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Biggest Public Pre-Order Yet: UPS Buys 125 Tesla Semi-Trucks

The United Parcel Service Inc (UPS) reported on Boxing Day that is plans on purchasing 125 Tesla semi-trucks, the biggest order to date for the all-electric big rig, as the company plans to lengthen its fleet with electric vehicles (EV).

Tesla is currently working hard to influence trucking companies on the advantages of building all-electric vehicle fleets and their affordability with a range of options. According to Tesla, this order marks the largest one for their big rig sector yet.

After unveiling the truck in November, Tesla expects production to start by 2019.

The trucks come with a price tag of $200,000 each, with the total for UPS order coming to approximately $25 million. UPS hopes the semi-trucks, which carry items across the U.S.’s highways, should come with a decrease in cost when it comes to ownership, versus traditional vehicles. These run at approximately $120,000.

Tesla has received other pre-orders from some big companies, including: Sysco, Walmart, and J.B. Hunt Transport Services. Before UPS’ pre-order, the biggest one had come from PepsiCo, with 100 trucks.

UPS has reportedly given Tesla data on how their trucks function on real-world routes to help with evaluation around how the trucks should perform within the fleet. UPS’ Senior Director, Automotive Maintenance & Engineering for International Operations stated that the information was provided to ensure a position for success. The company’s current alternative-fuel fleet does already have trucks that operate on electricity as well as propane, natural gas, and other non-traditional fuels.

Rueters reported that Tesla currently has a minimum of just over 400 pre-orders for the truck, which includes the big UPS order.

By late 2019, other companies such as Volkswagen and Navistar International Corp are hoping to release a smaller, medium-duty electric truck. Meanwhile Daimler has already released the first of its smaller-range electric trucks to New York clients.

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