ENVT 200 03

Consumer Product Review: Tesla Electric Semi-Truck

Image result for tesla semi-truck

In this article, I will be doing a product review for new technology coming out in the upcoming years. This new technology is the Tesla electric powered semi-truck, and it has the potential to completely change the environmental impact from shipping on the road. Since semi-trucks require a lot of fuel to ship heavy loads over long distances, they release an enormous amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. In turn, these greenhouse gases trap heat and cause global warming, which has had many negative effects on the Earth’s environment so far. The Tesla semi-truck will greatly reduce the greenhouse emissions of the shipping industry since it runs on electricity. As a car company, tesla has been producing electric powered cars for years and has created ground breaking advancements in the technology. The main problem with the design is the massive batteries required to power a semi-truck over long distances. Tesla has found a solution to this problem by using four electric motors that are also used to power their model 3 SUV; these motors will allow the truck to go from 0-60 mph in only 5 seconds. Their trucks will come in two versions. At max capacity, one truck will have a 300-mile range while the other will have a 500-mile range.

Multiple companies including Walmart, Anheuser-Busch, UPS and PepsiCo. have already made preorders on these trucks and are planning on testing them for their future shipping needs. The benefits of an electric semi-truck from an economic standpoint area is also very large, since the cost to power the trucks will be much cheaper without the cost of using diesel. The time constraints in shipping will also not be affected since the charging of its battery will only take about 30 min, which is around the same amount of time it takes to fill a semi-truck with diesel. The truck is also much faster due to the high torque of its electric motors.

The implications of having an electric powered semi-truck are impactful towards the environment, but there are still many obstacles. First, Tesla must create charging stations all over the country that can recharge their trucks. This is a very expensive venture but companies who see the benefits of electric trucks are already contributing to funding recharging stations. Another issue is the weight capacity of the truck. Although Tesla has greatly improved the energy capacity of its batteries, powering such a heavy vehicle over long ranges requires an enormous battery that will be placed at the bottom of the truck. We know the truck has a total curve weight (fully loaded) of 80,000 pounds, but we do not know how much of that number is the weight of the truck when its empty. This number could be very important to companies who are thinking about purchasing the truck when it comes out in 2020. The final issue facing the Tesla-semi truck is the recycling of its massive batteries. Batteries used for electric cars use a lot of toxic chemicals, such as lead, to produce. If these chemicals are not recycled, then they could be just as detrimental to the environment as fossil fuels. Luckily, Tesla already has their own process for recycling batteries which reuses 90 percent of lead acid batteries and cuts down on 70% of CO2 emissions throughout the recycling process. It is still not perfect, but it is a step in the right direction when it comes to recycling the batteries from electric vehicles. Hopefully, when this vehicle comes out in 2020, it will be widely implemented and will replace the environmentally destructive diesel-powered trucks.



Tesla Semi truck’s battery pack and overall weight explored

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