With its launch on the market scheduled for 2019, the Tesla Semi, the 100% electric truck of the company led by Elon Musk, has just received a significant boost from DHL, a logistics giant that distributes more than 1,200 million euros each year packages around the world. A company executive has estimated the return on investment of the purchase of a Tesla electric truck to be around a year and a half, whose calculations were more conservative.
” We are estimating the return on investment within a year and a half according to energy use and lower maintenance costs .” This is what Jim Monkmeyer, president of the Transport area of DHL Supply Chain, has assured in an interview with Reuters. His statements in support of the Tesla Semi have had such dissemination that Elon Musk himself has shared and commented on the news through his Twitter account. “I am optimistic that we can beat the expectations announced in the presentation,” said the head of Tesla.
The dust rose on account of the statements of Monkmeyer, an executive of the logistics company. On its way to transitioning its fleets from diesel to e-mobility, DHL was one of the first companies to place an order for Tesla trucks. In fact, it reserved a dozen units to test its operation.
Although DHL is yet to fully turn to electric mobility, the firm is considering the potential of electric trucks over diesel. It is attested by the words of Monkmeyer, who does not doubt that maintenance savings are among the factors that add to the return on investment. ” The savings can be enormous simply because the engines are much simpler in terms of number of parts and their complexity . “
Despite the endorsement that these considerations imply, the truth is that the DHL command also indicates some uncertainties that lie ahead. Among them, the most important, in his opinion, is that which refers to the charging infrastructure. “The biggest problem will be how the charging network is deployed and supported, and how quickly we have that network available for national use, throughout the United States, and for the entire world . “
This is postulated as one of the “main limiting factors” , although it is not the only one. There are also doubts regarding the price and the feasibility of equipping itself with fleets of electric trucks. “A truck travels between 104,000 and 160,000 kilometers a year and Tesla has ensured savings in operating costs compared to the current 20% per mile (the equivalent of 1.6 kilometers) . ” With this in mind, according to Reuters, Tesla has estimated these costs at $1.26 per mile, compared to $1.51 for diesel trucks today.
However, that margin could be compromised by several factors. One of them, that fuel prices can remain static or not at all. Along with this possibility is the fact that there is still room for improvement in fuel efficiency for diesel trucks, which would blur the forecast made by Tesla. However, while waiting to see which estimate is confirmed, Elon Musk seems optimistic. “The Tesla Semi will be truly special, ” says his Twitter account about a truck that promises up to 800 kilometers of autonomy on a single charge.