Biggest Tesla Electric Truck Order Yet, UPS Wants 125 Electric

UPS plunked down reservations for 125 of Tesla’s electric heavy-duty trucks, the largest announced pre-order for the automaker.

The move by UPS, the nation’s largest private delivery company, will be seen as a vote of confidence for the Tesla Semi by the shipping and logistics industry.

“These groundbreaking electric tractors are poised to usher in a new era in improved safety, reduced environmental impact and reduced cost of ownership,” said Juan Perez, chief information and engineering officer at UPS.

The delivery company joins a growing list of trucking and logistics firms willing to put down $20,000 reservations for the new truck. Tesla has shown prototypes of its Semi, but it won’t go into production until 2019.

Tesla has announced reservations for at least 381 trucks. It likely has more that are unannounced.

The Semi starts at what Tesla calls an “expected base price” of $150,000 for a truck with a 300-mile range per battery charge. That jumps to $180,000 for a 500-mile range truck. The higher price covers the cost of a bigger battery.

Food, beverage and retailers are the first hand raisers.

PepsiCo said it wants 100 Tesla Semis. Sysco, a large food service company, has reserved 50. Anheuser-Busch is asking for 40. Canadian grocer Loblaw has ordered 25 and Walmart wants 15.

“The Tesla Semi continues to pick up validation from customers both in terms of a growing order book as well as endorsement of its capabilities,” Ravi Shanker, a Morgan Stanley analyst, wrote in a report to investors Monday.

While Tesla has heard from a handful of major motor carriers, including J.B. Hunt and Schneider, they have not said how many Tesla trucks they are looking at. Big trucking companies are the most important segment of the business because they are the highest volume buyers.

Navistar International Corp., for example, recently completed a $200 million multi-year deal to sell 1,665 International LT semi-tractors to US Xpress, a large Chattanooga, Tenn., trucking company.

XPO Logistics, another large trucking company, has confirmed it is testing the Tesla truck but has not placed an order.

“Carriers we have spoken with have said that the truck seems impressive but remain somewhat skeptical,” Shanker said.

Still, the UPS order for Tesla trucks is a significant milestone, analysts said.

“It’s a great vote of confidence. These orders also put pressure on Tesla to actually deliver,” said Michael Ramsey, an analyst with Gartner Inc.

Tesla Semi



Tesla Semi. (Photo: Tesla

Tesla has struggled to get its passenger cars to market, often encountering production delays. It is currently dealing with component supply and assembly problems as it works to launch its Model 3 compact sedan.

The UPS order brings a “cool factor” and provides Tesla with a “marketing bump,” Ramsey said.

The mix of businesses ordering Tesla trucks all have highly refined cost of ownership models to evaluate the economics of purchasing and operating various types of vehicles and technologies, said Bill Van Amburg, senior vice president and head of trucking programs for Pasadena, Calif.-based clean transportation technology coalition Calstart.

“Clearly, they see that Tesla is offering a potential solution that can meet or actually do better than their current fleet cost structure,” he said. There are additional climate and emission benefits derived from the trucks.

“This is the biggest sign yet of the desire for and willingness to adopt a fundamentally different platform in heavy-duty trucks,” Van Amburg said.

UPS said it consulted with Tesla as the automaker was designing the truck.

The shipping company is aggressively looking at alternative fuel technologies. It announced in June a goal to transition 40 percent of the ground fuel it uses to sources other than conventional gasoline and diesel by 2025. It also wants to cut its greenhouse gas emissions from global ground operations 12 percent by 2025.

Already, UPS has deployed one of the largest private alternative fuel and advanced technology fleets in the U.S. It has 8,500 such vehicles using a range of electric, hybrid electric, hydraulic hybrid, ethanol, compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, propane and biomethane powertrains.

When he introduced the truck in November, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said the Semi’s aerodynamic design and electric drive train will power the truck and trailer – 80,000 pounds –from zero to sixty mph in 20 seconds. That is about 40 seconds faster than a conventional diesel truck, he said.

It will climb 5 percent grades at 65 mph compared to the 45 mph of a diesel truck, Musk said.

Unlike a conventional diesel truck, there is a single driver’s seat centered in the cab between a pair of 15-inch information screens.

The Tesla Semi is initially designed for short- and regional-haul routes, such as those that run goods from ports to distribution centers, but Musk said a long-haul sleeper cab model is in the works.

Fully loaded, the Tesla Semi is capable of 500 miles of range at highway speed, he said. While lengths under that range are generally considered regional, rather than a long-haul, the truck would satisfy many freight requirements. Nearly 80 percent of freight in the U.S. is moved less than 250 miles.


