability to make the hauls that you described. (You didn’t include information about travel time between stops for meals, etc., so it is hard to tell. I doubt that you traveled more than 500 miles between stops.)

      To their credit, Tesla has been testing their own product to meet their own needs hauling batteries over a very difficult route between their battery factory in Utah and their assembly plant in Fremont, CA. This online rag has followed much of the development of this truck:

      https://electrek.co/guides/tesla-semi/

      That truck will have a range of about 500 miles and a recharge time on the order of thirty minutes (probably to 80%, longer for full charge).

      Regardless of how anyone feels about Elon Musk or Tesla Motors, the simple fact is that while they have never met their stated schedule, they have exceeded specifications with nearly every product they have released.

      “Let alone haul 45,000 lb of freight over mountains or hills in subzero weather which is what a diesel can do. The weight of the batteries alone would preclude it since the maximum standard GVW is 80,000 lb.”

      This is correct. While the Tesla Semi can more easily pull 80,000 pounds than a diesel truck, it is currently a few thousand pounds heavier than the comparable diesel truck. As a result, the maximum “paying” load will be reduced by the same amount. (Of course, that only applies to loads which are weight-limited rather than volume-limited.) And extreme cold is a big challenge for current Li-ion technology.

      But the bottom line is that Tesla’s existing Li-ion battery technology has the durability, capacity and performance to meet the needs of many semi truck applications. And that is where they will be used first. As the technology continues to improve, more and more long-haul applications will move to battery electric trucks.

      Why? Sure, some companies will initially purchase electric trucks as a form of “greenwashing”, but in the end they will purchase them to save money. They will save money on maintenance and fuel. And if self-driving trucks ever come to fruition, they will save money on salaries, insurance, and benefits.

      How long will the transition from diesel trucks to battery trucks take? I don’t know, but I suspect it will take several decades. But the first replacements will begin within the next year or two.

      • Price vs diesel truck ? Won’t be “saving” money for years … And total CO2 footprint won’t be positive for many years after that …

        • How much does a diesel truck cost? The Tesla Semi costs $200,000 for the 500-mile-range version and comes with a million-mile warranty.

          • That is the same category of question as “How much does a conventional nuclear reactor cost? A modular molten salt reactor costs x”

            Or “How much does it cost to fly from LA to San Francisco? The HyperLoop from LA to San Francisco costs x”

            A diesel truck is a real thing that can be bought and Tesla’s truck is a prototype that may never come to fruition.

            To be honest about it, you should have said that Tesla marketing say they’re targeting a $200k selling price. (Assuming Dementia Joe wins and there will be huge new subsidies to milk so that the real costs are hidden). Or am I mistaken and a contract can be signed today on those terms?

          • “To be honest about it, you should have said that Tesla marketing say they’re targeting a $200k selling price. (Assuming Dementia Joe wins and there will be huge new subsidies to milk so that the real costs are hidden). Or am I mistaken and a contract can be signed today on those terms?”

            They have already accepted hundreds (thousands?) of orders at that $200,000 price or at the $170,000 price for the 200-mile version. Most of the largest transportation companies you can think of have placed orders.

            As I said, they are always late to market and the Tesla Semi is no exception. They originally promised to deliver the first units in late 2019. I knew that would never happen. But the new goal of 2021 seems reasonable given they have had them on the roads for about two years now.

            BTW, IMO battery electric trucks make WAY more sense than battery electric cars. Why? Because they are driven so much that the fuel savings really do make a difference. Most Tesla cars are simply luxury items with no savings achieved by anyone.

          • How much does a diesel truck cost?

            Do you not have access to Google, Bing, duck-duck-go or any other internet search engine?

            A new over-the-road long-haul semi (tows goods from city to city and across the country) has a price range of $120,000 to $175,000. Their range is over 2000 miles per tank of fuel – They’re more limited by the allowable driving hours for the driver than by the truck itself.

      • Your gushing love of all things Tesla doesn’t overcome the fact that they have not put out any prototypes that actually show they can do what they claim they will. One of the commenters here calculated the amount of batteries required for long haul trucking and it didn’t look good. The more weight and distance, the more batteries you need, which use more weight and space. It seemed like diminishing returns on steroids.

        • “One of the commenters here calculated the amount of batteries required for long haul trucking and it didn’t look good.”

          Nonsense:

          https://www.reddit.com/r/RealTesla/comments/7zxbyr/tesla_semi_tare_weight/

          “We have to estimate the battery weight, and can use Tesla’s published of “< 2 kWh/mi" and the claimed 500mi range to get "< 1000 kWh" battery. If we optimistically assume they actually achieve 1.6 kWh/mi in practice that 500mi range requires a battery with useful capacity of 800 kWh. That is very close to the capacity of 10 Model 3 battery packs, which the EPA was told weigh 1060 pounds, so that implies just over 10,000 pounds of batteries.

          The electric motors are light enough not to effect the calculation very much, even if there are 6 that weigh 60 pounds each they are negligible compared to the battery.

          Diesel drivetrains seem to weigh around 2500 pounds for the engine and perhaps 1000 for the transmission. 200 gallons diesel is about 1400 pounds, though a more fair comparison might be to consider only half the fuel weight since the diesel has the advantage of reducing its weight as it travels, but even considering the full weight those total to 2,500 + 1,000 + 1400 = 4,900 pounds.

          The numbers then are 10,000 pounds of battery vs. 4,900 pounds of drivetrain. Can anyone explain how that doesn't mean the Tesla Semi is at a 5,100 pound tare weight disadvantage right off the bat?"

          Those numbers were from two years ago. Likely today the same battery would weigh in at about 8,000 lbs. or less. As I said, "a few thousand pounds heavier".

          Volume is not an issue since the cells are now coming in at close to 700 Wh/liter, meaning a battery might have a volumetric density of about 500 Wh/liter. A 1000 kWh battery would take up a volume of about 2000 liters, the equivalent of two cubes one meter on a side.

          https://www.slashgear.com/tesla-could-get-a-20-boost-in-battery-energy-density-thanks-to-panasonic-31631534/

          I suppose you can imagine that these things don't exist. The fact is that they do. It will take time to build out the infrastructure, but you can believe that trucking companies will do that when they realize that they can more than pay for the cost of the trucks just in the fuel cost savings.

          I know there are trucks out there today with 2000-mile range. Batteries won't be doing that in the near future, but I expect that a 500-mile battery truck will be lighter than a diesel within 10 years.

          • Lighter in 10 years? But not now (and maybe not then).
            There are regulated road weights.
            Most of the daily deliveries to my water plant are loads around 22 to 23 tons.
            That’s what we pay for, what was delivered.
            We don’t pay for the weight of the truck that delivered it.
            The heavier the truck, the less they can deliver.
            The less they deliver, the less they make per load.

          • “Most of the daily deliveries to my water plant are loads around 22 to 23 tons.
            That’s what we pay for, what was delivered.”

            If you make the trip daily, I doubt you are traveling very far. In that case, you could use a Tesla Semi with a 200-mile range that weighs no more than your current truck and save money on every run.

          • If it weighs no more than the current trucks, then it is carrying 1 to 2 tons less cargo.
            In addition, the company is going to need more trucks because of the long recharge time between trips.

          • A 20% increase in energy density (W/kg) in only 2 years? I think not. If there had been that much of an increase the news would have worked its way through the industry like wildfire because it would be BIG news.

            I am “The Battery Guy” in our engineering department so I stay on top of this kind of information because if we can increase battery capacity while keeping the size of the batteries we use in our equipment the same, it’s a big deal. We have seen no such increase. A couple of percent here and there, yes. But 20%? Nope. 10%? Nope.

            I have no idea where you derived your 2000 pound decrease in weight for the same capacity.

      • Yea, the leg out to KC airport is 548 miles. The leg back from the KC Airport to Hebron, KY 609 miles. Leg from Hebron, KY to Anderson, IN is 138 miles.
        With a heavy load on hilly terrain the range can be a little as 1,150 miles. With a light load on flatter terrain I can get 1,400 miles. I have made the 1,348 mile run between the terminals in Anderson, IN and Laredo, TX a few times without fueling but usually I have to fuel once on the way down and once on the way back.

        Truck is governed at 68 mph. It has “econodrive” meaning that when going down hill with the cruise control on it will go to idle and allow the rig to roll up to the speed of 74 mph then the engine brake kicks in to try and keep the rig from reaching 75 mph. If the hill is steep enough and the load heavy enough the engine brake alone cannot handle it and the engine will red line if the driver does not take corrective action. Dealing with that situation requires driver skill and foresight.

        I take my meals when time management allows. Drivers are required to take a 1/2 hour break before the 8th hour after going on duty. I keep finger food and drinks in reach when driving. I generally eat my main meal of the day whenever I stop to take my 10 hour break which is required before the driver exceeds the 11 hour maximum driving time or the 14 hour on duty time. That meal may come from a truck stop or other place but also may be prepared in the truck from the food I keep in it. Where I stop for my 10 hour break is primarily determined by what will be most efficient for making the delivery and the following pickup for the backhaul.

        Keeping the doors closed and the wheels rolling is how one makes time and distance and that dictates my behavior. Momentum is a the single biggest factor for making good time when driving and to maintain momentum requires driving well ahead to anticipate what lays ahead. The other major factors are route planning and weather.

