Bill Gates threw some cold water at Tesla’s electric truck project known as “Tesla Semi” and recent comments from Elon Musk about the possibility of producing commercial electric planes.
Electric vehicle specialist Electrek published an article by Fred Lambert about Gates’ doubts about the power of electric power to move large vehicles such as trucks or aircraft long distances.
In recent years, Gates has focused on using his wealth to try to fix the world’s major problems, receiving more attention recently because of his early warnings that the world was not prepared for a serious epidemic before the Corona crisis.
Bill Gates wrote earlier about how the Corona epidemic is just a warning to climate change, about the terrible suffering and economic hardships of the past several months, and about the problems of climate change that could turn into a more devastating scourge.
In a new blog, he stressed the need for electricity for public transport to address climate change, yet he made some controversial comments about the electrical sectors.
Gates points out that the belief that passenger cars will be electric is indeed an illusion, and in addition, increased competition in the market means that there are more options available to customers than ever before, from compact sedans to stylish sports cars.
The founder of Microsoft, who used to drive a Tesla X- model, ignored Tesla’s well-known cybertruck when he talked about electric trucks.
Gates questioned the possibility of making semielectric trucks such as The Tesla Semi and Electric Aircraft soon.
“The problem is that the batteries are big and heavy, the more weight you’re trying to move, the more batteries you need to operate the car, but the more you use the batteries, the more weight you add and the more energy you need,” Gates said.
“Even with major breakthroughs in battery technology, electric cars are probably not a viable solution to things like 18-wheel vehicles, cargo ships and passenger planes, electricity works when you need to travel short distances, but we need a different solution for long-distance heavy vehicles,” he said.
Gates’ statement comes despite the fact that many of the half-electric truck programs , such as The Tesla Semi and Freight elinerCascadia, have emerged as prototypes.
As for electric aircraft, Tesla’s CEO predicted that it would become viable once the batteries reached a power density of 400 W/kg, which many battery manufacturers are currently working on.
Instead, Gates proposes biofuels as a possible alternative to batteries in large transportation sectors.
The author says he won’t pretend to be smarter than Bill Gates, but he hopes to reconsider these comments, because Gates doesn’t look at them the right way.
The author refutes the theory that batteries are large and heavy by saying that these vehicles (trucks, cargo ships and aircraft) have not reached maximum efficiency to see if electric batteries can move them.
Electric cars, for example, have stepped up their efforts to improve efficiency in order to use fewer batteries in their cars and have found considerable scope for improvements.
When trucks and aircraft are started to be equipped with electricity, there will probably be new improvements in efficiency, because “need is the mother of invention”, and we have not yet had this need.
As for batteries, the author says it’s crazy that he doesn’t think it’s going to get better enough to enable trucks and electric planes to move, especially when you know gates is a major investor in Quantumscape, which claims its technology will enable 500 W/kg batteries to be produced.