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More Canadian fleets order Tesla Semis

New electric truck finding a following in various applications


TORONTO, Ont. – A growing number of Canadian fleets of all sizes are digging out their chequebooks and taking orders for Tesla’s new Semi truck.

Speedy Transport believes it is the first LTL carrier in Canada to place an order for five Tesla Semis, with plans to increase the order to 10 units.

Speedy Transport is among the first Canadian fleets to order Tesla trucks.

“We’re hoping to take delivery in 2019, depending on Tesla’s production,” Speedy president Jared Martin told Trucknews.com. “We’re investing in a greener future for Canada and our industry.”

He said the trucks will likely first be deployed on highway runs to Quebec and the U.S., “but will expand as we familiarize ourselves with the units.”

Speedy bought the trucks without knowing the final price, “but we’re anticipating in the $180,000 range, running 500 miles per charge,” Martin said. “We wanted to ensure an order was placed early to prioritize delivery to Speedy Transport.”

Deposits of $5,000 per truck were required. Martin said Speedy owner-operators have also expressed an interest in the electric trucks.

Fortigo Freight has claimed to be the first dedicated fleet to move ahead with an order of Tesla Semis.

“Securing our Semi truck orders off the back of Tesla’s unveiling came with no hesitation,” said Elias Demangos, president of Fortigo Freight. “The transportation and trucking industry has a legacy of being quite conservative in its approach to innovation, and needs to look towards the technology that will shape the future of the industry. Tesla’s vision for the new Semi trucks speaks directly to some of Fortigo’s core values, and allows us to take our commitment to customer service to the next level. We will use this investment in the Teslas to help reduce our total emissions through the sustainable technology, which will benefit our customers as a result of more efficient operations we’ll be running.”

Fortigo said the order reflects the company’s move towards adopting the latest technologies, and its commitment towards sustainability.

The company says its drivers and owner-operators will test the trucks to ensure they can work safely and efficiently. It’s planning to launch a leaseback program to help its owner-operators acquire Tesla Semis.

And in Montreal, Fuel Transport announced it has placed an order for four units.

“We don’t see it so much as an investment in Tesla as we do an investment in our industry and its people,” said Fuel Founder Rob Piccioni. “We’re a company that promotes positive change from many different angles: strategy, networking and, of course, the relationships that help our venture thrive. Tesla promotes change from an equipment perspective, which is complementary to our values.”

Fuel is hoping to realize operating costs 20% less than those required for diesel-fueled trucks, and to achieve a range of 500 miles between charges. The company also welcomes safety enhancements the Semi is expected to provide.

“We have a strong asset-based arm – our own equipment, our own drivers.” Piccioni noted. “Safety for us is paramount. In the U.S. alone, approximately 4,000 individuals die every year from truck-related collisions. Features such as Enhanced Autopilot, lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking and forward-collision warning have the potential to significantly reduce these tragedies. Fuel’s purchase aims to ensure peace of mind for its many truck drivers in the coming years.”

He added: “With the help of Tesla, we’re going to revolutionize the relationship logistics has with both customers and drivers.”

Titanium Transportation Group has also reserved five Tesla Semis.

“Tesla trucks complement Titanium’s commitment to safety and innovation and will enhance our efforts towards reducing our carbon footprint,” said Ted Daniel, CEO of Titanium. “We expect this investment will allow for significant net operating and maintenance savings for our local fleet and will result in fewer accidents and breakdowns.”

It was previously reported that Loblaw has placed an order for the trucks, and Bison Transport CEO Rob Penner said the company is eager to test the units.


James Menzies

James Menzies

James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at james@newcom.ca or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.
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7 Comments » for More Canadian fleets order Tesla Semis
  1. ENVIEQ says:

    This truck will revolutionize cargo transportation, I’m sure of it!!!

  2. Bill says:

    So Tesla is going to create a new era in the truck world?

