2017年11月30日 星期四

Woooo~~~!! Today, 9 hours rainbow hanging on our sky ! Already breaking the world record .... ! Beautiful, isn't it ?!

Woooo~~~!! Today, 9 hours rainbow hanging on our sky ! Already breaking the world record .... ! Beautiful, isn't it ?!


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更新時間 2017年11月30日 PM 7點26分


Automotive Rubber Molded Components Market Set to Witness Steady Growth through 2016-2024

Manufacturing of rubber products has increased significantly across the world. Development of the rubber industry is ascribed to factors such as spatial distribution of resources, technological sophistication in manufacturing, and introduction of wide range of industrially focused products. The manufacture of rubber products can be divided into tire manufacturing and non-tire manufacturing. The non-tire manufacturing segment produces sophisticated and high technology products by molding the uncured rubber, while tire manufacturing segment comprises automotive tire production.

Rubber molding can be defined as the process wherein uncured rubber, usually with inserts of textile, metal, or plastics is cured under high pressure in a mold of desired shape. Most automotive rubber components are manufactured through the molding processes. Generally, three types of rubber molding processes are used: compression, injection, and transfer molding. Under the compression molding process, the uncured rubber is placed in a mold with the sample under pressure for vulcanization. After vulcanization, cavity pressure is applied to the slightly overfilled mold. It is then held closely in a hydraulic press under heated environment to design the shape of the rubber. Injection molding is a semi-continuous process. Piston system and an extruder are combined with heat suppliers in a rubber reservoir, wherein curing of the rubber is done and piston system continuously extrudes the molded rubber out after undergoing all the process. Some basic instructions, such as optimization of the compounds before curing and pressure maintenance of the mold, should be followed during the injection rubber molding process.

The automotive rubber molded components market is expanding globally due to rapid industrialization and globalization and introduction of the latest and cost efficient technologies. The global automotive rubber molded components market is projected to generate revenue of more than US$75 Mn by the end of 2017. Recent growing demand for environmental friendly, and fuel efficient vehicles is driving the market for automotive rubber molded components. Many chemical companies are coming up with better molding processes for the automotive rubber molded components manufacturing and it is expected to generate the annual revenue of more than USD 50 billion by the end of 2022. Technological breakthroughs such as development of environmentally-friendly rubber parts using vegetable soy oil, and the use of EPDM rubber are boosting the market for automotive rubber molded components. Furthermore, implementation of stringent automotive emissions norms has compelled the automotive sector to produce more efficient vehicles with lower carbon emissions.

This is expected to significantly augment the market for lightweight automotive materials made from rubber-molded components. EPDM rubber molds are more durable vis-à-vis the conventional molded rubber parts. They can also withstand high pressure conditions and offer excellent impact resistance and stiffness. This is likely to encourage automakers to adopt EPDM-based molded rubber components. Molded rubber components can significantly reduce the weight of the automotive product and also provide help in reduction of vibrations. Shortage of advanced raw materials in emerging economies and fluctuation in prices of raw materials are the major restraints of the automotive rubber molded components market.

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AB SKF, Continental AG, Cooper-Standard Automotive, DANA Holding s Corporation, and NOK Corporation are the key players operating in the global automotive rubber molded components market. Improvements in the EPA regulations and CAFE standards in The U.S. are also projected to boost the help automotive industry. The automotive rubber molded components market in Asia-Pacific is expanding due to the growth in the automotive industry in India and China; these countries have emerged as major global automotive components manufacturing hubs. Supportive government reforms in these countries have encouraged small and medium scale players to enter the rubber molding market.

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All about liquid silicone rubber with medical devices

Liquid silicone rubber (LSR) injection molding has been around for years. Its use has significantly expanded recently, especially in medical devices and wearable technology. LSR cures faster and offers properties not obtainable with traditional rubber materials, especially heat-resistance, extreme low-temperature flexibility, chemical resistance, biological inertness, and an intrinsic capacity for reducing friction. The material’s expanded use has resulted in the development of new LSR process equipment, especially technology that optimizes LSR injection molding machines to provide the greatest value and ease of use.

