Australia Transport Authority Says “No” To Tesla Battery-Powered Truck…Too Big Due To Gigantic Batteries?

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Tesla “Semi” truck not approved in Australia

By AR Göhring (EIKE)

Did you know that TESLA also manufactures an e-truck? But Australia now refused to approve the “Semi”.

We recently reported on the Nikola company’s hydrogen truck. Engineers and other experts have doubts about the concept because the extremely volatile gas requires significantly more complicated technology and a whole new infrastructure that doesn’t even begin to exist. What that means for transportation costs is easy to calculate.

Australia says “no”

We have already looked at similarly entertaining concepts such as solar roofs or high-voltage overhead lines over highways. But it gets even better: While it has long been known that electrical energy is best used for lighting and computing, it is not best used for wheel traction and heating, because efficiency goes down and costs go up (which is why the EU has abolished powerful home vacuum cleaners, for example).

Vehicle too big – likely because of the large batteries

Nevertheless, Elon Musk and his company Tesla manufactures not only luxury cars, but now semi-trucks. The model, which is not exactly shapely, is probably quite lavish in size due to its gigantic batteries, which is why the Australian traffic authority has refused to grant it an approval. The theoretical performance data suggest a large battery: 480 to 800 km range.

Photo by Korbitr – https://imgur.com/a/INiuj, public domain image, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=67201963

The Semi is slightly wider than the maximum permitted 2.50 meters. But rather than comply, Tesla demanded a change in Australian rules:

The Commission will be aware that given Australia’s small size in comparison to global markets, inconsistencies like this between Australian regulations and larger markets will delay or preclude vehicles coming to local markets. Currently, Australia will likely miss out on the first generation of electric heavy vehicles such as the Tesla Semi because of this.”

“Not very trustworthy” claims by Tesla

So pressure with the economic argument?

The Semi is said to have 20% lower operating costs than a comparable diesel – a claim that is not very trustworthy unless you factor in lavish subsidies. And it is not emission-free either, since the electricity comes from coal or nuclear power plants (and certainly not from the numerous Australian solar and wind power plants).

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12 responses to “Australia Transport Authority Says “No” To Tesla Battery-Powered Truck…Too Big Due To Gigantic Batteries?”

  1. mwhite
    1. Craig from Oz

      Those range figures are way too short for Australia. Adelaide to Melbourne is maybe JUST possible but you would want a dream run. In practical terms you probably need a recharge somewhere.

      Recharge equal time equal cost.

      So if you can’t be used for interstate, what market do they fill?

  2. tom0mason

    “Currently, Australia will likely miss out on the first generation of electric heavy vehicles such as the Tesla Semi because of this.” ”

    Which IS excellent! Let the rest of the world sort out the problems with mark 1 version. If it is then found to be worthy (doubtful) then pick it up at the 4th or 5th iteration when all the major bugs are out of the system, and subsidies are no longer required.

  3. Olivia Jain

    But it have to Approve in AUS Tesla Is a Good Company I Really Like him. This is my Opinion.

  4. Gerry O'Connor

    Yep …what’s the cost of rebuilding all the highways of Australia ??

  5. Gerry O'Connor

    “The Semi is slightly wider than the maximum permitted 2.50 meters. But rather than comply, Tesla demanded a change in Australian rules:” …..Yep …what’s the cost of rebuilding all the highways of Australia ??

  6. Jim

    Interesting sounding. But, build a vehicle that is unusable? What kind of fruitcake does that? One that assumes he is smarter then the rest. Roads worldwide are within an inch of each other, and much unmarked, and full of potholes. A usable vehicle has to negotiate all of them in the present condition for the foreseeable future. And no country is interested in infrastructure because it justifies taxes. And, people are wanting to follow him to mars? I would rather wait for a safer outcome.

  7. Greg

    What is the weight of the batteries compared to engine plus fuel? This is the only important thing. All countries have weight limits to prevent excessive road damage. If the batteries force a reduction in payload it is a non starter.

  8. Australia Transport Authority Won’t Approve Tesla’s Battery-Powered Semi – Menopausal Mother Nature

    […] Read rest at No Tricks Zone […]

  9. Richard Greene

    Thinking about airplanes and semi-trucks fueled with petroleum, compared with an imaginary prototype plane and semi-truck powered with batteries:

    The normal plane gets lighter as it uses fuel, but a battery powered plane weighs just as much when the batteries are discharging.

    Maybe less of a problem for trucks, but still a problem:
    With the semi-truck, the batteries weigh just as much when they are nearly discharged. It takes awhile to fill up semi fuel tanks with diesel fuel, but recharging batteries has to take a lot longer.

    1. The Indomitable Snowman, Ph.D.

      “The normal plane gets lighter as it uses fuel”

      That’s an interesting point. Large aircraft have an allowed takeoff weight that is higher than the allowed landing weight – largely because of the stress put on the gear during landing. That’s why when a large aircraft has to land much earlier than expected (such as a passenger jet with a passenger who has taken ill, forcing a diversion), it has to dump fuel – that’s to get the weight down enough to meet the landing weight limit.

      Assuming a battery that could actually put out the same power for the same weight (a huge “if” of course), the load that such an aircraft could carry would be lower – since the takeoff weight would have to be no larger than the allowed landing weight.

      So a “duplicate” aircraft (using a battery rather than a liquid fuel for power) would have less carrying capacity.

  10. drumphish

    Why do you need an electric truck that size? Doesn’t make that much sense.

    It is economical to have a fleet of smaller urban only electric trucks that have a range of 75-125 miles and can make short trips to any kind of business, gov agency with on time deliveries. It would be more worthwhile to have such an EV fleet. Wouldn’t need so much battery power, would be lighter.

    There are railroads, diesel-electric engines with electro-motive drive, can haul plenty of freight.

    Been there, done that. A tried and true technology that works.

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