If you still doubt that the future of transportation will be electric vehicles, you haven’t been paying attention. New companies like Tesla and Faraday Futures are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with electric vehicles, while even established makers like BMW are investing big in new electric models. While most of the electric car news focuses on flashy sports cars and hybrid family vehicles, electric vehicles are beginning to appear in the fleets of logistics and shipping companies worldwide. This week, the electric vehicle market saw some big news as supply chain and global package delivery company UPS picked up 125 of the brand new Tesla Semi electric truck tractors, marking the largest Tesla truck purchase yet.
Tesla claims their new Tesla Semi trucks can travel 500 miles on a single charge and can save drivers up to $200,000 each year on fuel costs. The Tesla Semi is also loaded with a host of new state-of-the-art safety features which have been shown to reduce accidents by 40%. In a press release, UPS chief information and engineering officer Juan Perez says the new line of Tesla semi trucks will help the logistics giant make improvements to many different areas of their operation:
For more than a century, UPS has led the industry in testing and implementing new technologies for more efficient fleet operations. We look forward to expanding further our commitment to fleet excellence with Tesla. These groundbreaking electric tractors are poised to usher in a new era in improved safety, reduced environmental impact, and reduced cost of ownership.
It might take a decade or so for the average car buyer to get behind the idea of fully electric vehicles, but if more and more large-scale shipping companies like UPS keep investing in electrics like the Tesla semi the environmental benefits would become immediately apparent. Shipping and delivery trucks represent 10% of all traffic in the U.S.; if just half of that could be replaced by electric vehicles, the reductions in carbon emissions would be significant. While 125 trucks might sound like just a small fraction of UPS’ total fleet, UPS plans to reduce its reliance on gasoline vehicles by 40% by the year 2025. Is this how the electric vehicle revolution begins?