FedEx ordered 20 Tesla Semi trucks to include in their fleet as a part of their investment to improving road safety and reducing environmental impact.
FedEx stated in a press release that the ordered truck would be used in the FedEx “less-than-truckload” unit. So, these trucks are not going to be used over large distance but on short-haul routes.
“Our investment in these trucks is part of our commitment to improving road safety while also reducing our environmental impact.”
Mike Ducker, CEO of FedEx Freight, said “Our investment in these trucks is part of our commitment to improving road safety while also reducing our environmental impact.”
FedEx is a new entry to the list of major corporations which have placed pre-order for fully-electric Tesla trucks. The order is a testament to the reliability of Tesla’s innovation and it will encourage other freight corporations to try the new Semi electric truck.
However, FedEx’s order is small when compared to UPS and Pepsico which have reserved 125 and 100 electric trucks, respectively.
Tesla’s electric trucks are making a successful entry into freight and logistics industry but the most excited firms seem to be those involved in food and beverage industries. PepsiCo, Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser), Walmart, DHL, Sysco, Loblaws have all reserved the new EVs.
The order placed by these firms constitute a very small part of their total fleet but the fact that Tesla has not yet started producing trucks makes the pre-orders impressive and a huge success for Tesla.
Tesla unveiled Semi in a press conference in November last year. Tesla has proposed two Semi variants for 300 miles and 500 miles. They have been priced at $150,000 and $180,000 respectively, which makes FedEx’s order worth between $3 million and $4 million.
Tesla claimed that Semi would reach 0-60 mph in 20 seconds with a load of 80,000 kg. It would be charged to 80% in just 30 minutes. Semi is equipped with state-of-the-art safety features and smart navigation support.
It also supports Enhanced Autopilot for automatic emergency braking, automatic lane keeping, and lane departure warning. Moreover, Tesla promises 20% saving on the per-mile operating costs compared to conventional trucks.
This would certainly pay back the initial high cost of the trucks in a few years.
Tesla Semi has many advantages over conventional diesel trucks. They are silent and emission-free which make them ideal for use in the residential neighborhood.
The power needed for refrigeration, gate-lifting and other systems can be drawn from the batteries directly which is more efficient than the traditional method employed in diesel trucks and helps avoid idling.
The batteries have also proved to be more efficient than diesel-powered engines. These trucks would be charged using MegaChargers, which would be powered by clean energy.
It seems likely that FedEx and other corporations would help Tesla install these chargers at strategic points. Prototypes of Semi have been located in Dallas, Silicon Valley, and other places.
The pre-order by FedEx is not the whole story. It is just a hint to an environment-friendly, smart and safe fleet of electric trucks owned by FedEx in the coming years, which would be powered, most probably, by Tesla.
The Tesla Semi isn’t scheduled to go into production until 2019. Early prototypes have been spotted in Silicon Valley and on Interstate 80, between Tesla’s battery factory in Reno and its car plant in Fremont.
It’s about 260 miles between the two factories, up and over the Sierras. Tesla hasn’t said how many Semi trucks it’s sold yet. But based on press releases from major companies like FedEx, the company has likely pre-sold well over 350 Semis to date.