FedEx announced news on Monday (March 26) that it has reserved 20 Tesla semi-trucks, the fully electric trucks that are slated for production in 2019.
In a press release, FedEx said the fleet will be operated by FedEx Freight.
“FedEx has a long history of innovation and incorporating sustainability efforts throughout its global network,” said FedEx Freight President and CEO Mike Ducker. “Our investment in these trucks is part of our commitment to improving road safety while also reducing our environmental impact.”
According to FedEx, Tesla said the new rig will deliver a better experience for truck drivers while increasing safety and significantly reducing the cost of cargo transport. Tesla’s advanced technologies, such as surround cameras and onboard sensors, will help aid in avoiding objects while also enabling enhanced autopilot for automatic emergency braking, automatic lane keeping and lane departure warnings. Tesla also claims electric energy cost-savings that are half that of diesel, noting that since 2008 it has saved more than 158 million gallons of gas by replacing vehicles with more efficient models and making greater use of electric vehicles, fuel cells, natural gas, hybrids and clean truck technologies.
FedEx isn’t the only company gearing up to use Tesla’s new trucks when they roll out. In November, Walmart announced plans to test-run the recently previewed, soon-to-be-released vehicles. Five of the preordered trucks will service Walmart U.S.; 10 will service Walmart in Canada.
“We have a long history of testing new technology — including alternative fuel trucks — and we are excited to be among the first to pilot this new heavy-duty electric vehicle,” the company said in a statement to CNBC. “We believe we can learn how this technology performs within our supply chain, as well as how it could help us meet some of our long-term sustainability goals, such as lowering emissions.” The pilot will impact a small percentage of Walmart’s trucks. The retailer’s electric tractor-trailer fleet totals around 6,000.