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Today’s Pickup: Tesla Semi finally hits the road

Elon Musk sent out this image of two Tesla Semi’s ready for their maiden voyage hauling battery packs to a Tesla plant.

Good day,

The Tesla Semi has finally hit the road. Tesla founder Elon Musk posted a picture of two Tesla Semi’s leaving the company’s Gigafactory in the Nevada mountains for a trip to California. The vehicles were carrying battery packs to Tesla’s automotive plant.

Musk didn’t provide any additional details on the trip, but Market Watch reported that the trip from Sparks, NV, to Fremont, CA, is about 270 miles.

At the unveiling of the truck last year, Musk said the range of the truck was up to 500 miles.

A number of major fleets have put in reservations for the truck, including PepsiCo, Walmart and J.B. Hunt. UPS is another fleet that has reserved some units, and Carlton Rose, president of global fleet maintenance and engineering for UPS, brought up the company’s interest in the Tesla Semi at a keynote address earlier this week.

“We’ve purchased 125 of the new Tesla Semis, which is not cheap at $180,000 or $200,000 each compared to [a diesel truck], but we fully expect to have a lower cost of ownership,” he said. “Electric vehicles should be cheaper, but we hope we can stimulate change and lower the price for [everyone].”

Did you know?

Shipping consultant Franck Kayser says that if the International Maritime Organization requires cargo ships to slow speeds to meet greenhouse gas regulations, then freight rates could rise between 25% and 30% for shippers.


“It’s a good time to have your own fleet for a lot of reasons. To have the drivers that we have and the long tenured associates in that area is so important.”

Brett Biggs, Walmart CFO

In other news:

Walmart CFO says private fleet holds down costs

Walmart CFO Brett Biggs told investors that the company’s deployment of its own fleet is helping it control costs and maintain proper capacity for goods movement. (Supermarket News)

Container ships could slow speeds, lengthen trips

To address potential greenhouse gas rules, several shippers say they may slow speeds on their container ships, raising costs and lengthening trips. (Lloyd’s List)

RoadOne acquires Jarvis Trans

RoadOne IntermodaLogistics has acquired New England-based Jarvis Trans, which provides intermodal services throughout New England and New York. (American Shipper)

Air freight could benefit for supply chain troubles

Bottlenecks in the supply chain could provide a boost for the air freight sector as shippers look for new ways to move their cargo. (The Loadstar)

Navistar introduces new work truck

Navistar International has introduced the final vehicle in its revamped truck lineup, the MV medium-duty work truck. (

Final Thoughts

Several big truck announcements this week highlight the changing nature of the industry. Hino, long a medium-duty truck supplier, has introduced a Class 8 truck; Tesla has said it is now testing its electric Semi in real-world operations; and Starsky Robotics, which makes a system that allows a driver to control a truck from anywhere, said that it has successfully completed a driving test with no driver in the vehicle at all. It’s exciting times, for sure.

Hammer down everyone!

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.