Tech guru Bill Gates recently shared a blog post casting doubt on the practicality of the Tesla Semi.
In the August 24 blog post, which focuses on zero-emissions travel options, the Microsoft co-founder says that Electric Vehicles (EVs) are a great option for short and medium hauls, but that the batteries needed to power Elon Musk’s Tesla Semi are unlikely to work in real-world applications:
The problem is that batteries are big and heavy. The more weight you’re trying to move, the more batteries you need to power the vehicle. But the more batteries you use, the more weight you add—and the more power you need. Even with big breakthroughs in battery technology, electric vehicles will probably never be a practical solution for things like 18-wheelers, cargo ships, and passenger jets. Electricity works when you need to cover short distances, but we need a different solution for heavy, long-haul vehicles.
Gates goes on to suggest that biofuels or electrofuels could be a lower-emmission alternative to EVs.
The Tesla Semi was unveiled back in 2017 with an expected production slated to begin in 2019. Musk says that the Tesla Semi will have a range of up to 500 miles. Several major companies including Walmart, PepsiCo, Sysco, JB Hunt, and UPS have already placed orders for Tesla Semis.
In June 2020, Musk confirmed that he was ramping up production on the Tesla Semi to begin to bring it to market.