Tesla recently received reservations for 150 Semi trucks from Pride Group Enterprise (PGE), which operates businesses in equipment, rental, leasing, logistics, and sales. While the firm has placed reservations for 150 trucks for now, PGE has also made room to increase its order to 500 Tesla Semis in the future. The EV automaker has already received the deposits for the first 150 Semis ordered by the trucking company.
According to a press release, the company has dedicated significant resources to the research of electric trucks over the past few years. It looked into the technology, infrastructure, and capital requirements that are necessary for a network to succeed. It seems that PGE concluded Tesla offered the best Class 8 all-electric truck on the market, based on its recent Semi reservations. However, PGE’s Vice President of Operations Aman Johal also stated that the company is looking forward to working with other OEMs producing Class 8 trucks in the future as well.
“With the addition of electric trucks to our portfolio of products, our service offering to our customers continues to evolve. Our reservation with Tesla is the first of many and we continue to work with all OEM partners and have more exciting projects in the works. We have put a lot of focus on growing from an equipment supplier to a complete one-stop-shop for the transportation industry. Some of the other offerings we’ve added include short-term rentals, full-service maintenance, in-house OEM warranty work and 3PL solution, to name a few,” he said.
As noted by PGE, the 150 Tesla Semis will be distributed in locations that are particularly friendly to the electric vehicle movement. Johal also noted that the Class 8 battery-electric trucks will be a good way to gauge how the market accepts all-electric long-haul options.
“With support from one of our long-term financial partners, Hitachi Capital, we are very excited to bring this innovative product to our strong customer base, helping forge a new path in clean transportation. We believe that electrification is the way of the future as we work together across multiple industries to reduce our carbon footprint. As well, we have the option to increase our order as we gauge customer acceptance of this new technology,” he said.
Johal further emphasized that electric trucks will likely provide benefits, especially in areas where diesel-powered long-haulers are challenged such as maintenance and downtime. Granted, trucks like the Semi will have their challenges too, but the PGE executive noted that the company is already laying the groundwork for its electric truck deployment. This includes the buildout of charging infrastructure, parking lots, and full maintenance at its locations.
“Pride Group Enterprises’ vision is to invest in facilities that will support charging, full-service maintenance and a consistent supply of electric trucks on North American highways. We have first-hand knowledge of the transportation industry across multiple verticals and we (PGE) strongly believe that electric truck technology will overcome many challenges facing traditional diesel technology such as the related maintenance and associated downtime,” he stated.
PGE is one of many prominent companies that has made reservations for the Tesla Semi. PepsiCo, Walmart, and UPS are among others have invested in Semi trucks as well. PepsiCo was one of the first companies to make a significant reservation of 100 Semis to Tesla. In September 2020, Walmart Canada announced it would be tripling its Tesla Semi orders to 130.
Energy analysts Wood Mackenzie predicted the Class 8 EV truck segment could grow to over 54,000 units in the United States by 2025, an estimate that may prove conservative once vehicles like the Semi begin customer deliveries. The US electric truck industry’s growth depends on the policy and financial support receives in the next few years. According to Wood Mackenzie’s analysis, there were only 2,000 heavy-duty electric trucks deployed in the US last year. But as more companies like PGE pay more attention to local energy transition goals and become more environmentally conscious, the segment will see growth.