Here's What Brown Can Do for Tesla Motors

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
heres what brown can do for tesla motors

The United Parcel Service said Tuesday it will purchase 125 all-electric semi trucks from Tesla, surpassing PepsiCo’s order to make it the largest known order for the vehicle thus far. While the purchase isn’t tantamount to UPS making a complete shift to an electric fleet, the company has previously stated it wants to convert up to 1,500 delivery trucks in New York to battery electric units and has been researching non-traditional powertrains for some time.

With so many of its trips taking place between distribution hubs, a medium-range EV truck boasting a high capacity could be a good fit for UPS. At the very least, Tesla seems to think so — the delivery service provided the automaker with extensive data on how its trucks function on real-world routes in order to evaluate how the hulking BEVs might perform in its fleet. Of course, the cooperative experience also helps both companies promote themselves as leaders in the green revolution.

“For more than a century, UPS has led the industry in testing and implementing new technologies for more efficient fleet operations. We look forward to expanding further our commitment to fleet excellence with Tesla,” explained Juan Perez, chief information and engineering officer, in a statement. “These groundbreaking electric tractors are poised to usher in a new era in improved safety, reduced environmental impact, and reduced cost of ownership.”

Dropping any and all cynicism, UPS does have one of the most extensive alternatively fueled fleets in the world. Bent on saving cash, the company has invested into all manner of tech to reduce fuel expenditures. It’s perpetually hunting for the next piece of technology that will bolster its bottom line.

However, it has to test those vehicles to ensure they’ll work as intended and Tesla’s truck will be no different. “As with any introductory technology for our fleet, we want to make sure it’s in a position to succeed,” Scott Phillippi, UPS senior director for automotive maintenance and engineering for international operations, told Reuters.

Phillippi said the 125 trucks are being purchased so UPS to conduct a proper test of their abilities. With the company was still determining their routes, he claimed they’ll primarily be used within the United States, with Tesla providing consultation and assistance on the charging infrastructure. “We have high expectations and are very optimistic that this will be a good product and it will have firm support from Tesla to make it work,” he said.

[Image: Tesla]

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  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Dec 20, 2017

    Isn't this just kind of us coming full circle? Weren't milk trucks and what not back in the day electric?

  • El scotto El scotto on Dec 20, 2017

    One UPS long haul drive leaves Point A. Another UPS drive leaves Point B. No, this won't be an algebra problem. The drivers meet midway between Point A and Point B. The drivers swap trailers and return to their Starting Points. They drive safely, at the speed limit, for an eight hour day. Easy enough for an electric semi. I could see them switching back to a diesel truck on "iffy" weather days. Two full tanks of diesel will keep a driver toasty warm while waiting out a snowstorm.

  • FreedMike This article fails to mention that Toyota is also investing heavily in solid state battery tech - which would solve a lot of inherent EV problems - and plans to deploy it soon. https://insideevs.com/news/598046/toyota-global-leader-solid-state-batery-patents/Of course, Toyota being Toyota, it will use the tech in hybrids first, which is smart - that will give them the chance to iron out the wrinkles, so to speak. But having said that, I’m with Toyota here - I’m not sold on an all EV future happening anytime soon. But clearly the market share for these vehicles has nowhere to go but up; how far up depends mainly on charging availability. And whether Toyota’s competitors are all in is debatable. Plenty of bet-hedging is going on among makers in the North American market.
  • Jeff S I am not against EVs but I completely understand Toyota's position. As for Greenpeace putting Toyota at the bottom of their environmental list is more drama. A good hybrid uses less gas, is cleaner than most other ICE, and is more affordable than most EVs. Prius has proven longevity and low maintenance cost. Having had a hybrid Maverick since April and averaging 40 to 50 mpg in city driving it has been smooth driving and very economical. Ford also has very good hybrids and some of the earlier Escapes are still going strong at 300k miles. The only thing I would have liked in my hybrid Maverick would be a plug in but it didn't come with it. If Toyota made a plug in hybrid compact pickup like the Maverick it would sell well. I would consider an EV in the future but price, battery technology, and infrastructure has to advance and improve. I don't buy a vehicle based on the recommendation of Greenpeace, as a status symbol, or peer pressure. I buy a vehicle on what best needs my needs and that I actually like.
  • Mobes Kind of a weird thing that probably only bothers me, but when you see someone driving a car with ball joints clearly about to fail. I really don't want to be around a car with massive negative camber that's not intentional.
  • Jeff S How reliable are Audi? Seems the Mazda, CRV, and Rav4 in the higher trim would not only be a better value but would be more reliable in the long term. Interior wise and the overall package the Mazda would be the best choice.
  • Pickles69 They have a point. All things (or engines/propulsion) to all people. Yet, when the analogy of being, “a department store,” of options is used, I shudder. Department stores are failing faster than any other retail. Just something to chew on.
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