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Anheuser Busch preorders 40 Tesla Semi's.


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History is littered with big egos who thought they could teach the automotive world a thing or two. One of the best examples is Henry J Kaiser, who at least teamed up with a real automotive guy Joseph Frazer to try right after WWII, and formed Kaiser-Frazer Automobile Company.

And that company had everything going for it, a sellers market place, plenty of cash, significant successes in various big industrial businesses and defense contracts, in other words a great track record. 

But Henry J Kaiser was his own worst enemy. After just a few years Joe Frazer left the partnership and in less than 7 years the Kaiser-Frazer Company stopped making cars and had to settle with a small acquisition called Willys-Overland, making the Jeep, a very small specialty vehicle  manufacturer in Toledo OH. Their dreams of becoming one of the big 3 were completely dashed.

The marketplace is ruthless with promises broken and delays. This NY Times article(not my favorite new source) enumerates some of Tesla's problems, which are being glossed over by most main stream media and certainly an over exuberant stock market. 


If you want to read the best book on Kaiser-Frazer, it is "The Last Onslaught on Detroit" by Richard Langworth. Published in the 1970's when the author, a friend of mine was able to interview the players in the story before they passed away. 












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The thing about Anheuser-busch is they are always looking for ways to save money. When they sold out to that company in Belgium the beer delivery guys lost their semi trucks. In this part of the country there are small towns all spread out. The delivery guys will drive a few hundred miles a day. So they drive the beer truck.  In all infinite wisdom the new company took their trucks away and gave them vans. Thinking a van gets way better mileage than a big ole semi truck. Problem was they couldn't get all their product in one load. Having to make several trips daily back to the distributor. After several months of this they got their trucks back.

 I was long haul trucking I hauled many many loads of beer from St Louis. Id say these new Tesla trucks will be used for inner city deliveries rather then long haul. I could be wrong. It will be interesting to see how well these trucks do.

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My big question is why companies like Daimler, Paccar, Siemens, or one of the big Japanese electric firms aren't jumping all over the idea? GE would be a good candidate to exploit this technology if messrs Welsh and Immelt didn't run them directly into the ground.  Is it because they are all backward thinking lack of innovation type of places, or they realize the significant hurdles and they are going to let Musk trip all over them. Then go in and pick up the pieces and make some real dough. 

The diesel/electric idea would seem to have some merit except for the weight penalty. And in this day and age you aren't going to get any investment backing unless it is totally "green". And for the moment everyone seems to have lost their collective mind thinking that electric vehicles don't pollute. Or the enormous shift in infrastructure this sort of change is going to require. 

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Cummins released their version in Sept: 


Daimler released there's in Oct:


Most of the mining equipment is diesel generators driving electric motors, many, many, many hours on these rigs over the years with the heaviest loads imaginable:





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