LSR basics

The basic raw material for silicone rubber is sand, or silicon dioxide. The material is processed into pure silicon. It is then reacted with methyl chloride, after which a range of processing steps create a variety of silicone types, including liquid.
LSR is a two-component reactive chemical with a thick, almost paste-like consistency, which has been compared to peanut butter. The two components are usually shipped in separate containers. Some medical-grade silicones are shipped in small disposable plastic cartridges. The two components are mixed in a 1:1 ratio to produce a reaction. Accelerated by heat, the two liquids then change to a rubber.
LSR injection molding is an inherently clean production process, because the component chemicals are sealed within a closed system. No ambient air contacts the parts until they are removed from the mold, eliminating issues with dust and moisture. This also improves part quality, because contaminants can diminish the cured rubber’s physical properties.

Medical, wearable benefits

Use of LSR is growing in both traditional rubber applications and those where traditional rubber materials had not previously been used. Key examples include medical devices, wearables, automotive, industrial, and even home goods (see sidebar).
Medical devices – LSR cures completely and quickly. This is especially critical when medical devices are placed in a patient’s body, because it means the device will not leach chemicals and cause potential adverse reactions. By contrast, latex, a material long used in the medical industry, does not fully cure during production, and can lead to adverse patient reactions.
Due to LSR’s chemical makeup, it does not degrade until heated to very high temperatures – much higher than most other polymers could tolerate. So LSR can handle sterilization processes, contributing to its effectiveness for medical and baby care uses.
A final (and critical) advantage is the ability to use LSRs to manufacture drug-eluting devices (DEDs). For example, hormones used in the NuvaRing contraceptive product are injected as an additive in the LSR dosing process. LSR DEDs can also be placed in pacemaker heart catheter leads, enabling the leads to introduce anti-inflammatory medication directly into heart tissue for improved results.
Wearable technology – Wearable fitness trackers, such as FitBit and Jawbone, are largely responsible for the expansion of the flexible wearables category. With its ability to handle both high and low temperatures, ultraviolet (UV), and ozone without degrading, LSR is a better fit than traditional materials for wearable technology used under constant sun exposure. Unlike other rubber, products manufactured with LSR are unlikely to cause adverse skin reactions when worn by users, even for extended periods of time.
Used for delivering oxygen to patients, masks are manufactured from LSR.
Graco Fluid Automation’s technology for two-component LSR injection molding.

Optimized production process

To achieve LSR’s benefits, injection molding machines must be optimized for value and ease of use.
While LSR equipment is similar in many ways to that used in the plastics industry, manufacturing LSR tools in the same manner as a plastic tool can lead to production failures. It is essential to use tool makers with a history of making LSR tooling. Also critical is working with an injection molding machine company that can assist with processing challenges, since successful LSR manufacturing requires that all components work properly together.
The most common pain points in LSR manufacturing are managing waste and controlling color changes and additives. Excess material is wasted because it is difficult to reclaim due to air bubbles, loss of certification, and a lack of lot tracking. Color changes can pose production down time, because extensive cleaning processes between colors can take as long as 4 to 6 hours. In addition, control of color or additives is a concern, especially controlling functional additives in the medical device industry.
Waste and increased additive control can be addressed through closed-loop control system technology. For example, Graco Fluid Automation F4 series systems use a dosing valve and a high-resolution flow meter to provide a closed-loop control for third- and fourth-stream additives, such as color and medications. The system monitors and adjusts to ensure the additive is being dispensed in the appropriate amount. If there is an out-of-tolerance condition, the system stops production.
Controlling the flow of the two primary material components in a closed-loop system allows the machine to react to changes in the material viscosity and the presence of air bubbles. Operators can vary the ratio to ensure the correct amount of material is used.
Closed-loop-control of two-component LSR dispense ratio is achieved by monitoring the material flow using high-resolution, helical gear-style flow meters. The helical gear uses multiple gear teeth to measure the flow in small increments. Flow meter data is fed back to the controller, which operates the valve to alter the flow of material to the flow meter, forming the closed loop.
The increased number of measurements provides more assurance that the machine is running on-ratio, and significantly reduces waste and rework caused by off-ratio dispensing.
The system offers a calibration routine that can be performed by the end user as necessary for a particular process, which also has a significant impact on product quality. The sample is collected and weighed, and resulting data is entered into the display module, calculating the current actual dispense ratio and calibrating the control system.
Other controls monitor processes to reliably manage the LSR system for its entire life cycle. The Graco Control Architecture (GCA), for example, provides longer life cycles than standard PLC products, and has a faster response time than other control architecture types.
Overall, this helps manufacturers reduce waste, ensure proper additive introduction, and control the operation of LSR dispense systems for hassle-free production.
Medical products that contact a patient’s skin are often made from LSR to avoid adverse reactions.

