FedEx just reserved a bunch of Tesla’s new electric big rig trucks for their fleet.
It’s not a huge number: just 20 of the hyper-advanced all-electric trucks, but it’s signaling to the rest of the world that FedEx thinks all-electric transports might be the future.
We say might be ordering a mere 20 trucks is a drop in the bucket to FedEx’s fleet of many thousands of trucks. It looks like FedEx is more interested in a pilot program first, just to make sure that the new big rigs are all that Tesla says they’ll be, before ordering more.
But there’s a big push on delivery companies--particularly in Europe--to cut down on emissions. Switching to electricity is a great way to do that. FedEx will place the new Tesla big rigs in their Freight division once they start taking delivery next year.
“FedEx has a long history of innovation and incorporating sustainability efforts throughout its global network,” said FedEx Freight president and CEO Mike Ducker in a statement. “Our investment in these trucks is part of our commitment to improving road safety while also reducing our environmental impact.”
The new Tesla Semi is purported to be the most advanced long(ish) haul truck in the world, filled with safety features like lane-keeping, autopilot, and sensors to detect and avoid collisions with other vehicles. It also looks different from other trucks, being a single-seated cockpit with the driver in the middle and two massive LCD displays to either side providing GPS and energy-usage data.
But the most interesting thing that the Tesla Semi can do is drive fast. Really fast.
Fully loaded, Tesla says that their big rig can go from zero to sixty in just 20 seconds. That’s not a great time until you consider the fact that fully loaded means it’s carrying 80,000 lbs. But without a trailer hooked up, it can reach 60 mph in less than 5 seconds.
No other truck in the world (barring some souped-up drag monster trucks) can do that.
So maybe FedEx wants to have a fleet of hyper-efficient drivers, or maybe they just want a truck that can beat most other cars in a drag race. Either way, it’ll hopefully be better for the planet.