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UPS places largest order for Tesla semi-truck to date

Aaron Aupperlee
| Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, 10:48 a.m.
This photo provided by Tesla shows the front of the new electric semitractor-trailer unveiled on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. The move fits with Tesla CEO Elon Musk's stated goal for the company of accelerating the shift to sustainable transportation.
Tesla via AP
This photo provided by Tesla shows the front of the new electric semitractor-trailer unveiled on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. The move fits with Tesla CEO Elon Musk's stated goal for the company of accelerating the shift to sustainable transportation.
This photo provided by Tesla shows the front of the new electric semitractor-trailer unveiled on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. The move fits with Tesla CEO Elon Musk's stated goal for the company of accelerating the shift to sustainable transportation.
This photo provided by Tesla shows the front of the new electric semitractor-trailer unveiled on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. The move fits with Tesla CEO Elon Musk's stated goal for the company of accelerating the shift to sustainable transportation.

Telsa has landed its largest pre-order for its all-electric semi-trucks.

The United Parcel Service announced this week that it will buy 125 Tesla semi-trucks.

The largest single order to date for the yet-to-be-released big rigs comes from the company operating one of the largest private alternative-fuel fleets in the United States.

UPS operates more than 108,000 vehicles. More than 8,500 are electric, natural gas, hybrid or run on some other type of alternative fuel or advanced technology, according to the company's website. UPS wants to cut its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 12 percent by 2025.

The company started delivering packages around Pittsburgh's Downtown on an electric-assist bicycle last month . Pittsburgh's e-bike was the second in use in the United States and the first designed for year-round deliveries.

“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,” Juan Perez, chief information and engineering officer at UPS, said 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.”

The Tesla trucks will cost $200,000. Traditional semi-trucks cost about $120,000.

Tesla expects to start producing the trucks in 2019. CEO Elon Musk introduced the trucks last month to much fanfare. Meijer, a Michigan-based grocery and retail store, placed the first order for the trucks.

Since then, major companies such as Pepsi, Walmart and Sysco have jumped on board. Reuters reported Tesla has 410 pre-orders for the truck , according to a tally by the news organization. The largest order for the vehicle before UPS was Pepsi's, for 100.

Tesla boasts the truck has a range of 500 miles on a single charge.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at aaupperlee@tribweb.com, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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