Ruan Transportation Will Order, Test Tesla Semi

3 weeks ago by Mark Kane 16

Tesla Semi exterior front

Tesla Semi exterior front

Ruan Transportation Management Systems announced five reservations for the upcoming Tesla Semi tractor-trailer for a 2019 rollout.

Tesla Semi

Another company with just a few reservations wouldn’t be a news, but Ruan Transportation revealed some additional information.

Prior to deliveries, there will also be tests of the Tesla Semi in California, which we believe will be performed together with customers (like Ruan) to encourage them to trigger orders. Sounds smart.

Tesla needs to prove the capabilities, range and 30-minute fast charging from Megachargers before sales will ultimately take off.

Ruan Transportation was also among customers that were in touch with Tesla for six months prior to the Semi’s November unveiling.

“Ruan plans to add at least five Tesla semis to its fleet in 2019 and will test vehicle prototypes in California before they are delivered. Ruan and Tesla have been in frequent communication throughout the development process, with Tesla inviting Ruan representatives to take part in numerous on-site meetings and discussions in the six months prior to the November unveiling.

The price-per-vehicle will be approximately $180,000. Most diesel-powered tractors cost around $100,000, but Tesla predicts that the electric vehicle will pay for itself within two years due to savings in aerodynamics, reliability and fuel. Some specifics, such as the targeted weight, total operating cost and charging method are still unavailable.”

James Cade, Vice President of Fleet Services said:

“These new trucks stand to revolutionize interstate transport and change the way we do business. Ruan has always been a leader in efficient transport and logistics, so it makes perfect sense to explore what these trucks could do for us and our customers.”

“We have many questions as the trucks continue to be developed. But we are excited for the potential they hold and are working directly with Tesla to get the answers we need before putting this technology to use.”

“It is our hope that using the Tesla tractor-trailers will eventually reduce our costs, keep our drivers and cargo safer and help us continue our tradition of industry-leading service and reliability.”

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16 responses to "Ruan Transportation Will Order, Test Tesla Semi"

  1. john john says:

    I will order volvo trucks instead.

    1. mr truck says:

      I would too, the volvo truck is more practical with sleeping facilities and will work together mack here in US.

  2. Gasbag says:

    …And your competitors will be testing Teslas.

    1. SJC says:

      The world’s largest retail does not win because of the trucks they drive.

  3. acevolt says:

    I would like to know what states are going to do to offset the income from the tax revenue they loose. California has a 36 cent excise tax per gallon and 13% sales tax

    1. William says:

      For EV passenger vehicles, California is going after the registration fee increase. 2020 is the start of their new revenue stream for EVs. Their plan is similar to other states, that have already implemented fee increases to EV registrations.

    2. Prad Bitt says:

      What do they do for the billions a year in subsidies/credits/tax breaks/externalities given to the oil companies?

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “I would like to know what states are going to do to offset the income from the tax revenue they loose [lose].”

      Trucking companies already have to pay State (and maybe Federal) road use fees for heavy freight trucks, don’t they? Increasing those fees would be simple, and shouldn’t involve any additional bureaucracy or paperwork.

      BTW — Why is the word “lose” so hard for so many people to spell correctly? It’s only a one-syllable word. Now, if it was antidisestablishmentarianism or floccinaucinihilipilification, then I’d understand. 😉

  4. Bill Howland says:

    I suspect Tesla gives these trucking companies more definite commitments and details than they’ve given the general public so far..

    Otherwise I would expect orders of 1 or 2 per company, but not multiples.

    The question is, if they are giving it to the companies, along with a Non-Disclosure-Agreement so that the info isn’t released at the next press conference – exactly what is the big secret?

    Only of a minority of buyers are comfortable with this. Not me. I only buy cars when I have learned much about them and even then I’m always surprised by one thing or another.

    So to keep the surprises to a minimum, Most sit things out until more info is revealed.

    1. Prad Bitt says:

      You don’t have to look this far… The secret is that those trucks are a hell of a deal for companies.
      With ~500,000 Model 3 orders don’t you think Tesla has already proven his commitment to the public with Model S/X?

      1. Bill Howland says:

        Do I think they have? Nope.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “The secret is that those trucks are a hell of a deal for companies.”

        That has yet to be demonstrated in real-world use, and almost certainly won’t be for at least 3 years.

        I certainly hope that Tesla’s claims prove to be true, but we shouldn’t ignore the elephant in the room: That companies generally over-promise on what their products will do, and omit any mention of downsides or problems with their use. It’s called “advertising”. 😉

        If Tesla Semi Trucks do prove to be more economical than diesel semi trucks, then they or similar trucks will certainly become a large part of the market, and that could happen significantly faster than the rather slow penetration of the passenger vehicle market by PEVs.

        In the meantime, until the economic reality of using Tesla’s trucks is fully tested, there’s not much point in arguing over it. Either trucking companies will find that using Tesla Semi Trucks save them money, or they won’t.

    2. Steven says:

      When a company has an established fleet of over 1,000 vehicles, 100 would be a good size for a test fleet.
      Even a couple dozen vehicles would take a while to generate the data that a larger fleet would generate. Among other things they could more quickly determine which routes would benefit from a BEV, and it might not be what you initially expect.

  5. DJ says:

    While I totally get the journalistic importance of having an article on every company that signs up to buy a Tesla semi can anyone tell us how these vehicles will be serviced? Are they going to be servicing Tesla semis at your local service center? As some of the parts, i.e. the motors are the same perhaps they could be?? I think an advantage the usual trucking companies have is that they have a large repair network that can handle semis while I don’t know if Tesla has something similar, or even has a plan to. They would obviously need to have their techs certified to work on the new technology so that may mean that not all of their existing repair facilities could service electric semis though so who knows.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      That is certainly a question which Tesla will have to address, but it’s got 2-3 years to do that before it actually starts producing the trucks.

      I doubt we’ll see Tesla Semi trucks serviced at existing Tesla service centers. Even the service center bays to work on semi tractors have to be larger than they are for passenger cars (see photo linked below).

      Common sense says that Tesla will have to either build dedicated service centers to handle its Semi Trucks, or else (more likely, at least to start with) partnering with existing truck servicing shops to equip and train them to handle Tesla Semi trucks.

      As I recall, in the early days Tesla partnered with existing auto service shops, training their mechanics to service Tesla cars. Tesla building its own service shops came later. I won’t be at all surprised if Tesla takes the same approach with its Semi Trucks.

      http://isuzucv.mathenytruckcenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Service20Bays2.jpg

  6. Ron M says:

    It’s been 23 years since the Federal motor fuel tax has been increased. An increase in the tax for this emission spewing vehicles is long overdue.

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