LSR at the leading edge

In a state of rapid expansion, LSR continues to offer new and improved materials to replace older technologies with longer-lasting, more effective solutions. Improvements to LSR physical properties for individual applications mean LSR will likely continue replacing traditional rubber materials in existing industries and possibly others. With the advanced dispense and production technology currently on the market, manufacturing of LSR products can be managed to minimize problems and take full advantage of this material’s wide-ranging potential.

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2017年11月29日 星期三

Why this hi-tech,luxury toilet costs £10000

A warm toilet seat isn’t most people’s idea of heaven, typically indicating a previous occupant only recently departed. And turning to your side to find no toilet paper, only smooth walls and a remote control, may seem positively hellish. However, this remote control has washing and drying options. Press it, and a robot arm slides out underneath you, offering a range of water jet speeds and angles, followed by a hot air finale. When you stand up, the toilet closes its lid, flushes itself, and then self-cleans using UV-light.
The Toto Actilite series with Washlet (the robot washing wand) is commercially available for a mere £10,000 ($12,500). It is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a Japanese brand, but since opening a London office in 2009 it has been trying to break the more squeamish European market, and there are many other competitors on the horizon. Far from being the preserve of the super-rich, such hi-tech toilets may one day improve sanitary care the world over.
It’s not like a car wash - you don’t just sit down and hope for the best
But first, the basics. How does it work? You may be concerned about letting a robot near your private parts, but Floyd Case, UK Specification and Projects Manager at Toto Europe assures me that there is no need for fear. “It’s not like a car wash, you don’t sit down and hope for the best! As you sit down there is a sensor on the seat so it knows you are there. If nothing else you’d notice it’s a heated seat, which is nice, and the deodoriser would work, so it smells good. If you want to wash yourself, you have a remote control with two options – rear wash, which does as the name suggests, or front wash, sometimes called ‘ladies’ wash’.”

(Credit: Toto)
The Toto Actilite range includes a remote-controlled 'wand' with built in hose and dryer (Credit: Toto)

The robot ‘wand’ is then summoned from its pressure-washed enclosed chamber and cleans you with a spray of “around 70 droplets of water per second. You can adjust the position of the wand, the intensity of the water, and of course the temperature, using the remote control. You can then use the dry function to dry you using hot air.”
It is also incredibly hygienic. The flush ‘electrolyses’ the water, which rips up dissolved salts to produce a slightly acidic solution that will kill bacteria. It also contains a UV light that comes on when the lid is closed, which interacts with a ‘photo-catalytic surface’ on the ceramic bowl to break down anything biodegradable.
Toilet hacking
The Satis G-Type, made by Lixil, also a Japanese company, has many similar functions – although it prefers the term ‘nozzle’ to ‘wand’ – and is a relative bargain at around £4,000 ($5,000). Bluetooth-connected, you can control its personal washing functions (spray pattern, water and air pressure) using the “My Satis” smartphone app. The app includes a “toilet diary” so that – if you really wanted to – you can keep track of your bowel movements to monitor your health.
Lixil has had to consider the possibility of hacking – what if someone took control of your nozzle?
As with anything residing in the internet of things, Lixil has had to consider the possibility of hacking – what if someone took control of your nozzle? “There are several steps required to control a Satis toilet remotely,”, says Martin Mizutani, global new product development director of Lixil Water Technology, reassuringly. “Operation of a Satis toilet using a smartphone requires completing a pairing process, which establishes a one-to-one connection between the Satis toilet and a specific smartphone. The function then only works when the toilet lid is open, while the "My Satis" app can only be used by a single user at a time. This prevents any third party from accessing the toilet at that time.”

