DHL Predicts Big Savings From Tesla Semi Electric Trucks
Purchase prices will be higher, but operating costs will be lower.
When it comes to the Tesla Semi, DHL is thinking green—as in money. The company expects to recoup the difference in purchase price between the electric trucks and conventional diesel rigs in less than two years, an executive told Reuters.
The Tesla trucks may cost more than diesel trucks, but DHL expects much lower operating costs, Jim Monkmeyer, president of transportation at DHL Supply Chain, said. Eliminating the cost of diesel fuel will be one area of savings, but DHL also expects maintenance costs to be lower, since electric motors have fewer moving parts, he said.
Tesla has promised 20-percent savings in per-mile operating costs. It claims the Semi will cost $1.26 per mile, compared to what the company calls the industry average of $1.51 per mile. But the latter figure is disputed because it is based on current fuel prices and diesel-truck fuel economy. Both could fluctuate over time, analysts note. Lower fuel prices or higher fuel economy could change the equation.
DHL has 10 Tesla Semis on order. Monkmeyer told Reuters that the company is just testing the waters and that it is years away from any potential wholesale switch from diesel to electric trucks.
But DHL is no stranger to electrification. In its home country of Germany, DHL operates small electric vans for local deliveries. The company actually owns the rights to a specific design and has partnered with Ford on the development of other vans. The challenge for all players in the growing electric-truck market is scaling up electrification from local delivery vehicles to long-haul semi trucks.
DHL's enthusiasm shows that electric trucks can both reduce emissions and make good business sense for fleet operators. But that won't mean much if Tesla doesn't deliver the trucks as promised. Tesla has said deliveries will begin in 2019, but the company has missed many production deadlines in the past.
- RELATEDBMW Supplies DHL with i3 Battery Packs for Electric Delivery TrucksDHL looks to use BMW's battery tech to power its latest fleet of vehicles.READ NOW
- RELATEDDHL Plans to Test Self-Driving Trucks Next YearCompanies need to prepare for an autonomous future now, DHL says.READ NOW
- RELATEDDHL to Use Electric Ford Delivery Vans in GermanyThe service industry is starting to see the benefits of electrically-powered heavy duty vehicles.READ NOW
- RELATEDWatch a Tesla Semi Lay Down Some RubberIt can haul 80,000 pounds and do a rolling burnout.READ NOW
- RELATEDElon Musk Wants to Sell 100,000 Tesla Semis Annually by 2023The automaker expects to pull off such large commercial orders even when the Model 3 already faces delays.READ NOW