If I don’t have the figures way way off- covering the average tractor trailer box on the sides and roof with PV cells could produce the equivalent of 27 gallons of gasoline or 1000 KWH per average day of of average sunlight in the US . That amount would take the average truck in the US 194 miles at 7.2 mpg (average fuel efficiency requirement of 2014.) The average long haul in the US is 500 miles.
But the thing is Tesla’s electric motors are more than 6x more efficient than higher end gas engines of its competitor cars (yes cars not trucks.) A P85D produces about double the HP of a rig and just about meets the lower end torque requirement. But instead of 7.2mpg it gets 137 mpg based on 85kwh battery and 320 mile range. If this carried over a truck might get closer to 1300 miles per day. Either way it seems likely that going full electric with a limited battery range and covering the tractor in PV cells could eliminate the trucking industry fuel bill and cut 150 billion a year from petrol industry revenue.
Let us not forget that trains, tanks and dump trucks tend to be electric drive, so there is no suggesting that electric drive doesn’t scale- it scales better. The key here would be PV plus battery. The battery where needed would be trickle charged by the truck PV or by the batteries back at the depot also from solar.
I think Tesla already has this in mind. The average rig engine will give the owner a million miles and Tesla is finishing the touches on upping the ratings on its electric motors to a million miles.
That ought to go a long way toward the absolutely vital goal of completely cancelling US petrol industry profit from now until forever. If they put up too much fuss there is always the Yukos treatment. Eliminating petrol industry profit is one of the most important things we can do, after we get it low enough we can nationalize and then turn the industry off forever.
Update: All the math is wrong above it seems but second very rough attempt (need a pro) still holds out hope.