(Credit: Garv Toilets)
Garv Toilets, used in some of the poorest parts of India, are self-sustainable ​in terms of ​energy usage, ​waste disposal ​and maintenance (Credit: Garv Toilets)

A restaurant review recently talked more about the washlet experience than the food
Both Toto and Lixil are popular in Japan. According to Lixil, some form of warm-water bidet toilet seat is used in more than 80% of Japanese households. But global consumers are proving harder nuts to crack. “Of course there is the giggle-factor,” admits Case. “As Europeans, we’re not used to intimate washing.” That said, Toto have sold over 40 million toilets with washlet wands – which start from around £1,500 ($1,870) – internationally. And beyond the mansions of the mega-rich, they are popular in high-end hotels and restaurants. “It’s one of the last areas that hotels can still be more luxurious [than homes],”says Case. “The washlet experience is quite memorable. There was a restaurant review recently which talked more about the washlet experience than it did the food.”
This may sound like the height of luxury, but there is a more serious need for smarter sanitary technology, and some of these development may benefit the world’s poor as well as the rich. Garv Toilets are free-to-use public toilets in predominantly poor parts of urban India, designed to be ​self-sustainable ​in terms of ​energy usage, ​waste disposal ​and maintenance, with smart technologies such as sensors and radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags integrated into them. Made from gleaming, vandal-proof stainless steel, LED lights and exhaust fans switch on automatically when users open the toilet door. When the visit is over, the same technology automatically activates the floor and toilet pan washing systems. A remote dashboard tracks data on numbers of users and how many times they flushed and used the soap dispensers.
Smarter toilets may also be a crucial element of future healthcare. According to the Toilet Board Coalition, a business network to promote better sanitation, your toilet may even save your life. “They will transform from being dumb buckets that remove waste to smart medical devices that upcycle health data and sync us up with our doctors.”
How far off is that future? According to Floyd Case, Toto is already doing it. “We have sold thousands of toilets for hospitals in Japan, that wash and dry you, but also weigh you and analyse your urine”. In time, he says, domestic toilets will do that too, uploading the data to your smartphone. But they don’t want to rush this technology to market before consumers are ready, he says: “At the moment, people are still wowed by a technology that Japan had 30 years ago.”
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2017年11月27日 星期一

