The order will supplement the delivery service and logistics provider's fleet of trucks propelled by electricity, natural gas, propane and other non-traditional fuels, UPS said in a release.
Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas has been keeping a close eye on the Tesla Semi, and he writes in a new investor note that pre-orders for Tesla's all-electric semi-truck may already be as high as 1,230.
The vehicles are created to run up to 500 miles on a single charge, helping UPS meet its targets for reducing carbon emissions and gasoline use, the company said.
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The company said the electric trucks are poised to usher in a new era in improved safety, reduced environmental impact and reduced cost of ownership. "We look forward to expanding further our commitment to fleet excellence with Tesla", UPS CIO Juan Perez said in a press release.
UPS said it provided Tesla with real-world UPS trucking lane information to evaluate the vehicle's performance while performing UPS duties.
According to Reuters, citing UPS senior director for automotive maintenance Scott Phillippi, the trucks will operate mostly in the U.S. Routes are yet to be determined. Elon Musk, Tesla founder and CEO, had a simple message for the company to share on Twitter after the news was announced: "Thanks!". Tesla routinely misses target launches and production ramps, though. The trucks are a step in that direction and in making the company more green.
For those who want their truck in a hurry, a special "founders series" is being made, with $200,000 required up front to get one of the first 1,000 made.
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They have a feature that's piqued the interest of many large companies: a self-drive assist feature.
UPS expects the semi-trucks, the big rigs that haul freight along America's highways, will have a lower total cost of ownership than conventional vehicles, which run about $120,000. But the company has come under scrutiny of late for pushing back the timeframe for building the Model 3 sedan, its first aimed at the middle market.
"The truck will automatically brake", he said. Safety technology has also been a focus, with things like adaptive cruise control and automated lane guidance also installed as standard.
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