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Tesla books 125 truck order from UPS

Tesla Electric TruckIn what has become a weekly passing of the torch, UPS Tuesday confirmed it has placed the largest known reservation for Tesla’s new fully-electric Semi tractor.

UPS’s order of 125 trucks passes PepsiCo who, last week, confirmed the reservation 100 trucks. That bumped Anheuser-Busch‘s 40 trucks from the top order spot.

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

UPS, which operates one of the largest private alternative fuel and advanced technology fleets in the U.S., and more than 8,500 alt fuel vehicles throughout the world, says it has provided Tesla with internal trucking lane information as part of its evaluation of the vehicle’s expected performance during a UPS duty cycle. UPS says it frequently partners with suppliers of emerging vehicle technology to help develop solutions that prove ready for UPS use-cases.

UPS brings the total of known Tesla trucks on the order books to about 400 since the tractor debuted just more than a month ago, although some unconfirmed reports suggest that number could be approaching 1,500 units. Reached Tuesday, Tesla declined to comment on the number of orders received or customers.

A 300-mile variant of the Semi will cost $150,000. A 500-mile model costs $180,000 and a Founders Series will run $200,000, according to Tesla’s website.

A reservation cost for the truck is $20,000, but Founders Series reservations require the full $200,000 asking price upfront.

Food wholesaler Sysco has placed an order for 50 Tesla Semis. J.B. Hunt has 40 Tesla tractors on order and retail giant Walmart also disclosed it has placed reservations for 15 trucks, deploying five in the U.S. and 10 in Canada. Canada is becoming a hotbed for Tesla Semi early orders. Canadian grocery chain Loblaw announced it would order a total of 25 of the new all-electric tractor as it works to convert its entire fleet to battery power by the end of the decade.

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Jason Cannon is the Equipment Editor for Commercial Carrier Journal and Overdrive, and is a Class A CDL holder. Reach him at jasoncannon@randallreilly.com.