        Like I said, I can and have dragged 45,000 lb loads over the mountains of PA on I-70 in subzero weather hauling refers full of Nestles product to various grocery DCs out east in in MA, NY, NJ, etc. I don’t foresee any EV being able to do that considering one often takes their breaks in pull offs along the PA turnpike and NY toll road when doing those loads. And one has to keep warm or cool depending on the weather to get quality rest when parked so you aren’t shutting down unless you have a separate power unit for climate control.

        There are many things the EV optimists don’t know or take into consideration. As things stand now there is not adequate parking for big trucks in much of the country. It’s the worst in the east but even in the midwest it is a problem and of course near major metropolitan areas everywhere. And people that think they are going to set up enough charging stations for OTR drivers to recharge their rigs when they park for their breaks just don’t have a clue about the reality of the situation.

        Earlier last week I made two round trips between Shelbyville, IN and Smyrna, TN. I had to fuel at the Loves Truck stop along I-65 in the vicinity of Cave City. I took my 1/2 hour break idling waiting in line to get to the fuel island there and it took me less than 15 minutes to fuel once I reached the island. Since the runs were set up so I started my 10 hour break at about 02:00 all the truck stops and rest areas were full. Both times I stopped at the big rest area on I-65 near the exit for Horse Cave. I had to park behind trucks in the regular spaces until a space came available.

        The only things electric big trucks are being used for now that I have read about is for short range operations like running into and out of the port of LA. I have not seen a single electric big truck doing OTR anywhere any time. So show me! Where EVs may be used for somewhat longer runs will most likely be “Line Haul”. You see the UPS, FED EX and others running day cabs (no sleeper) all the time I’m sure. Their runs are from terminal to terminal so the company could set up charging stations at their terminals. But for real over the road where drivers stay out, EVs will not be suitable for the many reasons I have stated here unless there is some big break through using a technology so far not developed.

        • “Yea, the leg out to KC airport is 548 miles. The leg back from the KC Airport to Hebron, KY 609 miles. Leg from Hebron, KY to Anderson, IN is 138 miles.”

          Thanks! Yeah, those are a bit longer than I expected. The range of the Tesla Semi is likely a bit higher when running at lower weights, but I don’t know how much higher.

          “There are many things the EV optimists don’t know or take into consideration. As things stand now there is not adequate parking for big trucks in much of the country. It’s the worst in the east but even in the midwest it is a problem and of course near major metropolitan areas everywhere. And people that think they are going to set up enough charging stations for OTR drivers to recharge their rigs when they park for their breaks just don’t have a clue about the reality of the situation.”

          To me, this is the biggest barrier to adoption. In order for electric trucks to succeed, you need to build the infrastructure. That will mean that at least some of the big truck stops like Loves will need to bring in large amounts of electrical power in order to fuel many trucks at once. At 1.6 MW for each charging truck, we are talking about a much higher power requirement than these trucks currently have. This will require fairly high-voltage three-phase power lines into the truck stop. This infrastructure can certainly be built, but it will cost money and it will take time. It will only happen if there is real value to the electric trucks.

          • By law a driver cannot be bothered to do duty during their 10 hour break. Hooking or unhooking from a charger in that time would be duty and by law require the driver to start their 10 hour break again. We have to log our fueling time and it has to be within 15 minutes of the actual time. DOT can query a data base to see what time you fueled.

          • I can just see the ‘infrastructure’ needed for the Toronto to Winnipeg run in winter – 1265 miles by the US, 1305 if you go through Canada.

          • I do Canada also Fran. 90% of it to the Toronto area but also have gone to Owens Sound, and a couple of different places in Quebec. The company has Canadian owner operators that do the regular runs up there but they’re from India and they like to take a vacation of 3-weeks or so and go back to see their families and so I get called to cover for them during the winter months at times. Never had a chance to go into Manitoba or any western provinces driving a big truck. Would like to do it sometime just to see the country but it is highly unlikely I will with the company I drive for.

          • “By law a driver cannot be bothered to do duty during their 10 hour break. Hooking or unhooking from a charger in that time would be duty and by law require the driver to start their 10 hour break again. We have to log our fueling time and it has to be within 15 minutes of the actual time. DOT can query a data base to see what time you fueled.”

            Interesting. So if you are out of fuel at the end of your run, you cannot fill it up?

          • He didn’t say anything close to that.
            He said that when you fill the tank, it counts as work so you have to start the 10 hour rest period again.
            Obviously, you arrive at the rest area, fill up, start your break. Or you could wait till the end of the break, fill up, then resume driving.

          • The range of the Tesla Semi is likely a bit higher when running at lower weights, but I don’t know how much higher.

            which rather defeats the purpose. lower weights means less cargo per trip which means more trips and/or more vehicles (either way more expense).

          • Obviously, you arrive at the rest area, fill up, start your break. Or you could wait till the end of the break, fill up, then resume driving.

            Indeed. And while you could plug in the truck just before starting your break, that means you can’t unplug (ie do duty/work) for 10 hours. The drivers of the other vehicles waiting their turn for that charging station won’t be too thrilled about that. Obviously plugging in after your break isn’t very productive, considering the length of time it would take to charge (even at high-speed charging times). Time that could be more efficiently spent on the road.

      • There are just a couple of problems with your post. First, the battery pack in a Tesla car weighs about 1000 lbs. To have enough battery to move a semi-truck 500 miles, experts say the Tesla truck will weigh about 8,000 lbs more than a diesel truck. That’s a lot more than “a few thousand pounds heavier”. That severely cuts into the cargo capacity of a truck – 80,000 lbs is the Gross Vehicle Weight capacity, the 8,000 lbs comes out of the net capacity – reducing 45,000 lbs net to about 37,000 lbs almost a 20 percent reduction. Tesla doesn’t admit this. Second, Tesla doesn’t even have a factory to produce the semi truck yet. It’s highly unlikely that they will buy the land, break ground, build the factory, outfit and staff the factory, and have it ready for production in a year. The date is just Tesla hype. Third, Elon Mush has said that batteries would be built in the Tesla GigaFactory. The current generation of Tesla batteries are good for about 600 full charge/discharge cycles before starting to degrade. In a Tesla car that charges once per week, and travels 15,000 miles per year that’s about 10 years before degradation starts to set in (That’s why the Tesla warranty is for 8 or 10 years). You can continue to drive the Tesla for years beyond that with mounting degradation or you can ameliorate the degradation by only partially charging/discharging the battery. In long distance trucking, partial charge/discharge is a severe limitation. In a long distance truck that must fully charge/discharge nearly every single day the current Tesla battery will have a two year life span before degradation and most likely the battery will be useless for long distances after about 3 years.

        • If the trucks are designed to carry standard loads of today then that extra 8000lbs ob battery will require a heavier frame (adding more weight). That heavier frame will require heavier brakes to stop the tractor/trailer setup safely (adding more weight). All that extra weight will be traveling over roadways not designed for the extra weights thus increasing road maintenance costs.

          If the trucks are designed to just operate with lower load weight then more trucks will be required on the road in order to provide the same logistic capacity. More trucks on the roadway will increase road maintenance costs.

          Many truck stops are located on the periphery of municipalities. Like the Loves stop in Boonville, Mo. The electrical infrastructure to that stop is simply not built out to the capacity needed to add high-amperage, quick charging for the truck traffic let alone for automobile traffic. Since building out that infrastructure will be *expensive* for the local utility company, the local taxpayers in Booneville will wind up with higher energy costs for a long time in order to pay off the investment.

          The EV lobby likes to make it sound like converting to EV’s will be quick, cheap, and efficient but simply have not analyzed the situation on a holistic basis.

        • ” To have enough battery to move a semi-truck 500 miles, experts say the Tesla truck will weigh about 8,000 lbs more than a diesel truck.”

          Not true. Imagining that the battery weight simply adds to the weight of the truck is just wrong.

          The 1000-lb. battery in the Tesla Model 3 is an 80-kWh battery. So an 800 kWh battery weighs 8000 lbs…two years ago. But that 8000 lbs. does NOT add directly to the weight of the truck. Instead, it replaces a diesel engine, a transmission, driveshafts, differentials, exhaust systems, fuel tanks, and fuel. Those weigh in at over 5000 lbs. For the Tesla Semi you also have to add about another 100 lbs. on each of four drive wheels for the inverter, electric motor, and reduction gear.

          I stand by my statement: “a few thousand pounds heavier”.

          “The current generation of Tesla batteries are good for about 600 full charge/discharge cycles before starting to degrade. In a Tesla car that charges once per week, and travels 15,000 miles per year that’s about 10 years before degradation starts to set in (That’s why the Tesla warranty is for 8 or 10 years).”

          Actually, that is the life of the batteries in the second-generation Teslas, the Model S, which came out in 2012. The problem of degradation of Li-ion batteries is largely solved at this point. Dr. Jeff Dahn at Dalhousie University in Canada is one of the leaders of the effort to fix this problem. Li-ion batteries are quite unique in that they do not undergo any oxidation and reduction reactions in order to provide the battery function. As a result, materials are not stripped and replated during discharge and charge as happens with most batteries. Instead, the degradation comes mainly from unwanted side reactions. The challenge has been to poison those unwanted reactions. Dr. Dahn has largely solved this problem and Tesla has him tied up in a five-year exclusive research agreement. If you want to understand the issues and the solutions in some detail, you can watch the following video (Warning: boring video! Dr. Dahn is not the most dynamic speaker, but what he says is quite impressive.):

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bmqqw71Hxsw

          The bottom line: There are several Li-ion chemistries out there today that are providing over 20,000 full cycles with less than 5% degradation. Such long cycle lives are more than sufficient for long-haul trucking.

