A Tesla Semi electric truck could offer payback within a year and a half and save us ‘tens of thousands of dollars a year’, says DHL

By Fred Lambert, Elektrek, 23 Feb 2018 

The Tesla Semi specs are mesmerizing competitors and customers alike, but some are still skeptical about the company’s ability to deliver on them.

With this said, DHL, one of the largest logistics firms in the world, is on board and now expects that a Tesla Semi electric truck could save them ‘tens of thousands of dollars a year’.

In an interview with Reuters, Jim Monkmeyer, President of Transportation at DHL Supply Chain, made the comment today.

He added:

“We are estimating that we could have pay back within a year-and-a-half based on energy usage as well as lower maintenance cost,”

Even though Tesla Semi, which starts at $150,000, is more expensive than the average class 8 diesel truck, Tesla estimates the payback period is just two years because of the significantly more efficient electric powertrain.

Monkmeyer thinks DHL could start saving money even sooner when factoring their current maintenance costs:

“The maintenance savings can be enormous as well. Just because the engines are much simpler in terms of the number of parts and the complexities of the parts.”

Last year, DHL ordered Tesla Semi trucks, which they plan to use in a test program.

It’s the only class 8 electric truck that they are testing, but they have several electrification programs for other smaller trucks.

DHL announced that Ford won an important contract to build 2,500 of the bigger version of the all-electric van for the logistic company and they are also using Daimler’s FUSO eCanter electric truck.

Even though the company is clearly on board with electrification, Monkmeyer still has concerns when it comes to the charging infrastructure:

The biggest issue is going to be how is that grid provided and how is it supported and how quickly can we get a network out there for use nationwide, throughout North America, throughout the world. That’s a big question mark. So that to me would be one limiting factor.

Tesla is reportedly already in talks with electric truck customers to install ‘Megacharger’ stations at the locations where they plan to use the Tesla Semi.

The truck is planned to go into production next year and the company will have to time it with the deployment of the charging infrastructure.