From: Eric Adams via Wired
Published June 1, 2017 09:40 AM

Even Elon Musk May Not Be Able to Make an Electric Truck Work

It's been nearly a year since Elon Musk revealed his intention to electrify the world’s roads with buses and trucks in addition to Tesla’s passenger cars. He hasn’t said much about the 18-wheeler—a proper unveil is set for September—except that it will use same motors as the upcoming Model 3, and that it would, of course, disrupt an industry that generates one quarter of US transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions.

If anyone deserves the benefit of the doubt, it’s Musk. But unless he has a radical bit of battery technology squirreled away, even he may not be able to deliver a long-haul truck capable of displacing the diesel burners roaming America’s highways. That’s the key finding of a paper by a pair of Carnegie Mellon University researchers, who found a battery-powered semi would be limited to a 300-mile range, cost a fortune, and offer limited cargo capacities because of the weight and volume of the technology required to keep it moving down the road.

“The challenge is on par in difficulty level with electric airplanes,” said Venkat Viswanathan, who conducted the research with colleague Shashank Sripad. The peer-reviewed study, previewed to Wired, will be published in the American Chemical Society’s ACS Energy Letters within a few weeks.

Read more at Wired

Photo credit: Steve Jurvetson via Wikimedia Commons

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