          • They only provide that kind of life expectancy in a lab, where charge and draw down are kept within narrow parameters and temperature is tightly controlled.
            None of that kind of care exists in the real world.

      • That truck will have a range of about 500 miles and a recharge time on the order of thirty minutes (probably to 80%, longer for full charge).

        1) Current trucks can easily go 2000 miles on a full tank, long haul truckers often go up to 650 miles in a single day. In other words, currently they don’t have to stop and waste precious time filling the tank if they started their day with even half a tank. with a 500 mile range (and that’s under the best of driving conditions, cold weather will drop that range considerably), they’d be guaranteed to have to stop at least one every time they set out on such a long haul run.

        2) only 30 minutes to charge the amount of batteries a long-haul truck would require? I highly doubt it. But even if we assume that number is true, the time delay for the trip would be even longer than that. You have to pull off your route to get to the charging station (may have to travel some distance away from your route to get there, depending on location), find an empty charger (or wait for one to become available, so up to 30 minutes for the guy in front of you to finish their charging, even longer if there’s a line-up between them and you), charge up, and then drive back to your route (again, depending on location could be a bit of a detour, the bigger the detour the more time wasted). a 30 minute charge could easily mean an hour or more delay!

        3) 80% capacity means 80% of the range. now you are down to 400 mile range, during the cold weather months, we’re talking even less range than that. Possibly enough less to require stopping to recharge at least twice each time they go on a long haul run (instead of just once), which means more precious time wasted.

    • Just simply – THANK YOU! LOVE IT when someone who ACTUALLY knows how the REAL world works posts the kind of in-depth insight like you did. Perfect!

      BobH

  8. BTW. The refrigeration unit on refer trailers are also powered by diesel and I have yet to see one powered by electric for OTR use because of the bulk and weight of the batteries. And yet here we have these no nothing self proclaimed experts talking about replacing diesel trucks when they can’t even replace the little diesel that is used to power refer trailers.

    • Reefers are a likely candidate to be replaced by battery-electric units and solar power. I expect huge savings can be achieved by putting PV panels on the roof of the reefer and using batteries to store power for nighttime and inclement weather. The truck or depot power can be used for extreme conditions. Such a trailer likely would have similar weight and cost to existing trailers, but would have much lower operating costs. I am not aware of a company currently designing such a unit, but I suspect they will come as an appropriate compliment to the electric semi trucks which will be put on the roads.

      • You would be wrong … Your “expectations” are meaningless … If it was cheaper it would already have been done …

        • The good thing about using solar for cooling is that the production matches the load: As the solar heating load increases, so does the electricity production of the solar panels. The roof of a trailer is about 45 square meters in area. In full direct sunligh, each square meter will produce about 200 watts of electricity. Conversion and storage losses are virtually nil at this point in time, meaning a trailer can produce about 9 kW of electricity in full overhead sunlight.

          Electric refrigeration units are extremely efficient. I would expect that if your average daytime electrical load could be kept below about 2 kW, you would be fine during most of the year. Wintertime would be a challenge, but, again, the loads are much lower then.

          Ultimately, you only need to provide electricity while traveling. You will be able to plug in while not driving.

          • It really amazes me how often this lie gets repeated. Do trolls get hand books with all the standard talking points listed alphabetically?

            In the summer, peak sun is close to noon (actual time depends on where you live), but peak cooling load occurs closer to 5 – 6pm, when people get home from work.

            In winter, peak energy demand occurs in the middle of the night.

          • Conversion and storage losses are virtually nil? Boy, have you OD’d on the kool-aid. 10 to 20% is virtually nil?

            Beyond that, your assumption that everyone is able to get “full overhead sun” from sun-up to sun-down. That amount is only available for a few minutes either side of local noon. It also assumes that your panels are tilted to exactly match the elevation of the sun for that day. (This angle changes every day.)

            You are also assuming that the panels are kept sparkling clean and produce the same amount of power forever.

            As to your belief that winter loads are much smaller, you’ve never lived any place where winter temperatures fall below freezing, have you.

          • “Conversion and storage losses are virtually nil? Boy, have you OD’d on the kool-aid. 10 to 20% is virtually nil?”

            Let’s see: The ROUND TRIP energy efficiency for Li-ion batteries is about 98%. One-way power conversion using SiC power MOSFETS is also 98%, so total round-trip efficiency is about 94% WHEN YOU NEED TO STORE ENERGY IN THE BATTERIES. In sunlight conditions, the conversion efficiency is just a single conversion, so 98% efficiency. Both numbers are very close to unity.

            You can shift peak production to peak load by providing batteries. Any shortfalls can be handled by truck power or ground power.

          • You are neglecting the IR losses.
            Beyond that, 98% is the theoretical limit in perfect devices. In the real world, theoretical limits are never reached, and as the devices age, they get even further from the theoretical limits.
            Even approaching theoretical limits requires very expensive hardware, which is why most manufacturers settle for less so that what they make can be afforded without government subsidies.

            BTW, you forgot the fact that MOSFETs are used twice, once to charge and once to discharge.

            BTW, even if what you claim is true, 4% isn’t nill.

          • “You are neglecting the IR losses.”

            IR losses are not zero, but are designed to be inconsequential. In most cases, they will be way below 1%. At full power, they will go above 1%, but no truck is operated at full power for substantial portions of the trip (unless the trips are short ones up a mountain).

            “Beyond that, 98% is the theoretical limit in perfect devices. In the real world, theoretical limits are never reached, and as the devices age, they get even further from the theoretical limits.”

            Nonsense. These are actual efficiencies achieved by real-world devices today in actual service.

            “Even approaching theoretical limits requires very expensive hardware, which is why most manufacturers settle for less so that what they make can be afforded without government subsidies.”

            Again, nonsense. I am talking about the efficiencies of the products on the roads today.

            “BTW, you forgot the fact that MOSFETs are used twice, once to charge and once to discharge.”

            No, I didn’t. Here is what I said: “One-way power conversion using SiC power MOSFETS is also 98%, so total round-trip efficiency is about 94% WHEN YOU NEED TO STORE ENERGY IN THE BATTERIES.” Let me do the math for you: 98% for round-trip battery energy efficiency X 98% for one-way power conversion X 98% for one-way power conversion = 94.2%

            “BTW, even if what you claim is true, 4% isn’t nill.”

            You are correct. That’s why I said they were “virtually nil”.

            The bottom line is that power conversion and energy storage have gone way beyond what most people thought was ever achievable, including me.

          • If IR losses were as tiny as you wish to believe, why do they need active cooling for those batteries both during charging and discharging?

          • PS, you aren’t counting the energy consumed by the active cooling for the battery or the battery management hardware in your losses either.

      • Just the fact that you actually think that putting solar panels on the roof of a truck would provide any kind of cost savings proves that you have no idea what you are talking about.
        Solar panels would actually reduce the range of the truck as they can’t produce enough power to over come the cost of their weight and extra aerodynamic drag. (Solar cells are thicker than the metal or plastic panels they replace, so either the cargo capacity has to be reduced, or the height of the truck has to be increased.

        • Ever see a sheet of snow or ice fly off the top of a van or truck at highway speeds during the winter?
          Bye bye solar power if it snows during one of the regulated down times rah mentioned.
          (And often those sheets that fly off still leave a layer of ice or frozen snow that is still stuck to the roof.)

      • RegGuheert
        Calculate how much power it takes to keep a 53′ trailer at -10 F when the sun is shinning and the ambient temperature is 100 F.

        -10 is the typical setting when stuff like frozen fish and ice cream is transported.

        • “RegGuheert
          Calculate how much power it takes to keep a 53′ trailer at -10 F when the sun is shinning and the ambient temperature is 100 F.

          -10 is the typical setting when stuff like frozen fish and ice cream is transported.”

          Fair enough. I don’t know the level of insulation used in those trailers, but I imagine that would be a big load. When it comes to insulation, it becomes a trade-off between performance and weight. Extra weight in the cooling system can be traded against performance. In fact, I suspect that trailers designed for freezer shipping are both heavier AND require more fuel than trailers designed for only refrigeration applications. Certainly a carrier would not buy trailers that can run at -10F if they only plan to run them at 30F.

          Do you happen to know what percent of trips run refrigerated versus those that run frozen?

          • Nope! I ran one week before last. Nestles product to a DC in York, PA. Plenty of refers on the road though. Everything in the store that is refrigerated and does not have the label “refrigerate after opening” got there by refer plus everything in the store that is frozen. A considerable amount of your produce is transported in refers from berries to bananas which though not refrigerated in the store are refrigerated during transport because of time and distance. Then there are the temperature sensitive chemicals and things like the vials preloaded with reagents such as used in labs. Then there are paints and various other stuff that must be prevented from freezing since refers not only cool but heat also. So one heck of a lot of stuff we rely on and like to consume other than meats and fish are transported in refers. There are big trucking companies who’s primary business is refer.

          • “It’s not the weight of the insulation that is the limiting factor, it’s the volume.”

            Correct for many loads but dairy is heavy.

          • “So one heck of a lot of stuff we rely on and like to consume other than meats and fish are transported in refers.”

            I believe you! I see an awful lot of them on the roads!

            What that means is that there is a very large market out there. If a better mousetrap can be made, it will be. While a solar-electric reefer could theoretically be used with a diesel truck, my prediction is that they will not appear until there are battery-electric trucks on the road. I think they will go well together since the battery-electric truck can cover any shortfalls of electricity from the solar on the reefer and the solar can charge the truck whenever the reefer batteries are full.

