UPS gets in line for 125 Tesla electric Semi trucks

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The largest trucking fleet in the U.S. is the latest customer for an all-electric tractor expected to be available in 2019.

Inside the Tesla SemiInside the Tesla Semi

United Parcel Service Tuesday said it is buying 125 Tesla Semi trucks, the largest order for the new vehicle so far. UPS said in a statement on its website the new tractors will join its alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle fleet, which includes  trucks and tractors propelled by electricity, natural gas, propane and other non-traditional fuels.

The UPS order comes just as California toughens its already strict emissions policies. The state’s recently announced plan calls for putting more “zero-emissions vehicles” on its highways. An NPR report on the plan said, “The plan, which aims to cut or eliminate diesel trucks, provides $208 million in incentives for truck and bus fleets to go green by purchasing electric vehicles. Another $190 million will go toward making freight operations less polluting.”

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

UPS joins a growing list of companies ordering Semis, which rolled out to considerable fanfare and media coverage Nov. 16 after previous delays. Also lining up to buy the futuristic-looking tractors are:

  • Pepsi
  • Walmart
  • J.B. Hunt
  • Sysco
  • Schneider
  • Anheuser-Busch

The Reuters news service is reporting “Tesla has at least 410 pre-orders in hand.”