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DHL adds Tesla trucks to its electric fleet

BONN: November 29, 2017. DHL Supply Chain has announced an order for 10 Tesla Electric Class 8 Semi tractors for delivery in 2019.

The company said it would operate the vehicles in the U.S. for shuttle and same-day customer deliveries, as well as to test mileage efficiency between DHL operations in major markets across the country.

"At DHL Supply Chain, we're always thinking beyond today's shipment – whether that be thinking about tomorrow, next month or two years from now when these trucks become available," said Jim Monkmeyer, president of Transportation at DHL Supply Chain North America.

Tesla SemiWith a driver shortage that could reach 100,000 in 2020 according to the American Trucking Association, DHL Supply Chain also plans to evaluate the trucks' impact on a driver's quality of life and job satisfaction.

"Factors like comfort and time on the road play a large role in driver job satisfaction," explained Monkmeyer. "While we always try to optimize transportation routes to allow our drivers to be home same-day, we're also excited about the potential to bring our drivers the comfort and safety benefits that the Tesla Class 8 truck could offer."

According to Tesla, the base price for its electric-powered Semi tractor with a 300-mile or 500-mile range is expected to be US$150,000 and US$180,000 respectively

To reserve a vehicle the price is now US$20,000 - up from the introductory offer of $5,000 - and the Tesla web site lists its 'Founders Series Price' of US$200,000 for the first 1,000 vehicles built and guaranteed not to break down for 1,000,000 miles, according to CEO Elon Musk.

Unlike Walmart and J.B. Hunt that announced on November 17 "multiple deposits" at US$5,000 each for the vehicles, DHL Supply Chain says it has "ordered" 10 tractors at a potential cost of US$2 million.

Deutsche Post DHL has long been a proponent of green logistics and says it now plans to be a "driver of electromobility" in order to become the first in the industry to reduce all logistics-related emissions to net zero by 2050.

The group already has 5,000 StreetScooter e-vehicles - developed and manufactured in-house - plus 10,500 e-bikes and e-trikes, that together make up the largest electric transport fleet in Germany. The company says it will replace its entire mail and parcel delivery fleet with electric vehicles that are charged with electricity generated from renewable energy sources.

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