The company confirmed the order today.

Juan Perez, chief information and engineering officer, commented:

“For more than a century, UPS has led the industry in testing and implementing new technologies for more efficient fleet operations. We look forward to expanding further our commitment to fleet excellence with Tesla. These groundbreaking electric tractors are poised to usher in a new era in improved safety, reduced environmental impact, and reduced cost of ownership.”

UPS’ order tops Tesla’s previous record order of 100 electric trucks from Pepsico just over a week ago.

They expect to be among the first fleet operators to take delivery of the new electric truck in 2019. The effort is part of UPS’ goal that one in four new vehicles purchased annually will be an alternative fuel or advanced technology vehicle by 2020.

The logistics giant has several other electric vehicle efforts, like converting ‘up to 1,500 delivery trucks’ to battery-electric in New York and it already bought some of Daimler’s new electric trucks.

While this is Tesla Semi’s biggest order yet, it’s a small fleet update for UPS, which is one of the biggest fleet operators with 108,000 delivery vehicles around the world.

At the unveiling event last month, Tesla unveiled two electric truck options with 300 and 500 miles of range.

After Tesla revealed the pricing of its electric semi trucks last month, we learned that the regular production versions for the 300-mile and 500-mile range versions will be $150,000 and $180,000 respectively, while the company is also listing a ‘Founders Series’ version for $200,000.

This means that UPS’ order alone is worth between $18 million and $25 million.

Tesla first started taking reservations with a $5,000 deposit per truck, but has changed the listed deposit price last month to $20,000 for a “base reservation” of the production version and the full $200,000 for the “Founders Series” truck.

If UPS just now placed the order, they likely had to place a $2.5 million deposit.

Electrek’s Take

As we have been suggesting with all the recent pre-orders a whole month after the event, it looks like there’s a snowball effect going on with Tesla Semi.

The tally of confirmed reservations is now just over 400 trucks, but that’s just from companies having publicly announced their Tesla Semi pre-orders. We think that smaller fleet operators and other companies have also quietly placed orders.

Either way, it’s clear that the demand is currently strong for the truck and possibly even getting stronger a month after the unveiling event.


Tesla Just Unveiled Their Semi-Truck and It is Way Cooler Than You Could’ve Possibly Imagined

Have you taken a look at the new Tesla Semi truck yet? If not, I recommend you do; it’s pretty damn impressive. If Tesla CEO Elon Musk is on the money, this product might change the way the trucking industry operates all over the world.

Musk unveiled the aerodynamic, all-electric truck recently in Los Angeles, and the crowd was wowed. The truck has a 500-mile range, but what is really revolutionary about the new semi is what is missing: there is no transmission, no clutch, and no large motor in the truck.

Musk guarantees that the groundbreaking semi will not break down for a million miles and that the brake pads will last forever. He also claims that the truck’s glass is “thermonuclear explosion-proof.” The trucks will charge at “Megachargers” where cargo can simultaneously be unloaded, and a 30-minute charge will add 400 miles worth of driving. The prototypes also feature tires that each have their own motors and can operate independently.

The truck’s battery is built into the chassis, hidden behind a frame that protects it. The cab, where truckers spend roughly 12 hours a day, has been redesigned to look like a small room, with the wheel in the centere of the dash. There is no passenger seat, but a small jump seat is located behind the driver.

A lot of space is saved because of the lack of a motor and transmission, giving the driver 7 feet of standing room. As of now, the semi curiously does not contain a sleeper cabin, but the company says they’re considering a model that includes one in the future. The cab also features touchscreens for the driver on either side of the steering wheel.

The Tesla semi has other advantages for long-haul truckers, including automatic emergency breaking, auto steering, and lane-departure warning. One additional feature useful for drivers is the jackknife prevention technology that applies torque to every wheel and activates all brakes independently when sensors detect a possible impending jackknife. Thats good news for all of us – if you’ve ever been stuck in a traffic jam, you know jackknifes are a major cause of highway backups.

Production on the Tesla semis is supposed to begin in 2019, and companies are already reserving their fleets. It will be interesting to see how quickly Elon Musk and Tesla get these bad boys on the road.

Can Magic mushrooms ‘reset’ a depressed brain?

Magic mushroomsImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

A hallucinogen found in magic mushrooms can “reset” the brains of people with untreatable depression, raising hopes of a future treatment, scans suggest.

The small study gave 19 patients a single dose of the psychedelic ingredient psilocybin.

