November 28, 2017
Deutsche Post AG's DHL and Fortigo Freight Services, a privately held Canadian company with dedicated fleet services as its core business and one of Canada's largest fleet management companies, said they have pre-ordered the Tesla electric truck unveiled earlier this month to test on limited routes.
High-profile logistics and transportation customers like fleet operator J.B. Hunt and retailers Walmart, Loblaws, and Meijer have also preordered the Tesla Semi for testing purposes.
Jim Monkmeyer, President, Transportation at DHL Supply Chain, North America, confirmed that they placed the order last week.
The Wall Street Journal reports that DHL will use Tesla’s electric trucks for shuttle routes and also to test the truck for longer runs:
“DHL Supply Chain, which handles logistics operations for retailers and manufacturers, intends to use the heavy-duty Tesla trucks for shuttle runs and same-day customer deliveries in major U.S. cities, the company said Tuesday. DHL also plans to test the electric trucks on longer runs, and to evaluate its impact on driver safety and comfort.”
Monkmeyer also said that DHL worked with Tesla over the last few months and they even test drove the trucks on the road in California.
Tesla has been showing the prototypes and test mules to prospective customers over the last year in order to get feedback for their first heavy-duty truck.
Tesla Semi Pricing
Tesla first started taking reservations with a $5,000 deposit per truck but has changed the listed deposit price last week to $20,000 for a“base reservation” of the production version and the full $200,000 for the “Founders Series” truck.
The base price of the 300-mile range Tesla Semi is $150,000, and the 500-mile range model costs $180,000. That's almost double the base price of a traditional semi truck.
According to CostOwl, semi trucks start at $80,000 but can cost as much as $150,000.
This change could mean that Tesla is receiving higher than expected demand for the vehicle and the company wants to prioritize more serious customers that are willing to put down more money upfront to secure a place in line.
With this order from DHL, it brings the tally to just over 200 Tesla Semi trucks – give or take a few since some companies have not confirmed the number of trucks that they ordered.
It's still a significant backlog of orders worth over $30 million for Tesla’s latest vehicle, which is not expected to be in production until 2019.
Monkmeyer commented on Tesla’s timeline by stating “Something like this that’s new and is as complex as the Semi, I don’t know if we can count on specific dates. We understand the challenges that they are facing. This is the future and we want to be in on the ground floor.”
Related: Trucking Tech Getting Serious Investor Interest