Motor size for an Electric Semi

I’m a truck driver and I’m looking into the possibility of converting a freightliner cascadia with a 455hp Detroit DD15 Diesel engine. it will weigh up to 80,000lbs and have a 10 speed transmission. The current engine generally ranges from 1000-2000 rpm shifting around 1500 rpm. My main questions at this point are what size motor will I need and how much power will I need. I generally drive 8-11 hours a day ranging from 500-700 miles a day. My idea is to have a diesel generator on board. The generator can run 24 hours if it needs to to catch up.

You can do anything . HOWEVER: you are describing a Hybrid. The big problem is weight. The fact that extra weight cuts into payload, makes this is a hard nut to crack.

The advantage is that a smaller diesel can be used and the required acceleration and passing horsepower requirements can be made up from the battery pack. This setup is successful in the passenger car because of the lighter weight of the vehicle and the absence of the requirement to carry freight. The Hybrid requires all the components you have today plus a generator, battery pack and controller. While the Diesel will be smaller, the generator and battery pack will, in the best case replace the weight reduction of the motor. But more likely significantly add weight.

Research is heavy in both Hybrid and straight electric freight hauling vehicles. Success in local delivery vehicles is current and vehicles with these features are available. Success in 'over the road vehicles" not so much. In the writers opinion the Hybrid model has the better chance of becoming reality than a straight electric.

With large companies expending millions of dollars on researching this mode of transportation It’s not imaginable that an individual could duplicate or exceed in a venture of this type.

However with all this being said, I invite you to prove me wrong.



Thank you for your reply. My truck empty weighs roughly 33,000lbs and according to Detroit the engine weighs 2,700lbs. There is a new truck coming out called nikola one This truck is hydrogen/ electric powered and has 1000hp with 2000 ft lbs of torque. Are these the numbers I should be looking at as well?

This is the information I found on the Diesel engine

If the truck that that engine accommodates requires the listed torque specification that is what you have to design for.

However you have to determine what the AVERAGE load is over time. and size your generator, motor and diesel engine to that level. The battery pack will supply power when load exceeds the capacity of the diesel. The combination of of the directly connected power from the diesel and electric motor assist will be used together. When load is less than capacity the diesel will recharge the battery pack

This a Hybrid system with mechanical coupling. A straight system uses a genorater, battery Pack and electric motor drive with no mechanical. connections