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Old 06-20-2011, 06:42 PM   #1
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Electric Semi

Pardon if this has already been posted here.
Cool website I found on google about electric/diesel semi trucks. Seems it's a mercedes rig. They did not mention the ability to grid charge, but I can imagine it would be part of the deal to reduce diesel consumption. Note the 6kw's of renewables on the roof! "White Collar" trucking eh....

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Old 06-21-2011, 05:09 AM   #2
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Re: Electric Semi

Ugh. The hybrid technology sounds great. The PV panels? Great. The rest...not so great.

Like the series hybrid Volt, this internal combustion engine is used only to generate electricity to run the truck as an EV, never to power the vehicle.
...and like the Volt, will that actually turn out to be a white lie?

The driver would take an elevator to his cab from the sidewalk side; safer and easier than vertical steps.

When the driver is seated, he inserts his personal memory card into its slot.

the supercomputer would simplify the driving experience by assisting or controlling its elements, thereby leaving the driver with a simplified role.

5. The supercomputer would be developed to operate in an advanced state of intelligence that would replace or complement conventional human command. It would have the capacity to sense the driving situation and environment. Thus, the supercomputer would know the best course of action to take in any situation (e.g. accident avoidance, driveline performance management, headlight activation, etc) and would act accordingly.

6. The driver would now assume an administrative/supervisory role, as the vehicle handles the details. This would not only provide for an effortless driving experience, but it would also simplify driver training while encouraging driver recruitment
This is where it goes from "interesting and possibly useful concept" to "who do you think the market is for this, anyway?". The trucking industry would not accept any of that gratuitous crap and they certainly wouldn't pay for it.

truck driving could be transformed into a “white-collar” profession.
No, it would be transformed from a skilled profession into an unskilled profession. If that truck became common enough for laws to be adjusted for it, people would get minimum wage to drive it.

During wet conditions, the water-resistant windscreen and a series of air jets keep the windscreen clear, eliminating the need for distracting wipers.
Somehow I see this not working out well at all. Wipers are annoying but are they really more distracting on a big rig than a passenger vehicle?

Last but not least of this sophisticated design; to help avoid the fast food life on the road – the console next to the workstation would store items required for living and would include a fridge, sink, microwave, coffeemaker, and a pantry.
A microwave isn't going to be much better. You can either make frozen TV dinners or you can make soggy nasty DIY cooking. I love microwaves but depending on a microwave every day you won't improve much over fast food. With all that advanced technology, you'd think they could make the microwave an integrated microwave+toaster oven+convection oven; that integration technology has been around for at least 20 years and it would still be the cheapest gadget on the whole truck.
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