Material gains: Why silicone fits the bill for precise dosing

Markus Rössler, Raumedic outlines how silicone has a crucial role to play in the manufacture of medication and feeding pumps.
They are vitally important, make therapy possible, and they have become an integral part in hospitals or home-care settings: medication and feeding pumps supply patients with essential medication and nutrition.  It is not only the right electronic and mechanical components that are crucial factors, but also the choice of materials for the pump segment. As in so many other areas of medical engineering, silicone plays a prominent role here.
What properties must a product have in order to find a lasting place in the healthcare sector? What are the specifications? It must be biocompatible, and in many cases skin- and blood-compatible as well. Compatibility with common sterilisation processes is usually a key requirement. It should be resistant to heat and cold and display excellent storage stability while maintaining a consistent pump performance. It is also important that the product works reliably and provides precise pumping over long periods of time. For the use in hospitals and in the home-care domain this means always administering the right dose, whether with drugs or in feeding applications. Obviously, no substances should be released from the processed material. So-called ‘extractables’ can have a negative impact on drug formulations.
It all adds up to quite a long list of product-specific requirements, which must in turn be met by the chosen material and its processing methods.  
Silicone – an exceptional material
Silicone is a perfect fit for the requirements of precise dosing and integrity when in contact with medications. Its physical/mechanical properties and the high degree of chemical purity in its formulation are decisive factors in this respect.
Among its mechanical properties, the exceptional resilience of silicone plays a significant role. It has a direct influence on the tubing segment’s pump performance over the entire period of use. The developer can be sure that his pump will always precisely dose and deliver the prescribed and programmed quantity of medication or nutritional solution. To ensure this functionality, the pump segments are subjected to a qualification and validation process as part of the development phase. Upon customer request, each lot or batch manufactured can also be tested during the production phase. The segments are tested for their adherence to pump performance specifications on a custom-built test stand that has the corresponding production pump built in.
To ensure that medications maintain the greatest possible purity, platinum-cured silicone is often preferred over the use of a peroxide catalyst, due to its excellent extractables profile.
Silicone injection moulding vs extrusion
The pump segments available on today’s market are manufactured in two differently manufactured ways. In terms of ‘pure’ production costs for fixed lengths, extruded tubing is generally more economical. However, customer and product requirements with respect to improved precision in delivery rates are becoming ever more demanding. Injection-moulded variants are therefore beginning to draw increased attention. The reason for this is that the diameter tolerance of tubing segments (for both inside and outside diameter) can be reduced by almost half, depending on dimensions and geometry. This fact has a direct positive influence on the dosing accuracy of individual pump segments in the range of 1%. Combined with the development of the appropriate silicone material formulation, in terms of Shore hardness and the type and degree of crosslinking, extremely high dosing accuracies can be achieved for the pump system as a whole over the course of the product lifecycle.
Silicone injection moulding provides added value
The intelligent use of silicone injection moulding technology allows for a range of features to be integrated in a single part. Previously these had to be provided by a more complex component. The advantages include:
  • no component-internal assembly costs
  • · finishing work such as cutting and stamping processes are no longer necessary
  • · precision-shaped edges of the component--> no sharp corners
  • · material is highly particle-free
  • · very narrow tolerances --> very high dosing accuracy
  • · section for air bubble detection
  • · integrated connectors – poka-yoke principle
  • · high degree of design freedom
  • · improved anti-counterfeiting
  • · maximum patient safety
When it comes to pump segments, the extrusion and injection moulding approaches each have their advantages and disadvantages.
information source : https://www.medicalplasticsnews.com/news/material-gains_2/

2017年11月26日 星期日

Intertech's mold price and mass production price service for industry designer

http://www.taiwanmoldmaker.com/ http://www.intertech.net.tw/ http://plasticmoldmaker.blogspot.tw/ -Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Plastic-mold... -Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/taiwan-mo... Hellow…., everyone ! We are Intertech from Taiwan, the No. 1 mold maker and molding factory in Taiwan. This video is going to introduce the “Cooperative Process” in between the industrial designer and us. And in this process, we will use very interesting comic to let everyone understand clearly of our service ! Ok..! Let’s get started Now ! Firstly, the industrial designer will send us 2D, 3D parts design drawings to let us evaluate whether this project can be executed or not. - For the 2D, it is like this…..! This is a flat view drawing ! - For the 3D, it is like this……! This is a three-dimensional view drawing ! You see the parts from different angle ! - Then, going back to the comic, the process will be like this. Secondly, before preparing our quotation, we will check whether the parts design will interfere with the proper structure or not, or such parts design can carry out the production products from making mold or not..! - After clarifying above issue, we will send our mold cost to our customer ! - Then, going back to the comic, the process will be like this. Thirdly, Customer is also interested to know the unit price for making production. Before preparing the unit price quotation, we will ask customer some questions…such as the plastic material that customer selects…, such as the quantity that customer requires. Then, we will make our best unit price offering. - Then, going back to the comic, the process will be like this. Finally, After getting to know the mold making cost and unit product making cost, customer needs to have “Lead Time Idea” for making those things. - We will send them all timing schedule report. - Going back to the comic, the process will be like this So, above is the whole process for introducing our service for making mold and making the parts products for the industrial designer. Welcome to send us your project Now ! We will send our best quotation as soon as possible ! LET’s GET STARTED NOW ! -Email intertech@seed-net.tw -Tel: +886 2 28334646 -Fax: +886 2 28334700 Contact: Debby Hsien Skype: debbyhsien WhatsAPP: +886932866329

