By December 19, 2017 Read More →

125 Tesla Semi trucks reserved by UPS, largest order ever

Tesla Semi

Elon Musk unveiled the Tesla Semi, an all electric big rig, on November 17. Seth Clevenger/Transport Topics photo.

Tesla Semi trucks to cost about $200,000 each

Reuters reports United Parcel Service Inc announced on Tuesday that it will buy 125 Tesla Semi trucks as the delivery company expands its fleet of alternative-fuel vehicles.

The all electric big rigs will cost around $200,000 each, bringing the total UPS purchase to about $25 million.  The UPS purchase is the largest single pre-order to date, besting PepsiCo Inc’s recent order of 100 trucks.

“For more than a century, UPS has led the industry in testing and implementing new technologies for more efficient fleet operations. We look forward to expanding further our commitment to fleet excellence with Tesla,” said Juan Perez, chief information and engineering officer said in a press release.

“These groundbreaking electric tractors are poised to usher in a new era in improved safety, reduced environmental impact, and reduced cost of ownership.”

Tesla says its semi truck will be in production by 2019 and will have a range of 500 miles on a single charge.  The Palo Alto-based company says its semi truck will also have an unparalleled cabin experience for drivers and will offer safety enhancements as well as significantly reduced long-term cost of ownership.

Safety features of the Tesla Semi include automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, automated lane guidance, and brake-by-wire and steer-by-wire with redundancy. UPS says Tesla’s driver-assistance features have been found by the U.S. government to reduce crash rates by 40 per cent.

UPS is working with Tesla to provide data on how its trucks function in its real-world routes to help Tesla evaluate how the semi should perform for the global delivery company.

“As with any introductory technology for our fleet, we want to make sure it’s in a position to succeed,” Scott Phillippi, UPS senior director for automotive maintenance and engineering for international operations, told Reuters.

Phillippi says the limited purchase of Tesla trucks will allow the company to evaluate the vehicles.  He added the semis will mostly be used in the United States and Tesla will provide consultation and support concerning charging infrastructure.

“We have high expectations and are very optimistic that this will be a good product and it will have firm support from Tesla to make it work,” Phillippi said.

As part of its overall commitment to cut its absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 12 per cent by 2025, UPS already employs an alternative fuel fleet, including electric, hybrid electric, hydraulic hybrid, ethanol, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), propane, and renewable natural gas (RNG)/biomethane vehicles.

Reuters reports that with the UPS order, Tesla now has pre-orders for at least 410 Tesla Semi trucks.


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