            Along those same lines, I expect any carrier investing in electric trucks will likely invest photovoltaics as a covering for the lots wherever their trucks spend any time (during daylight). You see, unlike diesel fuel, electricity is something the carriers can make themselves, and at very low cost. Once you have all those large batteries sitting around, you don’t even need to depend on net metering to capture all of the electricity that you can produce. And a typical lot can likely produce several megawatts of electricity in the middle of a sunny day.

            Large fuel stops may do the same.

          • If it were cheaper, somebody would be building it already.
            Capitalists are like that, always looking for a way to save a dollar.

          • Spending 10’s of thousands of dollars, to provide 0.1% of their electricity needs. Not to mention the ongoing cost of weight, loss of load capacity and maintenance.

            There is a reason why cars and trucks aren’t currently covered with solar panels.

      • “I expect huge savings can be achieved by putting PV panels on the roof of the reefer and using batteries to store power for nighttime and inclement weather. ”

        Are you kidding me? That inclement weather can last for more than 24 hours with a truck carrying a load from west to east following a low pressure tracking in the same path, e.g. from Colorado to New York or Houston to Philadelphia.

        Just how big of a battery backup are you planning for? Ask a telephone company engineer or a cell phone company engineer how much of a battery back up they provide for small sites in case of a power outage. Many locations provide around 6 hours of battery backup assuming a technician can get to the site with a backup diesel/gasoline generator.

        If you have to provide a backup generator in case the batteries die then you may as well just go with the diesel generator in the first place! It becomes more expensive, not less if you try to use solar panels!

        • Tim Gorman

          I agree that extreme conditions will prefer both the diesel trucks and diesel-powered reefers. As a result, I expect that both electric trucks and electric refrigeration units will be deployed in less extreme climates first.

          But if there are initially limitations in the new technologies, operational adjustments can be made. No those are not desirable, but every company will have to make the trade-off analysis between potential savings they will achieve against potential costs they will incur, including contractual penalties.

          Simply put, electric solutions will not be adopted for trucking applications where they are ill-suited. The other side of that coins is that they WILL be adopted where they provide a life-cycle benefit.

          • As we have been pointing out, those instances where electric trucks are well suited, are few and far between.

          • MarkW,

            I suspect we are going to see some major changes in the transportation industry in the next two decades. Fuel costs are a major portion of the expense for operating a long-haul truck or fleet. As electric prices are going up faster than diesel prices that’s going to be an extra overhead on using electric trucks. Railroads already carry lots of trailers carrying non-perishable goods between long-haul distribution points. As fuel costs for trucking continue to go up the railroads are going to become even more competitive for such hauling thus shaving down the profitability for trucking even more than it is today.

            This gets even more convoluted if taxing agencies continue to tax based upon weight. Electric trucks will have overhead tax costs that diesel trucks won’t because of their lower weight/unit-shipped. How much this will affect the use of heavier vehicles I simply don’t know.

            There are repair locations all over the country that will tow and repair a broken-down diesel. It’s going to be a long time before this will be introduced for electric vehicles. How many repair locations will have an inventory of replacement motors for a Tesla over-the-road truck? Or even a short-haul truck? If you have to tow or dispatch a repair vehicle 1500-2000 miles away to fix a broken down Tesla then the repair expense is going to be huge.

            These are why I say the whole issue has to studied in a holistic way. Just saying a Tesla truck has the same operation specs as a Peterbuilt is meaningless. It’s like analyzing the climate without including cloud effects in an appropriate manner.

  9. rah,
    Thank you for your service.
    The diesel engine is the most amazing IC power unit ever invented.
    It is so versatile it will run on Libyan light crude straight out of the well.
    Now that we have fixed the NOX issue with Adblue (urea solution) what’s the problem?

    • Just doing my job in my chosen profession. The US is critically short of drivers. I turn 65 this month and they are running by butt into the dirt. I am supposed to be on call from 06:00 Sunday until 06:00 Friday.
      departed for the run I described above at 01:30 Friday and go back on Saturday. I was so tired I hit the sack at 18:00.

      Unlike most drivers, I’m paid a salary. When I work on my days off I get an extra days pay prorated from that salary. In the last 5 weeks I have had 9 overtime days. Paychecks are excellent, but one doesn’t have much of a life when your working all the time or preparing to work, or resting to be ready to work.

      At the company I drive for about 20% of the drivers that were laid off for this covidhysteria did not come back to work when called and that, and the fact that the economy is picking up and auto manufacturers are trying to make up for lost time, is why I am running so hard these days. And end to this heavy work load is nowhere in sight at this time.

      • -“An end to this heavy work load is nowhere in sight at this time”-.
        Tough for you rah , but does this mean the economy is now reinvigorating in the US ?
        Here in the UK we only have to have an elderly man sneeze in Salford and the whole of Manchester is in lockdown , businesses closed , jobs, shops and restaurants lost for ever , etc because of the timidity and sheer ignorance of batty Boris and the carnival of clowns aka Her Majesty’s Govt . Not only is there totally unjustified concern about a “second wave” but the BBC was recently , with, IMO, ill disguised glee, talking of a catastrophic “third wave”.
        BTW why did so few laid off workers want to return to their previous jobs?

        • The economy is in fact going great based on the number of trucks I see on the road. Truck traffic is pretty much at the same level it was when the economy was booming before this covidhysteria kicked in. What the democrats are doing is hurting the little guys big time but most of the big companies are going gangbusters. I suspect that effect was planned.

          I have never been much into unions but there are times I wish there was some way truckers and trucking companies could get together to force changes. These blue cities and states would stop their BS in about three days if the trucks stopped delivering everything but medical supplies and medications to them. When the women ran out of maximum cramp relief the jig would be up!

          • I don’t remember which company it was, I didn’t recognize the name, but the owner stated that he wasn’t going to send his drivers into any city that started to defund their police force.

          • MarkW, I saw that story too. He was concerned about the safety of his drivers. He also said he expects insurance premiums to go up for delivering to cities that have allowed “peaceful riots” to continue and have defunded their police.

        • “BTW why did so few laid off workers want to return to their previous jobs?”

          I am not sure. But here are some possibilities:
          1. The competition for drivers if fierce with good sign on bonuses being offered.
          2. Paying people not to work.
          3. The fleet recently put both driver cams and dash cams in the trucks. I totally agree with the dash cams but the driver cams which show the driver through a fish eye lens when sitting in the drivers seat is another thing altogether and BTW it has a microphone on it also. They are really hot on drivers not touching their phone and stuff. Personally I already let the safety department and my immediate boss know I am will not tolerate some of the silly stuff safety pulls like calling a driver in because they thought he was yawning too much. My boss said they would never fire me for stuff like that but I told him they wouldn’t have to if they take my safety and performance bonus away for some silly stuff because I will quit without notice.

          Fact is the company I work for is very well run in general, has good pay and benefits, and excellent equipment and equipment maintenance, very good facilities. They pay on time and correctly. Come October I will have been with them 13 years and can count on one hand the times I have had to go to payroll to straighten out a pay issue.

          I and five other driver at our terminal which has about 250 trucks are in a special job that I guess would best be described as being trouble shooters. Each of the last three weeks I have grossed over $2,000 when one includes per diem and I’m on track to make about $90,000 this year if the pace keeps up like it has been. That is damned fine money for the area of the country where I live. Probably puts me in the top 10% for wage earners in the county.

    • Spot on. These ecomentalists are trying to solve yesterday’s problems, with communism.

  10. On the plus side, there’s one purveyor of sustainable electric vehicle nonsense has become aware of an issue. Hopefully fulll enlightenment of the problems described by rah might follow. But don’t hold your breath

  11. Insufficient battery capacity to electrify all vehicles over the next couple of decades, well one answer is to produce more durable vehicles. Instead of producing 100 million vehicles that last on average 12 years, produce 50 million that last 25 years. As for long haul freight, that really should be on rail, like it used to be in the past, then electric trucks do the last few Km between the depot and customer.

    I don’t see Electric trucks ever doing the long haul freight runs simply because the batteries will take up so much payload weight.

    • The rails in the US have been pretty much rolled up. Trying to rebuild it would be way to expensive. In the agricultural area I grew up in there were rail spurs to almost every town of 300 population or up, if there was a grain storage silo there the railroad went there. Those spurs have all been pulled up and abandoned with the right of way returned to the landowners. Trucks now do the job the rails used to do.

      • Yep, and the Just in time drive to cut inventory costs was a factor in shifting much from rail to trucks.

      • While there may be an energy saving when you use trains to go to every small town, it comes at a pretty high economic cost. Rails aren’t cheap to maintain, they have to be inspected on a regular basis, even if they are only used a couple times a year. Also, since they are private property, the rail company has to pay property taxes on them.

    • The problem with using electrics for short haul trucks is that your truck can only make one trip per day, with the rest of the time spent recharging. You could try to use swapable batteries, but that makes the trucks more expensive, means you have to hire extra maintenance personnel, and still takes time

    • As for long haul freight, that really should be on rail, like it used to be in the past,

      As Tim points out, The rails in the US have been pretty much rolled up. Where I live, there are plenty of areas that once had rails that are now covered over by roads or otherwise repurposed (one hiking trail nearby, you can still see the remnants of some rails in among the overgrown vegetation, in one nearby town, there’s houses where rails once ran). To rebuild just a fraction of that rail wouldn’t just be expensive, but would likely result in lawsuits (over land use, “noise pollution”, etc) – assuming you could even find a stretch of land that didn’t require tearing down other structures (like peoples homes, more potential lawsuits) in order to laydown the track and provide sufficient clearance for running trains.

