Tesla Plans Electric Semi-Truck, Electric Cars Spreading Fast

The world’s appetite for electricity is about to increase dramatically. Tesla is planning to unveil an electric semi-truck as early as September and Volkswagen is planning a vast network of filling stations for electric cars in the United States.

Tesla Semi truck unveil set for September,” Elon Musk tweeted on April 13. “Team has done an amazing job. Seriously next level.”

Volkswagen is planning to spend $2 billion build a network of 2,500 charging stations for electric cars, Seeking Alpha contributor Anton Wahlman reported. There will be one supercharger every 66 miles across the United States. The idea is to compete with Tesla’s fast growing network of superchargers.

Tesla currently has around 790 super chargers and 4,148 standalone charging sites for electric cars. Another company, Chargepoint is operating 34,156 charging locations for electric vehicles.

If that was not enough VW just unveiled an electric sport utility vehicle (SUV) called the Crozz at the Shanghai Auto Show. The Crozz is an all-electric crossover that is supposed to go on sale in 2020 and compete with Tesla’s Model Y.

Volkswagen is planning to market up to 30 electric vehicles by 2035, Business Insider reported.  The German automotive giant is far from alone, Ford is planning to invest $4.5 billion in electrics and bring out 13 electric models by 2020. Jaguar; part of Tata Motors, and Mercedes, part of Daimler are planning to bring electric SUVS of their own in 2018.

Tesla is also planning to market an electric pickup truck at some point. Fiat Chrysler is talking about building an electric minivan.

Where will the Electricity Come From?

All this raises the interesting question where will the electricity come from? Each of Volkswagen’s filling stations will contain between four and 10 chargers that will supply between 150 and 320 kilowatts of direct current (DC) electricity.

And those numbers are just for cars. They do not take into account an electric semi-tractor; or heavy truck, which would require several times the juice of a car. A semi-tractor trailer rig can weigh up to 80,000 pounds (36,287.39 kilograms) or 40 tons (36.29 metric tons) in the United States. Considering that the average semi-tractor drives 45,000 miles (64,373.76 kilometers) a year and there are around 1.9 million of them on the road, that’s going to require a lot of electricity.

Therefore it’s obvious that Musk and other auto industry executives are expecting a vast increase in the electricity supply real soon. Since increased coal production and new nuclear power plants are unlikely we need to ask: where will that electricity come from?

One possibility is solar panels which are getting more common and efficient. Tesla is even planning to market roof tiles that function as solar panels.

Another would be at totally new technology such as low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) or working hot fusion. Perhaps Musk and auto industry executives are aware of some advance the rest of us don’t know about. A strong possibility might be a working LENR device. Other possibilities might include fuel cells.

There is one certainty here, hardnosed businesspeople like auto executives would not be investing this much money in electric vehicles if they did not think there would be a large supply of cheap electricity available. Some sort of paradigm shift in electricity production might be imminent.