Elon Musk has a new customer. FedEx announced it has placed a reservation for 20 Tesla Semi trucks. The fully electric trucks, scheduled to begin production in 2019, will be operated by FedEx Freight, its less-than-truckload unit.
FedEx joins other regional-haul, urban- and last-mile delivery fleets in reserving Tesla Semi electric trucks. UPS announced in December it was placing an order for 125 of the trucks. PepsiCo also placed an order for 100 Tesla trucks that month, as did Anheuser-Busch, which put 40 on reserve. All told, industry analysts say Tesla has orders for several hundred Semis on the books now.
When the Semi was launched in Hawthorne, California, last fall, Tesla CEO Musk said his new truck model would have a working daily range of 500 miles, telling attendees, "You can go out to the middle of nowhere and come back.” Other key selling points mentioned by Musk included:
- 400 mile-range charge in 30 minutes, leveraging a global network of "megachargers/"
- Electric drivetrain guaranteed for 1 million miles, and brake pads may last as long as truck.
- Musk said diesel trucks are 20% more expensive per mile than the Tesla semi in total cost of ownership.
- Enhanced Autopilot autonomous controls will be standard.
- Production to begin in 2019.
Musk also said Tesla engineers would spend the bulk of 2018 refining the Semi design ahead of the start of production. Apparently that effort is proceeding well, with Semis spotted earlier this year driving on public roadways in California.
“FedEx has a long history of innovation and incorporating sustainability efforts throughout its global network,” said FedEx Freight president and CEO Mike Ducker on the company’s order. “Our investment in these trucks is part of our commitment to improving road safety while also reducing our environmental impact.”