  3. KennyCoffin says:

    We discussed this at length, 500 miles, no guarantee that you can charge it anywhere, does it have a transmission? Will the weight value lower the shipping freight value due to tractor trailer shared weight value? Will the batteries still function normally at minus 40? It’s a huge price tag for a truck that can only be used really for P/D type work, within a specific radius. You can get a used Volvo diesel for less and actually make money from it. Can an electric tractor really cut the mustard? Or is this going to be doomed to failure? People are ordering them without test driving them first? WTF? How is that legal? Anyway, without seeing the schematics of the machine it’s too early to say if this will be a game changer or not. It seems that a hybrid would make more sense, then you could use diesel to charge the batteries by running off a PTO or something. Then at least you have insurance against being stranded. Bottom line though is, over the last ten years driver wages have gone down. Costs have gone up, brokers are fixing prices to get drivers to work as slaves. Load boards are going for the lowest bids which in turn are actually undermining and hurting the industry. Basically, all truckers need to agree to fixed minimum rates per kg and distance because simply undercutting everyone else didn’t turn out so well for gravel. Gravel runs were lucrative until the throat slitting occurred. Now the value is down by 90%. This all paves way for robot trucks. If we don’t value the service, that fancy rig will take 50 years to pay off at 70 hours a week.
    Great! New rig, minimum wage driving! The new McDs?
    This isn’t bashing Elon Musk, it’s just part of a trend to push public opinion a certain direction to obtain specific results. This tesla rig might be the best ever built. Who knows? But the trend right now is longer hours, less money, more cost. With fewer drivers on the road now than ten years ago, every driver operating should have cash in hand to buy new equipment. Supply and demand dictate that fewer drivers means higher shipping cost. Why aren’t drivers making more now than ten years ago? Because there is price fixing happening and that price fixing is looking to replace drivers with robots. The new Electronic Logging Devices are now mandatory as of Dec 16th which is good for the driver because it forces a shut down after 13 hours. It’s bad for companies because it screws up deadlines with slave labor not working 20 hour days. Solution? Running teams with ELDs to cover the spread for less money.
    This Tesla truck is a lot of hype for a lot of money that most people can’t afford to waste on a lemon. We have our backs against the wall for making the deadlines or risk losing contracts which in turn loses us our free time. Sure you save time at the pump by not refuelling, but you still have to go to the flying J or Pilot or whatever for a shower, coffee, or snack. The operating cost in itself is negligible compared to running a ex military rig that can take multi flex fuel, so what do you want? It just stands to reason that without proof of claim, more information and proper testing, its too premature to jump into this yet.
    The ELD which most trucks have now are more than a head ache with legal obligatory roll out across Canada and the US.
    Compounding that limited time frame issue with limited distance sounds like a recipe for failure.
    Adding onto the problem that the value of the shipping has gone down as well with fuel going up is making this whole headache an argument to be a company driver driving a Tesla rig! If you get paid 30 an hour, you want to be driving a Tesla! The overtime would be an extra 2-3 hours a day every day! Just for recharging!
    So if you get paid by the load, work for yourself as a owner op, contractor: don’t buy into this cause you gonna die flat ass broke.
    If your a company driver, you want this truck assigned to you cause by the hour you don’t do too much driving with it.
    If you get paid by mile you gonna die flat ass broke.
    Like 36 cents a mile is 180 bucks for 500 miles. That means you lose 1 hour every 500 miles. It doesn’t seem like much but by the end of the year that’s thousands of dollars not earned because you could only go 500 miles on one charge…maybe because hills might kill the batteries too! So you lose your clients, your milk run, your base pay, and you still gotta pay the bank for the truck.
    How does this make any sense?

  4. ENVIEQ says:

    I’m sure in it. I’m an entrepreneur and very interesting how will be changed the price policy of the cargo transporting companies!? The cost of every km will be much more lower, I’m look forward this moment.

  5. Robert Allard says:

    No doubt these units should be driven by FPV like a drone long distance one like the US spy drone and let a bunch of comfortable seats out of the control room. Computer wizard would be the stars and have fun.
    Do we all know that electric vehicles will have to pay far more than diesel come on it will be insane to try to completely eradicate the normal and more reliable combustion engine.
    I suspect a big scam all the way from government and it’s players.

  6. Mario says:

    This is truly remarkable. If they can get electric powered trucks running and delivering things around it would be amazing! This is just the infant stages of things but hey, it’s gotta start somewhere. I run an asphalt business and have trucks running all the time. Would love to show my concern for the environment by having trucks like that running on my crew. http://www.asphaltrepairfresno.com

  7. Blake S. says:

    No doubt! This is amazing. Tesla will bring a great change in the truck world.

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