2017年11月23日 星期四

Intertech's mold making and parts product service for inventor

Intertech's mold making and parts product service for inventor

http://www.taiwanmoldmaker.com/ http://www.intertech.net.tw/ http://plasticmoldmaker.blogspot.tw/ -Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Plastic-mold-1081123818582123/ -Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/taiwan-mold-maker-injection-molding-factory-743a6570/ 1. 對於發明者,如果你有一個很棒的想法,想要把他做出成品,Intertech 可以幫助你 (For any inventor, if you have a great idea, you want to carry it out to a real product, Intertech can help you !) 2. 首先你需要先有2D/3D,CAD給Intertech 評估報價 First, you need to have 2D, 3D, CAD on hands. And then, you need to give them to Intertech. Intertech will check the design for you to see if it can make the real mold or not. 3. 下一步,我們會報價製作模具的金額給您 In next step, Intertech will send our best mold quotation to you. 4. 若你也需要Intertech 幫您製作成品,我們也很樂意協助報價 If you also need Intertech to produce the parts for you, we will be very happy to help you for providing the cost ideal to you. 5. 最重要的交期,等待確認後會告知你確切時間 For the most important lead time idea, after all is confirmed, Intertech will tell you the needful mold making lead time and parts production lead time. Above is the whole process for introducing our service for making mold and making the parts products for the inventor. Welcome to send us your project Now ! We will send our best quotation as soon as possible ! LET’s GET STARTED NOW ! -Email intertech@seed-net.tw -Tel: +886 2 28334646 -Fax: +886 2 28334700 Contact: Debby Hsien Skype: debbyhsien WhatsAPP: +886932866329

2017年11月17日 星期五

Elon Musk lifts the veil on Tesla's electric truck of the future – and teases a new sports car

