Elon Musk said that Tesla plans to produce at least 100 GWH/year 4680 batteries from the new Nevada factory and this could reach 500 GWH/year. This will be part of Tesla expanding 4680 battery production to 1000-3000 GWH/year. This will be in addition to batteries from other suppliers like CATL.
The 100 GWh/year is just the start.
“We’re going to do our high volume semi-truck manufacturing here, and were’e also going to be adding 100 gigawatt-hours of Tesla 4680 cell manufacturing here. And that’s just the start. I think long-term, we may do as much as 500 gigawatt-hours long-term, but this increment is 100 gigawatt-hours. Yeah, so it’s a hugely important game-changer,” Musk said.
The power of a nuclear reactor for a year is 8 TWh of power per year with about 90% capacity. 24000 electric semi trucks driving 100,000 miles per year would not charge every day. They would be driving 273 miles per day. Average US large trucks drive 60,000 miles per year which is 164 miles per day.
This means the electricity for 50,000 Tesla electric semis driving 100,000 miles would be 50,000 times 170,000 kwh per year. This would be 8.5 TWh/year. Tesla goal of 50,000 trucks per year with a mix of mainly 500-mile range trucks would be about the entire existing 37 GWh/year capacity of the Tesla-Panasonic 2170 nickel battery factory.
The United States added about 90 TWh of electricity from wind power and 35 TWh from solar in 2022. China added 160 GW of wind, solar capacity in 2023. The US makes 4000 TWh of electricity every year.
The US has 4 million class 8 trucks but only 250k-300k are replaced in normal years. The overall average class 8 truck drives only 62,000 miles per year according to the Department of Energy.
4 million class 8 trucks driving 62,000 miles per year using 1.6 kWh per mile would mean each truck would average almost 100,000 kWh per year. This would be 400 TWh/year of electricity would be needed for all of the trucks.
It is roughly eleven thousand 60k miles/year semi-trucks per TWh/year of energy. Eleven thousand Semi trucks will need 10 GWh of batteries inside the trucks but they will use about one terawatt hour per year of energy to operate.
Tesla would need about 4 TWh of batteries to convert the 4 million class 8 trucks in the USA. The batteries would need to be replaced about every 10 years. They would need about twenty times more to convert all of the large trucks in the world.
Megacharging with Megapacks is Not Optional
There would also need to be double or triple the total batteries needed for the megapacks used in megacharging networks. The batteries for the light, medium and large trucks and megacharging would be in the 200 TWH range. This is the majority of the 300 TWh that Tesla estimates to electrify transportation and energy storage.
The water-cooled megacharging for the Semi trucks requires the 3.9 MWh Tesla megapacks. There needs to be a electrical grid to megapack to Semi truck charging system. The megapacks will enable the massive electrical load for megawatt charging speeds to be made smoothed out and consistent. This will make it more affordable and manageable.
As a rough rule of thumb, one megapack is needed for every seven Tesla Semi trucks. There will also be a need for solar power or other power generation on-site or nearby.
The American Trucking Association has the following statistics.
Number of Trucks:
38.9 million trucks registered and used for business purposes (excluding government and farm) in 2020, representing 24.1% of all trucks registered.
4.06 million Class 8 trucks (including tractors and straight trucks) in operation in 2021, up 2.3% from 2020.
302.14 billion miles traveled by all registered trucks in 2020.
177.26 billion miles traveled by combination trucks in 2020.
44.8 billion gallons of fuel consumed by those trucks used for business purposed in 2020.
35.8 billion gallons of diesel fuel.
9.0 billion gallons of gasoline.
I described Tesla domination of the entire global truck category in this video.
I describe how the semi trucks and megapacks are central to Tesla Masterplan 3.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
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