  12. Amazon is disgusting. Their virtue signaling advertising during the plague makes we want to avoid them at all costs. Currently, they are bragging about their stupid decision to go all-out climate change/alternate energy hysteria. Consider the widow’s mite (Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4).

  13. Why am I only paying £20 a year car tax for my diesel Citroen? That’s phenomenal- well below most other petrol driven cars. It must be evaluated as very clean. Oh, it’s got an Adblu tank!!! So wot’s the fuss about diesels about, eh?btw just driven down the N10 to Angouleme and witnessed the torrent of twelve wheelers going north. Don’t speak Spanish so couldn’t quiz the drivers about electrification .

  14. “There’s no way around it, we need fewer cars.”

    There’s only one suitable response to that, and Schwarzenegger said it in the original Terminator movie. (Hint: it’s not “I’ll be back.”)

  15. Just google for ‘new battery factory’.

    Opening up in Wales, Germany, Sweden, China, Ohio…

    • Hi griff! Just where do the metals for these factories come from? You approve of child labour digging cobalt etc? As usual, you don’t think anything through.

      • griff is one of those people who actually believes that a press release regarding future plans, means the plants have already been built.

  16. Clearly written by a flake who lives in a city, where everything is just a hop, step and a jump away. I have a hard time visualizing “mass” transit serving a farm community with miles between customers rather than fractions of a city block.

  17. Another of the endless summer articles. Why is it that these fantasy authors assume that the streets are always clear of snow & ice and clean of other debris? Last I heard, Canada does get a fair amount of snow. Exactly how are the streets and sidewalks cleared for these mobility scooters and bicycles? Do they actually make and sell electric snowplows? How many batteries would a city have to have on hand to swap between electric snowplows clearing the roads during frigid conditions?

  18. On one hand, one could commend the author for his willingness to conduct a simple “back of the envelop” calculation showing the absurdity that battery production capacity is unable come even close to meeting EV production goals. On the other hand, there are a myriad of other pie-in-the-sky demands from the Greens that are equally impossible. Consider only “green” electricity. Generating capacity, power distribution grids, home wiring needs, home insulation and heating, and even driving an EV around during a winter storm in Ottawa, the author’s home town, can be proven unachievable in the near term on the back of an envelop.

  19. OT

    and a word from Billy Gates:

    https://www.gatesnotes.com/Energy/Climate-and-COVID-19

    A global crisis has shocked the world. It is causing a tragic number of deaths, making people afraid to leave home, and leading to economic hardship not seen in many generations. Its effects are rippling across the world.

    Obviously, I am talking about COVID-19. But in just a few decades, the same description will fit another global crisis: climate change. As awful as this pandemic is, climate change could be worse.

    • No kidding Gregory, Covid deaths are piling up. On my walk into Target this morning I had to step over a Covid death. As I landed I quickly applied my mask only to pirouette around another Covid death. As I reached the sliding doors I noticed a copious number of Covid bodies. Luckily I had on my Air Jordan’s and took flight. Safely inside with my mask properly fitted I scanned the store only to discover the carnage of more bodies.

      Stupid Covid

  20. I wonder why this guy believes that there is a limit on the number of batteries that can be produced. There is not, especially considering the newer designs, which eliminate most need for cobalt and other rare materials. I also challenge his claims anout deaths due to diesel particulates – these are almost wholy referring to aged folks with a horse of health issues. Battery construction will no doubt keep pace with EV sales. This whole argument is based on sloppy thinking and ignorance. If one wants to have a dramatic and easy-to-produce effect on carbon (and particulate) pollution, the obvious solution is to build molten salt small modular reactors, which canbe produced rapidly, with zero need for limited supply materials and can produce power cheaper than any other technology THAT would have a huge andrapid impact. Therefore this argument about batteries, even if it were true, is irrelevant in the scheme of carbon reduction. Another case of tunnel vision by someone obviously ignorant of the energy situation.

  21. The woke City Council of Brighton on England’s south coast bought battery refuse collector trucks. They cost way more than a normal one and can only do half the work before the battery goes flat. Quite a lot of hills in Brighton and of course the refuse compactor needs powering as well as the bin lifter, which is all handled by the PTO of a diesel truck. Still…it’s only other people’s money they have wasted.

    • Not to mention the fact that most of the fuel is used accelerating. Driving on the freeway for long stretches maximizes fuel economy. Garbage trucks, delivery vans and the like would be the last vehicles a rational business man would electrify.

  22. OK, here’s something I don’t understand. Our friend with a Prius gets way better gas mileage than we do with our conventional sedan.

    You’d think delivery vehicles, with their stop and go urban driving, would be perfect candidates for hybrid power. This study shows hybrid vehicles getting only 13% to 20% better fuel economy on the road (not the lab). I’m pretty sure that isn’t good enough to offset the extra cost of the vehicle. What’s up with that?

    How much of the Prius’s superior fuel economy is explained simply by its small size? That presents an obvious solution. Just tax vehicles based on gross vehicle weight (GVW). I realize that there are lots of people who actually need a giant pickup truck but there are way more that don’t. The people who use vehicles for their business get income tax deductions for their expenses so that’s like getting a big discount on the GVW tax.

    One big problem with my idea is that the North American car industry is based on trucks. Ford, for instance, hardly makes any cars at all any more. The auto industry is a very important employer. So, we stand a chance of wrecking the economy simply by getting all the unnecessary pickup trucks and giant SUVs off the road. I wonder if the Democrats are capable of that kind of arithmetic.

    • I have owned 3 hybrids in the last 12 years. Now I own exactly zero.
      A Prius and two Lexus hybrid varieties.

      First, there is a significant price premium to buying a Toyota Prius versus a similar capacity car like Corolla.

      The difference in upfront cost of the Prius versus the cheaper alternative (even cheaper, buy a Hyundai) has to be factored into the total life cycle cost of operating one over the other. The Corolla (a car of similar reliability and quality to the Prius) beats the pants off the Prius as long as gas prices stay below $4-$5/gal, depending on assumptions of life-time miles driven etc.

      And a heavily driven fleet vehicle of the ,likes of Postal Service, UPS, or Fedex delivery van, gets “consumed” in just a few years. It is all day, 6 days a week of constant stops and starts for 10-12 hours. Quick starts in cold weather. The need for A/C for the driver in hot weather (union rules, human performance studies of hot weather work, etc) means the engine on a hybrid has to run constantly to blow refrigerated air on the driver.

      Second, the scaling of vehicle size (and thus carrying capacity) does not scale linearly to the size of the battery required in order perform as hybrid. A UPS van loaded with boxes to be made a suitable “hybrid” with electric motors able to generate torque to move it are much larger than the smaller battery pack in a light Prius. And automotive-rated lithium battery packs are expensive, so the vehicle price scales upwards much faster than the size of the vehicle.

      Basically these fleet operators need to continue to buy vehicles in quantity to continually replenish the fleet as it ages. Companies using hybrid vehicle over a pure ICE vehicle for fleet operations are simply luxuries meant to signal “green virtue” to ignorant customers and the public.

      Don’t get me wrong, hybrids for small cars for personal commuter use is quite feasible, just a pure EVs are in some cases. It is just when you start to scale that up and then beat the crap out the vehicle in fleet operations that the economics falls apart.

      • Thanks.

        The other thing that fascinates me is that railroads (almost entirely diesel-electric) are more than ten times as efficient as heavy trucks. link I can think of a bunch of reasons that trains might be more efficient than trucks but by more than an order of magnitude. That surprises me.

        • Think of wind resistance, a mile long train has a frontal area not much larger than a big truck. There is wind resistance along the length of the train, but as a ratio to weight being hauled, that goes down as the train gets longer.
          Not having to worry as much about other traffic, trains should be able to maintain a steady velocity more easily than trucks.

      • Joel:
        Your assessment jives with this MIT report from Nov 2019 comparing battery electric (BEV) to an ICE
        vehicle (essentially Tesla S vs a Camry ICE) using a full life-cycle analysis. But not about trucking.
        https://energy.mit.edu/insightsintofuturemobility
        Short version (the above report is > 200 pages and includes PHEV and FCEV too): BEV are not cost
        effective vs ICE and likely won’t be for ~10 yrs, which assumes no subsidies nor replacing the battery and the trend for decreasing cost of Li batteries continues.

  23. It has been suggested to turn the inside lane on motorways (highways in the US) into electric lanes, with overhead electric cables, as used on trains, trolley busses and trams.

    Not a bad suggestion really, at least it would stop them endlessly overtaking a 0.00001 mph quicker.

    • The idea that someone would try to connect (or disconnect) their vehicle to these over head lines while travelling at freeway speeds is downright scary.

    • Not to mention what the extra weight and aerodynamic drag of the connector arms would do to your fuel efficiency all the time, not just when the arms are up.

      • Trucks do 55 mph here, drag is low at that speed and tiny compared to the drag of the truck itself. The height of these would of course be far higher than an SUV or roof top box, and connecting to the power cables could be automated quite easily.

    • Then you have to get to the issue of who pays for that electrification infrastructure (overhead wires, and transformers and distribution line) installation and maintenance. And then how do you charge the owners for electricity consumed? With today’s interconnected 4G/5G world, there are obvious solutions to the payment for the electricity. What is not obvious is how do you pay for the very costly installation of the o/h wire infrastructure.