Elon Musk unveiled the new Tesla Semi on Thursday night — and surprised everybody with a working prototype of a new Roadster sports car whose purpose, he said, is to “give a hard-core smackdown to gasoline cars.”
Musk claims the car will rocket zero to 60 miles per hour in 1.9 seconds — the first production car to perform the feat in under 2 seconds, he said. Top speed is 250 mph. Price: $200,000.
“It’s just stupid,” he said excitedly, with an enthusiastic crowd of several hundred serving as cheerleaders and on-again, off-again girlfriend actress Amber Heard watching from the wings.
He said production is aimed at 2020.
He was sketchy about the new electric Tesla Semi. Eyebrows popped high when he claimed a range of 500 miles, far more than anyone anticipated. He provided no detail about the size and weight of the battery, but did assert that total operating costs would be lower than for a diesel-driven truck. Experts will be weighing in Friday on how that’s possible.
The truck is scheduled for production in 2019, Musk said.
Whether Tesla can build it in sufficient numbers, with acceptable levels of quality, at a total cost of ownership that makes sense to shipping fleet executives and other bulk buyers of heavy trucks is a different question.
Other truck makers, from International to Volvo to Nikola to Mercedes-Benz, are also developing electric trucks with self-driving capabilities. Tesla won’t have the market to itself.
Before Musk’s theatrics, reporters were led down a spotlighted outdoor corridor flanked by boxed hedges and into a large room that contained four big rigs: two Teslas, a Freightliner Cascadia, and an International. The reporters tended to call the Tesla models “impressive” in appearance.
No diesel engine under the hood means plenty of room in the cab. Getting in and out is more like climbing stairs than ascending a step ladder. A tall man can comfortably stand in the Tesla cab. The steering wheel is center mounted, with a touch screen on either side. The dashboard is stark, with few gauges, buttons, stalks, or knobs.
The Freightliner and the International cabs were low-ceilinged, crowded and, by comparison, claustrophobic. Tesla representatives said they did not know the model years, though they did not appear to be the latest and the interiors were certainly not the highest end.
Tesla is touting greater safety. “Jackknifing is prevented due to the Semi’s onboard sensors that detect instability and react with positive or negative torque to each wheel while independently actuating all brakes,” a company handout said.
“Jackknifing with this truck is gone,” Musk said. “You don’t have to worry about it.”
Musk claimed the Tesla Semi would go from zero to 60 mph in 5 seconds compared with 15 seconds for a diesel truck. He also said it would climb a 5%-grade hill at 65 mph, compared with a diesel’s 45 mph.
“Megachargers” will be available “worldwide” to recharge trucks to a 400-mile range in 30 minutes. No detail on the megachargers was provided, except that they will be solar-powered. “Your truck is running on sunlight,” he said.
Although Tesla set the car industry afire by proving there was a market for cool-looking high-performance electric cars, the company is a fast follower in electric trucks.
Surround cameras minimize blind spots, Tesla said. The trucks will be equipped with enhanced autopilot and other self-drive and safety features such as automatic emergency braking, automatic lane keeping and lane departure warning.
Practically all the world’s major truck manufacturers are developing electric-drive models, and plenty of start-ups are too — garbage trucks, school buses, delivery vans, medium-duty trucks, big rigs. Some are already deployed.
The profit margins for trucks are in the mid-teens, more than twice as much as for cars. Last year, 249,952 heavy duty trucks were sold in North America. But the heavy truck business is slow-growing overall — only about 0.6% a year, a rate that consulting firm Deloitte expects to continue until 2026.
Because electric trucks are starting from a small base of less than 1% of the total truck market, the segment’s growth rate will be faster. Still, said Antti Lindstrom of IHS Markit, electric penetration of the big-rig market “isn’t going to be very significant until after 2025 or 2030. And even then, it will be very limited compared to the total number of trucks being sold.”
Tesla “clearly sees the promise” of electric trucks, said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at Autotrader. But the company will need to get a lot better at vehicle quality to compete for a customer base that is less forgiving than passenger-car buyers.
Tesla’s Model X SUV was recently named least reliable in its class by Consumer Reports, and the rollout of the Model 3 sedan has been delayed by production problems at the company’s Fremont auto factory and its Gigafactory battery plant in Nevada.
“The truck is a tool for making money,” Krebs said. “When a truck is out of commission, money is lost. In contrast, a Tesla car owner has other vehicles in the household fleet to drive if the vehicle isn’t operational.”
Musk has promised a long line of new vehicle possibilities, including the big rig, a pickup truck and, probably next up, the Model Y crossover. Tesla will sell about 100,000 vehicles this year, most of them the luxury Model S sedan and Model X sport utility.
That number will include a trickle of Model 3s, a less-expensive sedan. Tesla hopes to build several hundred thousand Model 3s a year, but the car is off to a slow start as Musk grapples with what he calls “production hell” at his factories.
The Tesla Semi will share some components with the Model 3, most notably its four electric motors. Not the battery pack, though. Tesla said the truck will have a different battery setup, more akin to those used in its Powerwall home and industrial storage units than to the batteries for its cars.
Michael Harley of Kelley Blue Book questions Tesla’s strategic direction in targeting long-haul trucks.
“The company has incorrectly aimed its sights,” he said. Batteries remain too heavy and expensive for long-haul routes, he said. “A more appropriate target … would be the short-haul, or so-called last-mile delivery.”
Most of the electric big rigs coming on the market will be built for short-haul routes, such as moving freight from an ocean port to a distribution center.
Platooning could change that equation. In a truck platoon, several big rigs pack up close enough together to be drawn along by the aerodynamic draft of the vehicle ahead, like cyclists lined up in a bike race. That would extend the range of the batteries in the following truck.
The distance is maintained by sensors attached to a computer. Platooning is legal in eight states including Michigan, Texas and Nevada. Limited testing is allowed in Florida and Utah. Human drivers are required in each truck.
Tesla may have one enthusiastic user locked up: Company watchers would not be surprised if Musk starts using the Tesla Semi to ship batteries 240 miles from Nevada to the Fremont assembly plant. But California law does not allow vehicle platoons.
Tesla is taking reservations for the truck, which will bring needed capital to the cash-burning company.