Musk’s reliance on shock-and-awe tactics and unjustifiably lofty
performance projections is creating serious problems for the so-called
visionary as a
growing number of experts have come forward to explain that many of
his claims would defy
the laws of physics.
latest group to call bulls--- is Aurora Energy Research, a European
consultancy which estimated that Tesla’s electric haulage truck will
require the same energy as up to 4,000 homes to recharge – a stunning
claim that would seem to raise serious questions about the projects
viability, according to the Financial
to these scientists, modern battery technology is incapable of
supporting anything close to the 30-minute charging time Musk has
promised for the new Tesla semi-truck.
US electric carmaker unveiled a battery-powered truck earlier this
month, promising haulage drivers they could add 400 miles of
charge in as little as 30 minutes using a new “megacharger” to be
made by the company.
Feddersen, chief executive of Aurora Energy Research, a consultancy
set up in 2013 by a group of Oxford university professors, said the
power required for the megacharger to fill a battery in that amount
of time would be 1,600 kilowatts.
is the equivalent of providing 3,000-4,000 “average” houses, he
told a London conference last week, 10 times as powerful as
Tesla’s current network of “superchargers” for its electric cars. Tesla
declined to comment on the calculations.
Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, has previously said the megachargers
would be solar-powered but the company has not confirmed whether
they will also have a grid connection for when it is not sunny.
of Tesla’s current superchargers are powered in part by renewable
energy. The company is also experimenting with storage batteries to
ease demands on the grid.
has promised to begin delivering its trucks in late 2019. Electric
battery capacity has been improving at a rate of roughly 8% per year –
and some have posited that Musk’s lofty claims are merely just him
trying to anticipate what will be possible as the first batch of
trucks are being assembled. However,
if Aurora’s assessment is accurate, then the technological
advancements needed to enable a 30-minute charging time for a
semi-truck are still years, if not decades, off.
Musk has said little about the enhancements to the power grid that
would be needed to power fleets of Tesla’s semi-trucks.
are smart and dumb ways to incorporate this level of capacity
requirement into the system, but either way, fully electrified
road transport will need a large amount of new infrastructure,” Feddersen
told the Financial Times.
Grid, which oversees Britain’s electricity system, has suggested that
in the most extreme scenario, electric vehicles could create as much
as 18 gigawatts of additional demand for power at peak times in the UK
is the equivalent capacity of nearly six nuclear power stations on the
scale of the Hinkley Point project under construction in the
south-west of England.
posits that Tesla could try an engineering solution called segmenting
– but that approach would come with technological hurdles of its own.
fastest chargers today can support up to around 450kW charging, so
it’s not clear yet how Tesla will achieve their desired charging
speeds,” said Colin McKerracher, head of advanced transport at
Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a consultancy.
option may be to segment the battery somehow and actually charge
different segments simultaneously. This adds additional costs and
we haven't seen anything like that done at anywhere near this