    • “We have to cut back on population growth.”

      We are, and have been for the last 100 years or so.

      • True, if by “we” you mean the wealthy (mostly “western”) nations that got wealthy via the use of cheap fossil-fuel derived energy. Not so much for the poorer areas of the world that don’t have much available cheap energy.

        What we have to do is not “cut back on population growth” but raise up the poorer areas of the world with abundant cheap energy (IE fossil fuels). “Reducing population growth” will then take care of itself. And plants the world over will be a lot healthier for it.

  24. The phase “… safe in the knowledge …” is a dead giveaway in this clueless propaganda.
    So patronising of a University collective to suggest folks are, somehow, “safe” with their biased knowledge.
    It’s really asymmetrical power and completely unsafe. And the banks were reamed over this recently.
    Here is a classic example of bullying their researchers with an unchallengable narrative.
    The energy requirements for heavy transport (and aircraft) are way out of any modern battery capability.
    And, I venture, will continue to be for the next 50 years. But I won’t be around to gloat.
    Fossil fuels can release massive amount of energy from a very compact volume compared to batteries.
    Light transport can only just cope without having “charge anxiety” – imagine a truckie or pilot ??
    Is some, Elec, Mech or Chem professor going to speak up about how unrealistic this idea is?
    No – I guess they need to stick on-message to keep their jobs.

  25. get rid of buses and rip useless housing out of the way for trollys.

    use diesel for trucks, the power needed is far more efficient in diesel than in any other form

    use batteries for cars and start making them much lighter: a lighter car uses less rubber and asphault, it kills less

    Limit all battery cars to 50mph

    • “all while enjoying a new car that is quiet, cheap to power and fun to drive.”
      Obviously this person has never driven an American Muscle Car. Loud, powerful and really fun to drive.

      • I love the way the proto-totalitarian just declares that we need to limit all passenger cars to 50mph.
        I know that he said limit battery cars to 50mph, but in the paragraph above he declared that all passenger cars need to be battery powered.

    • The lighter you make a car the more vulnerable it is in a crash with another, heavier vehicle.

      • Even if you crash a lighter car into another lighter car, or crash a lighter car into a fixed barrier, the lighter car is still deadlier.

    • Try that, and I’ll only own trucks (or SUVs, since they are counted as trucks)..
      And if I get in a smash-up with your lighter car, you will quickly see the error in your thinking. Driving fifty instead of seventy would turn a ten hour trio into a fourteen hour journey. That’s not going to happen.

    • “a lighter car uses less rubber and asphault, it kills less”

      In a crash, a lighter car is deadlier to those inside it.

    • When refine crude oil, you can’t just say, today I’m only going to produce diesel. You always get a mix of products, from the lightest to the heaviest. The best you can do is alter the ratios a bit.
      So what are you going to do with all the gasoline that is still being produced?

  26. You would be wrong … Your “expectations” are meaningless … If it was cheaper it would already have been done … You do understand a semi does not include the trailer … It needs to be able to hook up to any trailer … Pretty sure the Tesla semi has the batteries in the trailer …

    • Umm. No. The batteries are in the truck, not in the trailer. The Tesla Semi can hook up to any standard trailer.

      • Either the truck is three times bigger than a standard truck, or there’s no way it’s going to haul anything heavier than itself for 500 miles.

        • “Either the truck is three times bigger than a standard truck, or there’s no way it’s going to haul anything heavier than itself for 500 miles.”

          Apparently your statements are based on nothing at all. The 500-mile range is for a Tesla Semi pulling a trailer with the rig fully loaded to 80,000 lbs. Energy requirements are between 1.6 and 2.0 kWh/mile. I did the calculations above, with references, and showed that with current technology a 1 MWh battery will approximately fit into the volume of two cubes 1 meter on a side. They are not that big, but they are heavy, weighing in at about 8000 lbs.

          • You are neglecting the mechanisms that will be needed to control the heat in that battery. Especially if you are going to fast charge it.

          • Any way, you have reduced the carrying capacity of the truck by 10%, and that doesn’t include the weight of the items you have conveniently forgotten about.
            If you think that’s trivial, then you probably thing that batteries make sense.

  27. Article excerpt:

    Diesel vehicles were responsible for approximately 83 per cent of all deaths due to air pollution from road vehicles in 2015, according to the World Health Organization.

    SURPRISE, SURPRISE, ….. that no one (government agencies, health originations, non-profits or politicians) really cares about that dastardly deadly diesel exhaust particulate.

    All of the above, plus the majority of the US population, have all jumped on the “anti-cigarettes- cigarette smoke” bandwagon …… which has never been proven to be a “cancer causing carcinogen”, ….. while averting their eyes and their minds to the deadly effects of diesel exhaust.

    There is something BAD wrong with Laws and Policies that forbid the smoking of cigarettes anywhere near school children of the age of 3 to 18 out of fear they will inhale cigarette smoke or second-hand smoke, …… while at the same time, …… force all school children to inhale diesel exhaust particulate by forcing them to ride diesel powered vehicles to and from their schools. Diesel exhaust fumes permeates the interior of all busses that transport school children.

    • How many deaths were there due to air pollution from road vehicles? 100? And were these in developed countries with stringent exhaust testing or third world countries with smoke coming out tail pipe.

      That one statement means very little, especially coming from WHO.

      • How many deaths were there due to air pollution from road vehicles?

        There is no way of knowing.

        The lungs of young children and senior citizens can be damaged by diesel exhaust particulate with the results of said causing undiagnosed medical problems throughout the remainder of their lives.
        ———————-

        Diesel exhaust, school buses and children’s health
        The link between exposure to diesel exhaust and asthma has been borne out epidemiologically in studies indicating that children living along major trucking thoroughfares are at increased risk of asthma and allergic symptoms5 and of having objective evidence of respiratory dysfunction.6 Last year the National Resources Defense Council conducted a study to measure the level of diesel exhaust to which children are typically exposed as they ride on buses to and from school.2 The study showed that a child riding inside a diesel school bus may be exposed to as much as 4 times the level of diesel exhaust as someone riding in a car ahead of it. Exposure levels were higher in the back of the bus and when windows were closed. The study indicated that exposure of children to diesel exhaust while riding in a school bus for 1–2 hours a day, 180 days a year for 10 years might result in 23–46 additional cancer deaths per 1 million children. In addition, the investigators stated that the implications of this exposure for asthma are very troubling.
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC121970/#:~:text=The%20study%20indicated%20that%20exposure,deaths%20per%201%20million%20children.

        Diesel Exhaust and Cancer
        Lung cancer is the major cancer thought to be linked to diesel exhaust. Several studies of workers exposed to diesel exhaust have shown small but significant increases in risk of lung cancer. Men with the heaviest and most prolonged exposures, such as railroad workers, heavy equipment operators, miners, and truck drivers, have been found to have higher lung cancer death rates than unexposed workers. Based on the number of people exposed at work, diesel exhaust may pose a substantial health risk.
        https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/diesel-exhaust-and-cancer.html#:~:text=Its%20major%20goal%20is%20to,diesel%20exhaust%20and%20bladder%20cancer.

    • Well we could force the children not to be clothed, housed, fed, etc. Diesel trucks are what make all that possible. And BTW the exhaust of the truck I drive is cleaner than the typical ambient air quality of major metropolitan areas. I reckon you don’t know squat about the advances that have been made in the last 20 years in the pollution control systems in diesel trucks.

    • Dear Mr. Cogar,

      —The gasoline (diesel) consumption by cars in Germany in 1995 was 7.447 million liters, and the average life expentancy 73,7 (men) / 79,9 (women) years
      —The gasoline (diesel) consumption by cars in Germany in 2018 was 20.633 million liters, and the average life expentancy 78,7 (men) / 83,5 (women) years

      Seemingly the gasoline (diesel) combustion by ice cars is very healthy, because 20.633/7.447=2,77 times larger gasoline (diesel) consumption (combustion) has led to +5 years (6,78%, men) / +3,6 years (4,5%, women) increase of the average life expentancy.

      Here is also an interesting article from the leader of the the department “respiratory diseases” of the Red Cross Hospital in Stuttgart, Germany (Professor Dr. Hetzel):

      https://www.top-magazin.de/stuttgart/2018/12/24/feinstaubalarm/

      Background: The green led town council in Stuttgart started to prohibit diesel cars in Stuttgart. Prof. dr. Hetzel (one of the leading pneunomologist in Germany) qualified the measures introduced by the greens as “Volksverdummung” (brainwashing the people) for professional reasons.

    • Diesel vehicles were responsible for approximately 83 per cent of all deaths due to air pollution from road vehicles

      That scary sounding sentence actually tells us nothing. The devil is in the (very lacking) detail. How many deaths are we talking about? (a handful? millions? somewhere in between?). Where are these deaths occurring? (Predominately in wealthy countries with strict pollution standards? or poor nations without such standards? both equally?) Unless a person is keeling over when a diesel vehicle is driving by (unlikely), how are they attributing their death specifically to Diesel vehicles (IE how is this attribution being made)?

  28. “zero-carbon mobility” is a mis-nomer. How will electric car/truck/bus batteries be charged up? Shifting emissions from the tailpipe (where you see it) to a powerplant (where you don’t) doesn’t make electric car mobility zero-carbon. If you can’t see it, then it doesn’t exist?

