Tesla has delivered its first electric truck, the Semi: heavy trucks also become “green”

The December 1 delivery to PepsiCo of a tractor capable of moving more than 30 tons over a distance of 800 km without emitting any pollutants has swung freight transport into a new era. But Tesla is not alone, other manufacturers present prototypes or even enter this market with all-electric or hydrogen hybrids.

Inevitably, he has the physique of a mirror wardrobe, he is a heavyweight. But there is this machined aerodynamics and this line, which blocks the nose and defines the lower, more dug, a pencil stroke that we find on the cars in the series. And Tesla’s T.

By delivering its first Semi, on the 1steh December, the American undoubtedly initiated a fundamental transformation of road freight transport. Its mutation towards carbon neutrality. And if this one is electric, others will run on hydrogen.

Delivered our first Tesla Semis last week ✌️ pic.twitter.com/4o2tlkDcyH

—Tesla (@Tesla) December 7, 2022

37 tons, 70% autonomy in 30 minutes

Introduced in 2017, the Semi has since been anticipated by many as the first step in this revolution. However, it took five years for Elon Musk to orchestrate the delivery of his first example to PepsiCo and reveal the characteristics of this first commercially functioning electric tractor. They are quite spectacular if kept.

The Tesla Semi goes 500 miles, fully loaded, on a single charge pic.twitter.com/iZzomLcwZF

—Tesla (@Tesla) December 2, 2022

Tesla claims a range of 800 km per charge. charging for this 37-ton machine, at the central driving position. The “truck” is also capable of reaching a speed of 60 miles (97 km/h) in twenty seconds and holding it, uphill or downhill, powered by three motors on the two axles located at the rear. Its battery recovers up to “70% autonomy in thirty minutes”it is claimed.

Electricity, but also hydrogen

The Texas company aims for 50,000 deliveries by 2024, but it is not the only one in this niche. In Europe, the German Quantron works on a MAN basis. Renault Trucks in France will put a T E-Tech of 666 hp, 44 t and a range on the road in early 2023 “up to 500 km with a medium-speed charge (250 kW) in one hour”, explains the producer from Lyon. In the US, the Nikola company is developing the TRE together with Italian Iveco, to name a few examples. The special feature of the Nikola TRE and Quantron QHM FCEV will be electric hybrids and hydrogen hybrids, a technology that changes the game on several levels.

Renault Trucks T E-Tech will have six packs of lithium-ion batteries for 300 km of autonomy
Renault trucks

Contained in a tank, the hydrogen, combined with the oxygen in the air, is converted by a fuel cell into electricity, and this supplies the powertrain. Precisely the configuration chosen by the CATHyOPÉ consortium, which brings together the French Carrefour, GreenGT Technologies and the Vaucluse shipping company Chabas. The environmental interest is several. “No emission of fine particles, NOx or CO2”the engine is silent, only rejects “water in the form of steam” and the full of hydrogen is made “in a time of fifteen minutes, as with a diesel vehicle”, list Aurélien Coudray. In addition to that, this drag chain offers power (“530 hp”for the French protester), autonomy (“450 to 500 km”) and load capacity required for heavy transport.

The CATHyOPÉ truck and trailer combination offers the performance of a 44 t diesel engine.

The CATHyOPÉ truck and trailer combination offers the performance of a 44 t diesel engine.
CATHYOPE – Rémi Chaillaud

CATHyOPÉ, demonstrator approved soon

Aurélien Coudray coordinated the project for the consortium. An adventure born from the meeting of the approaches of the three partners. Chabas had so soon “2011 Objectif complied with the CO charter2 Ademe, to reduce its emissions” ; Carrefour pushed its carriers in this direction as part of its CSR approach, and the GreenGT design office developed a motorized racing car along these lines. Helped by Adème, which provided 4.2 of the 9.7 million euros needed, “the challenge was to apply this technology to a truck”continues Aurélien Coudray, dedicated to the transport of goods “under controlled temperature”.

Find in pictures, the demonstration of #KATHYOPE below #24Htrucksaccompanied by LMPH2G, the program’s electric hydrogen racing prototype @MissionH24 created in collaboration with#CO and GreenGT.#BREATHING #green #gruppechabas #Crossroads #brintnu #fuelcell #FCEV pic.twitter.com/GAGDXqmKgJ

— GreenGT (@GreenGTOfficiel) 7 October 2022

CATHyOPÉ, a refrigerated 44t unveiled in March, has been on the road a lot since then. “Optimization and reliability test, bench test, on private roads, up to 97 km/hdetails of the program coordinator. It was made to travel several hundred kilometers, loaded, to prepare for the homologation phase in early 2023.“Open road tests will still be necessary before the machine is put into operation for the benefit of the distribution giant, for sure “in a very urban environment. It will be in the seams for low emission zones.”

Train rather than build

“None of the three CATHyOPÉ partners is intended to become a car manufacturertip Aurélien Coudray. The rest of the project is about transferring technology and getting the big manufacturers to take over. We mostly saw the competence development aspect.”

Chabas, GreenGT and CCI of Var, the department where the design office is located, have thus created a structure, HyVar, and developed a training offer dedicated to this type of machine. “Driving a hydrogen vehicle, maintenance, how to fill up, etc., professions need to evolve, the need for training will be significant”notes Aurélien Coudray.

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