Following our earlier coverage of comments made by an exec at DHL that the Tesla Semi would pay for itself — pay for the difference in cost between the Tesla offering and a conventional diesel truck, that is — within a very short amount of time, competitor FedEx has announced that it has placed a reservation for 20 Tesla Semi trucks as well.
This news also follows announcements of large orders from a number of other large firms — perhaps most notably from those involved in the food and beverage industries. Those firms have included: Sysco, PepsiCo, Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser), Loblaws, and others.
Considering that the Tesla Semi isn’t even expected to begin production until 2019 (which itself may be an overly optimistic timeline), that’s fairly impressive, and speaks to the apparent advantages of the all-electric semi truck offering.
As was noted in an article we recently published, the strong interest is due to a variety of factors — but is perhaps most apparently due to those concerning anti-idling laws in some places (where grocery stores are located); the need to provide electricity to run the refrigeration units (which otherwise relies upon diesel); and the much quieter ride (less likely to anger residential habitants).
Taken as a whole, Tesla’s all-electric semi truck will likely do a far better job of meeting customer interests in the food and beverage freight sectors than diesel semi trucks, despite the slightly higher upfront costs.
Notably, the announcement from FedEx stated that the ordered Tesla trucks would be used by the firm’s “less-than-truckload” unit — which presumably means on regular, short-haul routes where the current lack of third-party fast-charging facilities wouldn’t be a problem.