  29. The best use of electric motors is garbage/recycling trucks. They are usually 5 ton trucks and they stop and go every 30 feet. Electric motors having maximum torque at the low end are perfect fit to get the trucks moving.

    Ian Wright has been delivering his drive train for a while now with great results.

    https://www.wrightspeed.com/

    His design uses an onboard multi-fuel generator (fulcrum) to power the electric motors. Do check it out. Very slick IMHO.

  30. The battery supply limitations is a near-term limitation that may be resolved over time. The automobile and truck manufacturers are ramping up to supply the vehicles.

    https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a30260038/ford-f-150-ev-front-trunk-revealed/
    https://lordstownmotors.com/
    https://rivian.com/r1t
    https://www.caranddriver.com/news/g29994375/future-electric-cars-trucks/
    https://www.daimler.com/sustainability/climate/ecascadia.html

    The the shortfall is rare earth element processing and an inadequate national power supply.

    The 3kg of rare earth elements (REE) required for the permanent magnet in each EV car, let alone that required for larger trucks and buses, creates a supply choke point that is highly dependent on China’s REE processing. Rare earth element processing leaves highly toxic wastes that increase costs for domestic production. Even though there are several REE processing projects moving forward in this country they are still not operating. There are numerous other commercial and defense REE requirements competing for these same rare earth elements.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-usa-rareearth-refining/china-set-to-control-rare-earth-supply-for-years-due-to-processing-dominance-idUSKCN1T004J
    https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IF/IF11259
    https://pubs.usgs.gov/periodicals/mcs2020/mcs2020-rare-earths.pdf
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-rareearths-magnets-exclusive/exclusive-pentagon-to-stockpile-rare-earth-magnets-for-missiles-fighter-jets-idUSKBN1YO0G7
    https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2020/05/18/pentagon-legislation-aims-to-end-dependence-on-china-for-rare-earth-minerals/?utm_source=clavis
    https://e360.yale.edu/features/china-wrestles-with-the-toxic-aftermath-of-rare-earth-mining

    There is not enough power for an all electric economy when the transportation sector is included.

    Current US net power generation is somewhere around 4,000 TWh/yr.
    https://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/browser/index.php?tbl=T07.01#/?f=A&start=200001
    https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/browser/

    Projected US net power generation by 2050 is around 5,400 TWh/yr
    https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/aeo/

    The National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) Electrification Futures study calculated US annual power demand of 6,280 – 6,846 TWh/yr in a scenario that included most cars and trucks but only a 10,000 buses by 2050. They left out the school bus fleet.
    https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy18osti/71500.pdf

    It is tough to run an all-electric economy when you are short 1,000 TWh/yr of power. Magical thinking.

    • There are, for example, lithium extraction plants opening up all over. Here in the UK they are even taking it from geothermal water under Cornwall

      • Lithium is not the immediate problem griff as Oz has plenty a lot cheaper than that to begin with. THIS is the problem getting it into a safe useable rechargeable form at reasonable cost with longevity in mind and what to do with it all when it won’t do that anymore (do follow Part 2 as well)

        • The point remains: when demand increases it becomes economic and desirable to prospect for and mine minerals/elements in demand…

          Mines in Cornwall have reopened in recent years, for example, after demand for a range of commodities has increased/driven price up.

          I mean, that’s capitalism, what y’all are so keen on?

    • We can just use all the diesel that the trucks are no longer using to power diesel generators, power shortage almost diverted!!! /S

  31. Why does the author seem to think that a truck battery is equivalent to a car battery, if said battery is actually providing the motive force for the vehicle? Don’t we have to convert “battery” into “horsepower” or some unit of work if we want to compare apples to apples? A truck may produce more pollution than a car, but pound-for-pound, including the pounds it’s carrying in that big tin warehouse in the back, does it?

    How many car batteries = one functional truck battery is the information I missed in the article.

    • Good point. A Tesla S ER has a 100 kWh battery which weighs roughly 1,000 lbs and will achieve 400 miles range in ideal conditions. The new pickup trucks going into production have 150-200 kWhr batteries. The Daimler eCascadia Freightliner box trucks have 300 KWhr batteries and Daimler’s Class 8 regional semi has a 500 kWhr battery pack for 250 mile range. To achieve Tesla’s 500 mile range for its class 8 semi would require 1,000 kWhr batteries (10,000 lbs?) let alone a large charging infrastructure. To achieve the capability of a long haul semi would require at least 2,000 kWhr, weigh 20,000 lbs and a diesel semi will still have double the range without requiring significant power demand.

      • The fast charge for most car batteries is in the 200 to 400 amp range.
        Can you imagine how much juice is going to be required to fast charge a truck battery?
        Now imagine 10 trucks, sitting side by side, all fast charging at the same time.

        • Build a modular nuclear power plant next every interstate semi-tractor charging station. Multiply that by the thousand or so charging station-plants needed just in the US interstate highway system. Then watch watermelon heads explode at the idea of 1,000 emissions-free nuclear power plants across the nation.

  32. The buses and trucks are the least efficient use of batteries. The mass of batteries required to drive a truck for eleven hours (legal limit in the US of A, equivalent to about 650 miles or 1000 kilometers) will reduce the payload significantly. That means more trucks on the road, not less. Let people who have moderate commutes buy an electric vehicle. My retired neighbor plans on buying a Tesla and solar panels, Since the car will usually be home when the sun is shining (unlike people who still drive to work every day) it can be charged from the panels. This may work for him but he calculated that the payback period will be ten years.

  33. Meh.
    Forget Batteries,the payload winds up being so small that there is no point moving the truck.
    A truly “ecological solution” would be to harness members of the Fright Industry up to engineless trucks.
    Cause we have no shortage of these righteous gasbags.
    If we must suffer these parasites to live amongst us,we may as well get some value out of them.

    Oh right slavery is bad…But these critters have volunteered,for they demand goods must be moved,but internal combustion engines are forbidden.
    Of course cross country freight will be awfully expensive,using Fright Industry Meat,even if you pay no wage and death march the “volunteers”.

    But the ends justify the means,or so these same people insist.
    And think of the enrichment the roadside flowers will gain,all that fertilizer.

    Sarcasm just does not cut it any more.
    The Creatures of Gang Green are beyond parody and impervious to truth or mockery.

  34. There are three reasons for getting rid of gasoline cars: plastics, aviation and pharmaceuticals.

    We need to convert road vehicles to natural gas and save the liquids for the things for which there is no effective substitute.

    • So we have to hobble our economy now, so that we don’t have to hobble our economy some time in the distant future.

    • Oil distillates are not interchangeable. Oil was first used for kerosene production, an intermediate distillation, I believe. The lighter distillates were waste products – that included what is now called gasoline.
      The main light distillate products are: Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)
      Gasoline (also known as petrol)
      Naphtha

      The lighter distillates can not be used for the items in your list, like jet fuels. So the question becomes, if we get rid of gasoline-fueled autos, how do we safely get rid of the millions of gallons of unneeded light distillates?

    • “We”, is everyone other than the author.
      The “need” is the author’s need to feel good about himself.

  35. The hard-left The Conversation is totally in the tank for climate alarmism. Eleven months ago they announced that the only opinions they would permit to be expressed in article comments are those in support of climate hysteria. They wrote, “the editorial team in Australia is implementing a zero-tolerance approach to moderating climate change deniers, and sceptics. Not only will we be removing their comments, we’ll be locking their accounts.”

    Even before that, The Conversation long had two moderation policies: the official written one (“their Community Standards,” which are basically Quora’s BNBR + “Be Constructive”), and the actual one (“Be Leftist”). No matter how nice, respectful & constructive you were, and no matter how thoroughly you documented your claims, suspicion of casting doubt on the climate emergency was grounds for deleting your comments at The Conversation. But no matter how vicious ad hominem attacks are, they’re acceptable if they are directed toward someone skeptical of the climate crisis.

    Although they made their anti-scientific bias official, I’m still waiting for them to change their name to “The One-Sided Conversation.”

      • Hmmm… “Monversation” can’t be it, because that would take the “con” out of “conversation,” which is the opposite of what they do. “Monotony” is about right.

        Or… well, there’s something of a trend toward shortening names…
        “Kentucky Fried Chicken” ⇒ “KFC”
        “The Huffington Post” ⇒ “HuffPost” (usually abbreviated “HuffPo”)
        “Federal Express” ⇒ “FedEx”
        “Quantam Computer Services”⇒ “America Online” ⇒ “AOL”

        So how about…
        “The Conversation”“The Con”

  36. Battery production can be increased , and it will be if demand goes up. I would by EV if it saves me money, but with low gas prices and efficient ICE engines, EVs are not there yet. Also with buying EV you are at the mercy of your home electricity provider. With all these green policies, who knows what price of electricity will be in the future, somebody has to pay for all the new capacity. We just bought top of the line Honda Odyssey for 45k. Has adaptive cruise control, tons of storage, 3 row seating and seats can lay flat, full entertainment system, AC seats, 460 mile range. Cost of EV that has same features would cost way more.

  37. A much smarter way for heavy trucks is diesel electric. An clean and efficient ICE engine turns a generator that in turn powers reluktor type motors in each wheel. More efficient than a conventional ICE turning a series of gear boxes and axels, but without of the problems of large-battery powered electric motors. Most of the braking is done in the reluktor motors too. It might even cost less to make than current technology. It actually would reduce the load on the energy infrastructure. Doesn’t pass the green purity test, but who cares?

