Ruan Transportation will be adding five Tesla Semi trucks to its fleet as early as 2019. The Iowa-based transportation company which provides dedicated contract transportation and supply chain solutions in the United States has been reportedly working with Tesla throughout the development process of the quad electric motor semi truck. The company will be an early adopter of the Tesla Semi, helping the Elon Musk-led electric car company test the vehicle prototypes before production begins.
“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,” said James Cade, vice president of fleet services for Ruan.
Ruan’s business in bulk transportation services for contract carriage shippers, includes solutions for logistics management, load management, route optimization, and international crating services, among others. The company looks to benefit from the Tesla Semi’s lower cost of ownership than its diesel counterparts.
Though specifics for the all-electric semi truck remain sparse, aside from hints that the $180,000, 500-mile-range Semi will be able to replenish 400 miles in as little as 30 minutes of charging through Tesla’s “Megacharger” network, Ruan nevertheless expressed their excitement to be involved with early development.
“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,” said Cade according to Des Moines Register. “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.”
Production of the Tesla Semi is expected to begin sometime in 2019. The California-based company has seen increased interest in the all-electric big rig since its debut late last year. Ruan joins several high-profile companies from across the world and as far reaching as Bee’ah in the Middle East, that have placed orders of Tesla’s electric truck. Among the enterprises that have committed to the big rig are UPS, J.B. Hunt, beer giant Anheuser-Busch, Sysco, PepsiCo, Walmart, and distribution companies in Europe.
A prototype of the Tesla Semi was recently spotted driving down a local street between Tesla’s headquarters in Palo Alto and its Fremont factory. The sounds from its four Model 3-derived electric motors and incredible acceleration are unmistakable.