Half of patients ceased to be depressed and experienced changes in their brain activity that lasted about five weeks.

However, the team at Imperial College London says people should not self-medicate.

There has been a series of small studies suggesting psilocybin could have a role in depression by acting as a “lubricant for the mind” that allows people to escape a cycle of depressive symptoms.

But the precise impact it might be having on brain activity was not known.

MushroomImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

The team at Imperial performed fMRI brain scans before treatment with psilocybin and then the day after (when the patients were “sober” again).

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, showed psilocybin affected two key areas of the brain.

  • The amygdala – which is heavily involved in how we process emotions such as fear and anxiety – became less active. The greater the reduction, the greater the improvement in reported symptoms.
  • The default-mode network – a collaboration of different brain regions – became more stable after taking psilocybin.

Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, head of psychedelic research at Imperial, said the depressed brain was being “clammed up” and the psychedelic experience “reset” it.

He told the BBC News website: “Patients were very ready to use this analogy. Without any priming they would say, ‘I’ve been reset, reborn, rebooted’, and one patient said his brain had been defragged and cleaned up.”

However, this remains a small study and had no “control” group of healthy people with whom to compare the brain scans.

Further, larger studies are still needed before psilocybin could be accepted as a treatment for depression.

However, there is no doubt new approaches to treatment are desperately needed.

Prof Mitul Mehta, from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, said: “What is impressive about these preliminary findings is that brain changes occurred in the networks we know are involved in depression, after just a single dose of psilocybin.

“This provides a clear rationale to now look at the longer-term mechanisms in controlled studies.”

Which has better fuel economy: manual or automatic?

When you’re shopping for a new car, you want to get a well-priced vehicle that won’t be too expensive to own. One of the biggest costs of owning a car is keeping it fueled. So, it makes sense that budget-conscious consumers go for cars with great fuel economy. If you want to save at the dealership as well as at the pump, the conventional wisdom is to choose a car with a manual transmission because they tend to have lower sticker prices and better fuel economy.

That just goes to show you how reliable conventional wisdom is. While manual transmissions used to be more fuel-efficient than automatics, some of today’s automatic transmissions are changing that notion.

One thing that’s helping automatic transmission catch up is the wider use of continuously variable transmissions (CVTs). Now, to be clear, the mechanics of CVTs differ from those of automatic transmissions, but for drivers, the operation is the same: You put the car in drive and go. Unlike manual and automatic transmissions, which have a fixed set of gears (and a fixed set of ratios), CVTs can continuously vary their gear ratios (hence their name) for maximum fuel efficiency. That helps them achieve better fuel economy when compared to a traditional manual transmission.

Traditional automatic transmissions can also beat manual fuel economy. Today’s automatics tend to have more forward gears (those are gears that move the car forward, not in reverse) than manual transmissions do. Those extra gears help the engine deliver the same power to the wheels while working at a lower engine speed, which saves gas. Car makers have also gotten really good at working with the new technology in automatic transmissions to make them more efficient. Part of that is due to simple economics: Most cars sold in the United States are sold with automatic transmissions, and car companies are finding that they can pass the costs of developing new transmission tech on to their consumers, who will happily take it in exchange for vehicles promising better fuel economy. It helps as well that car companies are also having to meet stricter government-mandated fuel economy standards. That also helped drive (heck yeah, that pun is intended) the development of more fuel-efficient automatics.

So, why buy a manual-equipped car if you’re not guaranteed better fuel economy? A manual transmission gives you a little more control over how hard your engine works and how much power gets to the wheels, so if that’s something you want, go for the manual. If you think manuals make you look cool, you’re right — and you should buy a manual. But if you want the best fuel economy, a manual transmission isn’t always the best way to go

What Would Happen If You Replace All Drinks with Water ?

We all know about the harm drinks other than water can cause us, but what if we replace them with it completely? Chris Bailey, a popular blogger and lecturer, carried out some month-long research, which we have decided to summarize for you in illustrated form.

Illustrated by Dinara Galieva for

A Dedication to wood with the Oak Bicycle.

The cask, re-imagined

A creative collaboration in wood


With such elegant curves and smooth lines, it is certain to draw the eye. But there is more to this beautiful wooden bicycle than appearances suggest. Meticulously engineered to create the smoothest of rides, its innovative frame contains a small proportion of sapele wood and is hand-crafted from the finest American oak which, intriguingly, has already given years of exceptional service to Glenmorangie’s award-winning Highland single malt whisky…

The Glenmorangie Original bicycle is the culmination of a creative collaboration between Glenmorangie single malt Scotch whisky, and Renovo Hardwood Bicycles, inventors of the first engineered wooden bicycles. United by their passion for wood, exceptional craftsmanship and zeal for innovation, these kindred spirits were inspired to celebrate the casks which bring to maturity Glenmorangie Original, the Distillery’s signature single malt, in the world’s first bicycles made from whisky casks.

