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16th of January 2018

Automotive



UPS pre-orders 125 Tesla electric semi-trucks -- largest order yet

Tesla hopes to convince the trucking community that it can build an affordable electric big rig with the range and cargo capacity to compete with relatively low-cost, time-tested diesel trucks.

United Parcel Service Inc. said on Tuesday it is buying 125 Tesla Inc. all-electric semi-trucks, the largest order for the big rig so far, as the package delivery company expands its fleet of alternative-fuel vehicles.

Tesla is trying to convince the trucking community it can build an affordable electric big rig with the range and cargo capacity to compete with relatively low-cost, time-tested diesel trucks. This is the largest public order of the big rig so far, Tesla said.

The Tesla trucks will cost around $200,000 each for a total order of about $25 million. UPS expects the semi-trucks, the big rigs that haul freight along America's highways, will have a lower total cost of ownership than conventional vehicles, which run about $120,000.

Tesla has received pre-orders from such major companies as Wal-Mart, fleet operator J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. and food service distributor Sysco Corp.

Prior to UPS, the largest single pre-order came from PepsiCo Inc, for 100 trucks. 

UPS said it has provided Tesla with real-world routing information as part of its evaluation of the vehicle's expected performance.

"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.

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