The Staggering Economics of the Tesla Semi
The Tesla Semi is going to start deliveries this year and there is some staggering economics of how much better it will be than a diesel truck.
Elon Musk has stated that the Tesla semi will start shipping this year and that it will have 500 miles of range. This is after many delays, but Tesla is finally ready to start delivering it to customers. In Elon’s Master Plan, Part 2, he made reference to building an electric semi.
The first customer of the Tesla semi is not known to the public yet. Some think it will be PepsiCo because they place an order for 100 electric semi trucks. Tesla will build out Mega Chargers for the Tesla semi in order to make sure it can charge quickly.
The Economics of the Tesla Semi
If you look at average fuel prices and use the website for U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), you can see about how much it costs for a trip for a diesel truck on a highway per gallon of diesel fuel. This ends up being about $4.99.
If you use a distance of 200 miles, you can do a calculation with a miles per gallon around 6 and come up with about 34 gallons (at 5.9 miles per gallon). This is simply for the average diesel truck.
With some simple math, you can take 34 gallons * $4.99, which is $169.76 for the cost of fuel for that diesel truck. This equals about 85 cents per mile. The Tesla semi, which is an electric truck, can take that same load and move it 200 miles. With electricity, you must think about it differently.
We can use a 2 kWh per mile usage for the Tesla Semi even though Tesla says the energy consumption is less than that. This will make calculating more simple. If you take 200 miles * 2 kWh per mile, you get a total of 400 kWh consumed. Tesla can also provide an energy cost of about 7 center per kWh.
You can then take that 400 kWh * $0.07 per kWh which equals $28 total for the 200 mile drive. This is about 14 cents per mile. With this you get:
* A diesel truck trip at 200 miles is $169.76
* A Tesla semi truck trip at 200 miles is $28.00
This is a savings of about 83% and the Tesla semi will have less wear and tear on its brakes, less maintenance due to having no engine and oil changes, along with being a source of clean energy.
For more information on this, you can see this Tweet thread by Alex Gayer:
The jaw-dropping economics of electric trucking
The retail price of a semi-truck is often discussed when comparing diesel vs. electric, however the potential disparity becomes far less relevant when the economics of operation are concerned.
— Al≡x Gay≡r (@alex_gayer) August 11, 2022
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Jeremy Johnson is a Tesla investor and supporter. He first invested in Tesla in 2017 after years of following Elon Musk and admiring his work ethic and intelligence. Since then, he’s become a Tesla bull, covering anything about Tesla he can find, while also dabbling in other electric vehicle companies. Jeremy covers Tesla developments at Torque News. You can follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn to stay in touch and follow his Tesla news coverage on Torque News.