29 November 2017

All Electric Tesla Semi Truck Starts to Sell to Road Haulage Freight and Logistics Interests  

DHL Order Lifts Sales to a Reputed 200 Units

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Shipping News Feature US – Nearly two weeks after the flashy reveal of Tesla's new electric road haulage freight vehicle, logistics group DHL Supply Chain has become the latest company to place an order for the highly-anticipated semi-truck, as pre-orders reportedly reach 200 units. DHL Supply Chain will test the ten Tesla Electric Class 8 Semi Trucks, which are expected to begin production in 2019, at customer operations in major US metro cities.

Though Tesla has yet to reveal the actual number of orders so far for its Tesla Semi, electric vehicle blog, Electrek, has kept a running tally, estimating that this order from DHL will push sales of the vehicle to over that 200 figure. The largest order confirmed so far comes from Canadian supermarket chain, Loblaws, which announced 25 trucks are to join its fleet, with Walmart second, adding 15 lorries to its North American operations, and several other companies confirming much smaller orders.

The DHL trucks will be used for shuttle deliveries and same-day customer deliveries, and will be tested for mileage efficiency on longer runs from major markets to other DHL operations across the country. Jim Monkmeyer, President of Transportation at DHL Supply Chain North America, said:

"At DHL Supply Chain, we're always thinking beyond today's shipment, whether that be thinking about tomorrow, next month or two years from now when these trucks become available. This is a revolutionary approach to trucking, and we want to be a part of it for our customers, for our employees and for our industry.

"Factors like comfort and time on the road play a large role in driver job satisfaction. While we always try to optimise transportation routes to allow our drivers to be home same-day, we're also excited about the potential to bring our drivers the comfort and safety benefits that the Tesla Class 8 truck could offer."

One key question Tesla CEO Elon Musk side-stepped when revealing the truck two weeks ago was the subject of price. The company has now announced the ‘expected base price’ for the 300-mile and 500-mile range versions to be $150,000 and $180,000 respectively, with the base reservation set at $20,000, up from the $5,000 when initially unveiled. Tesla is also listing a ‘Founders Series’ version for $200,000.

If these figures are correct, and the promised fuel and other savings materialise, including a reasonable resale value when those lithium batteries are tired and careworn and due for replacement, then there may well quickly become a place for Mr Musk’s vision for the future of road haulage, certainly in the shorter range freight transport sector.

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