Brown Goes Green as UPS Orders 125 Tesla Semis

UPS and other couriers are viewing the all-electric Semi as the future of trucking.

For some time now, UPS has been looking into ways to be more environmentally friendly. In corporate terms, that often translates to “how can we save the most money?” while still maintaining the facade that it was done in the name of being green. UPS, however, seems to be committed to not only decreasing its total operating costs, but also in reducing its carbon footprint. Now, the parcel hander is the newest horse in the call to electric arms as the courier begins its path towards an electrified future.

UPS has announced that it has pre-ordered 125 Tesla Semi tractors, a number which bests PepsiCo’s order of 100 units made just last week. This puts the company as being ranked first on the faux-leaderboard of early backers.

UPS has been researching how alternative fuel can be implemented in one of the largest fleets in North America. Its lineup already includes a plethora of other alternative fueled tractors, including natural gas, propane, and as of earlier this year, even a fuel cell powered electric rig. This move toward more green vehicles has been part of the company’s repertoire for some time now, leading toward the ultimate goal of reducing its fleet’s greenhouse gas emissions by around 12 percent by 2025.

An interesting note that was included by UPS was the notion that the courier has worked with Tesla to provide the automaker with real-world trucking lane data to help determine the Semi’s performance in the business’s day-to-day operations. Evidently, the tractor’s reduced cost of operations must have been on par with UPS’ desired results, as the company ultimately decided to pre-order a small fleet of the Semis.

“The data was used from various routes within parameters determined by UPS and Tesla to best optimize the vehicles expected capabilities.” A UPS spokesperson told The Drive, “There should be significant opportunities to deploy the vehicle within the diversity of the many UPS routes, but finding optimal routes is very important to best utilize the capabilities and benefits while ensuring a successful initial deployment.”

The purchase of the Semis appears to be the introduction for another one of UPS’s plans to deploy a high-density fleet of alternatively fueled vehicles within the next decade. By 2020, the company has set a goal that one in every four vehicles purchased will be either alternatively fueled, or have some form of advanced technology. By 2025, the company affirms a strong stance that 40 percent of its ground fuel will be from a non-conventional (e.g. gasoline or diesel) power source.