To reload its semi-trailers unveiled last November, Tesla promised to install a network of mega-chargers. The first stations should, however, be reserved for multinationals who have already pre-ordered.
The production of the Model 3 has failed at startup, the money is evaporating at high speed and the trailer must come out next year. The timing of Tesla is tight, especially since the manufacturer must invest, beyond the construction of vehicles, on charging solutions.
After the supercharger network dedicated to its Model S , X and 3, Tesla must now focus on mega-chargers for charging its trucks. Stations of very high power, powered by solar energy , theoretically capable of recharging giant batteries of heavy weight in 30 minutes and whose development seems not to be without difficulties. According to Reuters, the firm of Palo Alto would indeed collaborate with the main future customers of the semi to reserve the first implantations of terminals to their private sites.
Nearly a megawatt of power
Reloading in half an hour a truck with a range of about 800 kilometers (500 miles) probably requires almost a megawatt of power. A significant energy that is not extracted from the power grid so easily and greatly complicates the installation of an extended public network.
Tesla is therefore focusing on the hubs that the semi-trailers will leave in the morning to come back at the end of the day. If it is confirmed that the manufacturer will provide the solution with its own technologies , it is not yet known how the costs of design and installation will be divided between Tesla and its customers.
Some customers want their own charging solution
PepsiCo, which has reserved 100 trucks, has announced that it could eventually explore the possibility of spreading the costs of installing mega-chargers with other companies. UPS, which has committed to 125 trucks, also announced that it is working closely with Tesla on the construction of stations on its sites.
The beer giant Anheuser-Busch would like to install his own stations in his big breweries and other key sites to recharge the 40 seedlings he has pre-ordered. Finally, Loblaw Companies Ltd., a major retailer, has announced that it will be reloading its 25 solar-powered trucks and will be using Tesla along with other companies to implement its solution.
American trucking companies chilly
According to a report published in 2016 by the California Air Resources Board, a fast charging station equipped for six buses would cost about $ 249,000. A very high cost and some analysts and leaders of the automotive world believe it could reach the million dollars for mega-chargers.
These uncertainties about Tesla’s capabilities to meet the technological and economic challenge explain the lack of orders from major American road transport operators. They expect safe and proven data on the cooldown, prices and load useful semi Tesla before launching.