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article imageTesla snags largest truck order yet — UPS wants 125 trucks

By Karen Graham     Dec 20, 2017 in Business
United Parcel Service announced on Tuesday it is buying 125 Tesla all-electric trucks, the largest known order so far and surpassing PepsiCo's order of 100 of the trucks.
Since unveiling its truck last month, Tesla has already received a number of big orders, including PepsiCo's order for 100, while Anheuser-Busch ordered 40, and Walmart, DHL, and Loblaws also have pre-orders.
With a sleek, aerodynamic profile, the Tesla Semi is billed as quicker and more economical than today's diesel-powered trucks. The Semi is designed to run up to 500 miles on a single charge, and according to UPS, this will help in meeting the company's targets for reducing emissions and gasoline use.
The range of the batteries is a critical feature of long-haul all-electric trucks. Tesla claims its Semi, which could be recharged at the firm's 1,000 free Supercharger stations worldwide, can save 20 percent over conventional transport rigs with fuel and insurance factored in — while delivering a "better experience" for truck drivers through its cab design.
Tesla Chairman and CEO Elon Musk unveils the new electric "Semi" Truck on November 16  201...
Tesla Chairman and CEO Elon Musk unveils the new electric "Semi" Truck on November 16, 2017 in Hawthorne, California
Veronique DUPONT, AFP
UPS has provided data to Tesla on how their current fleet of trucks perform on their real-world routes in order to evaluate how the Semi will perform in the company's fleet.
“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.
"These groundbreaking electric tractors are poised to usher in a new era in improved safety, reduced environmental impact, and reduced cost of ownership," said UPS chief information and engineering officer Juan Perez, according to CTV News.
The Tesla Semi comes with four independent electric motors and a transmission that requires no shifting of gears. The Semi can accelerate to 60 miles (100 kilometers) per hour in five seconds, reaching that speed in 20 seconds while hauling a maximum 80,000 pound (36,000 kilograms) load, according to Tesla.
Fuso Canter 3C13  8th Generation in Dueñas  Spain. (Image dated: March 6  2017).
Fuso Canter 3C13, 8th Generation in Dueñas, Spain. (Image dated: March 6, 2017).
UPS a leader in alternative fuel fleet
This latest purchase of Tesla Semis expected to cost between $150,000 and $200,000 (127,000 to 170,000 euros) for a total of $25 million, will help to meet the company's goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 12 percent within the next seven years.
Additionally, by 2020, the company wants at least 25 percent of its newly purchased vehicles to come with advanced technology or run on alternative fuel. UPS has over 8,500 alternative fuel or advanced technology vehicles in its fleet including all-electric, hybrid, ethanol, compressed natural gas, hydraulic hybrid, liquefied natural gas, propane and renewable natural gas vehicles.
The Tesla Model 3.
The Tesla Model 3.
The ball is now in Tesla's court
Yes, the Tesla Semi will be a game-changer for the trucking industry, however, there is some concern that production glitches, like those that have already postponed Tesla's Model 3 Sedan, may raise their ugly heads with the Semi production line.
"We've come to expect very forward-thinking products from Tesla," said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst for the auto research firm Kelley Blue Book who said the Tesla Semi concept "makes a lot of sense" for vehicles with predictable routes like garbage trucks or school buses.
But Lindland also points out that Elon Musk "is not great at keeping deadlines" and that "we need to add weeks, months or years" to his timetable. The Semi is supposed to go into production in 2019 with first deliveries expected in 2020.
More about Tesla, electric truck, UPS, Pepsico, energy goals
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