    Hybrid large trucks would have more pay load because they would weigh less-not more. They would also decrease operations and up keep costs right off the bat. If it costs -I’m estimating here- 30% less per mile it’s money.

    • Diesel-electric is not much different from a hybrid automobile. Add a small battery pack and you get better acceleration, partial recovery of braking energy, and the ability to use a smaller diesel engine, usually run at closer-to-optimal speeds.

  38. You cannot replace fossil fuels with batteries. Fossil fuels are an energy source. A battery simply transports energy from one location to another.

    You still need fossil fuels to build the batteries and to gill them with energy. Why not simply skip the battery and fill the cars directly with fossil fuels.

  39. When the war picks up in earnest these people demanding rare earths for a barely measurable problem are going to be on the receiving end of a pretty vicious cancel culture.

    How do they not see that?

  40. First of all, I do not buy into “CO2 is killing us all”. CO2 is harming no one. If it causes additional warming over and above natural warming, no one has found a way to measure it so it’s likely small. Note how the rising CO2 in the atmosphere completely ignored the Covid-19 economy shutdown it just kept rising.

    But given that, if one wanted to reduce real pollution caused by combustion engines crowded into cities then one should pursue a hybrid vehicle. It only needs an electrical range of 40 to 60 miles and then the highly tuned combustion engine kicks in to provide the power. Such a vehicle would need to be light and probably small so it would only fill mostly urban or suburban niches, but it still is a lot more practical then a fully electric vehicle. Too bad the world seems to have just moved on from them due to the hype. Such a vehicle would dramatically reduce the amount of gasoline used within the cities, and therefore the real pollution a combustion engine produces. You would need 1/3rd of the batteries, and no extra infrastructure (assuming you plugged your car when at home).

    The easier path would be to just keep improving the combustion engine – it likely still has a long way to go for max efficiency and lowest amount of real pollution.

    • “But given that, if one wanted to reduce real pollution caused by combustion engines crowded into cities then one should pursue a hybrid vehicle.”

      You mean a plug-in hybrid, right?

  41. We need to change our transportation system, and we need to do it quickly.

    Why?

    Road transportation is a major consumer of fossil fuels,

    So?

    contributing 16 per cent of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, which warm up the Earth’s atmosphere and cause changes to the climate. It also pollutes the air, threatening health and costing taxpayers billions of dollars annually.

    Assertion with little to no basis in fact with an underlying assumption equally devoid of any basis. Even if we took the above claim as true (they’ve never been proved to be so) why is it assumed a warmer world is a bad thing? Throughout history it’s the colder times that have been bad not the warmer ones. (not to mention that no “ideal” temperature is ever mooted. how can be know that warmer is bad if we don’t know what the ideal is?)

    In addition to that, there are other benefits to burning fossil fuel is that the increase in CO2 is net beneficial to plant life which means more food to feed to worlds population.

  42. As soon as I finish writing this I will going out the door to head to the terminal and take off.
    This run, which I have done several times before will be hauling parts and materials in a 53′ dry van trailer to the TENNECO plant in Smithville, TN. There I will back into a door and be unloaded.

    After being unloaded I will “dead head” or IOW pull that empty down to the BASF facility near the airport in Huntsville, AL. There I will back into a door and be loaded with catalyst for vehicle exhaust systems. I will be out of duty hours by the time I’m loaded and will pull around behind the facility to take my break (No charging station in site).
    After my break I will bring that load which will have freight bound for locations all over the US and Canada back to our terminal in Anderson, IN and put it in a dock. I will not have to fuel during this run.

  43. I should have mentioned something else. The first truck I was driving with this company I started with in October of 2007 was a 2004 Volvo. When they finally took that truck away from me it had over 998,0000 miles on it. I remember because I wanted to keep it until it hit 1 million and I was so close. But that particular model year of Volvo was getting the lowest average mpg in the fleet so they wanted to get rid of them ASAP. (Fuel is by far the single largest operating expense for a trucking company.) It had the original engine and transmission in it. The only major component that had to be changed periodically was the turbo. I went through two of them in 500,000 plus miles.

    I have been in this 2015 Cascadia Freightliner since it was new. As of this morning when I filled it up after getting back in it had 468,355 miles on it. I know this because I must enter the mileage every time I fuel. No major component has failed on it.

    They tried to put me into a brand new 2020 Volvo late last year but I refused for a number of reasons. I intend to stick with this truck until I retire.

  44. This truckers runs last week. Neither one could have been done with any EV technology out there in the time required:
    Tuesday 01:00 depart for TENNECO in Smithville, TN with a trailer full of parts and unusually heavy for runs to this customer. Delivered at 06:30 as scheduled.

    From Smithville, I took the empty trailer down to the BASF/XPO facility by the airport in Huntsville, AL. It was during this leg that I went through Lynchburg, TN and saw the school open and kids out and school open. A little girl about 7 or 8 was standing at the end of a driveway holding her mommy’s hand and as I apporached she gave me the universal sign of pumping her arm asking me to toot my big horn. She got a couple of good toots and I was rewarded with a big smile and enthusiastic wave. She made my day and I hope I made her.

    On arrival at BASF I went directly into door 9 and was loaded with the usual. But this load was unusually light and had only two orders on it instead of the normal 5 or 6. After being loaded and the trailer sealed, and the information from the bills transmitted to dispatch via the Samsara tablet I pulled around to the back of the facility and took my 10 hour break. Obviously I idled since the temp was getting into the 80s. At 22:30 I headed out to go back to Anderson and arrived at 06:00 Wed. Dropped the trailer, fueled and put the truck to bed and went home to put myself to bed but got up with my wife at 10:30.

    Josh called at 14:30 to tell me that I would be doing a run to the Toyota service parts DC in KC, KA again. On this run the backhaul would be a broker load as yet not set up. The run was scheduled to depart at 01:30. So I ate and early dinner and was back in bed by 15:30. I was up and ready but before I left the house I got a call telling me that the driver that was to bring the load was running an hour late so I waited at home for a while The driver had still not arrived when I went in and was closer to 2 hours late.

    I had him drop the trailer right at the temporary check in parking and hooked to it there. Then went in and got the paperwork and took off. Since that driver was an hour later than anticipated I had already burned an hour of my 14 hour duty day by the time he arrived. By the time I was hooked up and took off I had burned another 1/2 hour.

    When I was heading out of Indianapolis on I-70 the ABS (Anti-lock brake system) warning light came on telling there was a problem with that system. The trailer was breaking fine and I determined that as usual the problem was with the ABS malfunction sensing and not the brakes or the ABS system. I drove on. Once at the facility in KS I submitted a DVIR report telling Carter maintenance about the problem and where the trailer was located.

    Despite the late departure I arrived at the Toyota facility 15 minutes prior to my scheduled arrival. There was a truck doing his drop and hook and I had to wait for him to get clear before doing my thing. Turned out that I had to move three trailers this time instead of the usual two to get things as they should be. Finally having done my duty as their yard jockey I was hooked to an empty. Sent in the DVIR mentioned above and then started working on figuring out where I was to go to hook to the broker load to bring me back towards Anderson.

    Pickup was at Johnson Controls in Saint Joseph, MO about 38 miles north of my location. I hustled and arrived there 20 minutes before my scheduled pick up time. As I went I called Josh at dispatch and asked him why they had set this up. Times were very tight and required an experienced driver to move with alacrity. I told him that an inexperienced driver or a driver that did not hustle would never make the times they had scheduled. He told me that it was the best load brokerage could find to get me headed home.

    Well Johnson control was a screwed up mess due to construction at the plant and some other factors having to do with their failure to pay enough people to deal with drivers checking in and doing the shipping paperwork. It was over three hours before I left the facility loaded with 42,395 lb. of dry car batteries. New batteries are often shipped dry without the electrolyte to make them lighter so more can be shipped and to avoid the extra hassle and expense of dealing with a Hazardous Material Load.

    My 14 hours had expired by the time I was loaded and so I noted on the Samsara Log that I was driving to a “safe haven” when I found a place to park at the Love’s truck stop that was only 1.6 miles away from the shipper. I already knew that there was no way I could make the 12 noon delivery on Friday at Johnson Controls in Ft. Wayne, IN when I parked it to take my 10 hour break at that Love’s truck stop. I did not bother to weigh the load. I was confident, based on the squat of the tires, the way the trailer pulled, and the gauge on the dash that tells the driver how much pressure there is on the air bags of the drive axles on the tractor, that my axle weights were legal. Besides there was only one weigh station between my departure and delivery points. It turned out to be closed as I passed by it during the early morning hours.

    I departed 10 hours and 10m minutes after I arrived and hustled the whole way across US-36 E to I-72 E to I-74 E to IN SR 32 N, to I-65 N to I-865 E to I-465 E to I-69 N, to the Ft. Wayne, IN Airport Expressway, to the receiver. I arrived 1 hour and 15 minutes after the scheduled noon delivery time but I had called ahead and let them know what was going on so they were ready for me. The had me in and out empty in 40 minutes.

    As required in the dispatch message I pictured scanned the signed BOL and transmitted via Transflow before departing the receiver.

    When I got back to the terminal in Anderson at 14:30 I had 12 minutes remaining of my 11 hour drive time and had covered 688 miles since I had departed from that Love’s in Saint Joseph, MO. 11 hours X 65 mph = 715 miles. Those kinds of loads are stressful but I guess that is what we salary drivers get paid for.

    During this last run vehicle traffic was quite a bit heavier than usual much of the way.

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