Dedication to wood

Since 1843, Glenmorangie has been revered for its masterful whisky creation, challenging the bounds of single malt in pursuit of excellence. The Distillery’s dedication to its craft is never more apparent than in The Original. Created from spirit distilled in Scotland’s tallest stills, it is matured for ten years in the finest hand-selected ex-bourbon casks.

And unlike other distilleries, who may use their casks many times, the casks of The Original are only ever used twice, to ensure they enrich Glenmorangie’s delicate spirit with their fullest depths of flavour

In honour of these casks, which so shape The Original’s uniquely smooth and rounded character, Glenmorangie has searched the world to find brands which share its respect for wood and pioneering spirit. The single malt’s Beyond the Casks series began last year, with an innovative collaboration with British eyewear brand Finlay & Co. to create the world’s first Scotch whisky sunglasses from The Original’s casks. Renovo seemed a perfect partner for the second inspiring limited edition.


A meeting of minds

“From the moment we began talking to Renovo, we realised there was a natural affinity between our brands,” explains Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation. “Renovo shares our uncompromising approach to craftsmanship and, like Glenmorangie, is known for its pioneering work with wood. So, we shipped a pallet of staves from second-fill casks which once contained The Original from our Highland Distillery to Renovo’s workshop in the U.S. Then, we began to imagine the possibilities…”


Renovo was founded in 2007 by Ken Wheeler, a keen touring cyclist. He was inspired by wood’s unrivalled ability to absorb shock and resist fatigue to begin designing unique, hollow-framed wooden bicycles that displayed all the durability and beauty of an heirloom. Ken, who has a background in aeroplane engineering, was delighted by the prospect of working with Glenmorangie’s casks. “The American oak from which Glenmorangie makes its casks is a great wood,” he says. “Its engineering properties are ideal for bikes, as hard woods have a high stiffness. For us, the only aspect that was different was the shape of the staves, which have a curve to them, and the fact that they were a little damp, after spending years with whisky inside them… which, by the way, made them smell pretty good. Although, we have to admit to whisky fans, the scent has now diminished!”


Ken soon set his skilled craftsmen to work on these invitingly scented staves, creating innovative designs which would embrace the staves’ trapezoidal shape and their unique curvature. “We finally decided upon a design which would celebrate that curve in the downtube – the largest tube of the bicycle, which carries the most load,” he explains.


Creating an heirloom

Once the design was finalised, it took more than 20 hours – and 15 staves – to create each bicycle. At Renovo’s workshop, in Portland, Oregon, the wood was carefully cut into the shape required and any remaining charcoal (bourbon barrels are traditionally charred on the inside) was smoothed away. Ken’s craftsmen married the American oak with darker sapele wood, to bring an intriguing colour contrast to the hollow frame. Finally, they added a durable coating, and decorated the frame with Glenmorangie’s Signet icon and each bicycle’s individual number.


The finished bicycle, fitted with superior handlebars, pedals and other accessories, is a celebration of the values that Glenmorangie and Renovo share. Dr Bill adds: “In these beautiful bicycles, we have created a lasting tribute to Glenmorangie Original’s casks to which our award-winning whisky owes so much. I’m delighted that through our pioneering collaboration with Renovo, founded on a shared passion for innovation and expertise in wood – we ensure that these wonderful casks live on and on.”

The Original

The original expression of our elegant, floral spirit and the showcase whisky in the Glenmorangie range.


World’s fastest go-kart reaches 0-60mph in 1.5 seconds

The world’s fastest go-kart, the C5 Blast Go-Kart Ultimate, is claiming a 0-60mph (97km/h) time of just 1.5-seconds, making it nearly twice as fast as the most potent Tesla Model S.

Canadian kart maker Daymak claim to have made an electric kart that can accelerate quicker than an F1 car.

You have to get through Canadian winters somehow, and Toronto-based kart manufacturer Daymak clearly spend theirs pushing the boundaries of how fast they can make a go kart, er, go.

Enter the firm’s new C5 Blast Go-Kart Ultimate. Daymak are claiming an astonishing 0-60mph time for the kart of just 1.5 seconds – that’s quicker than a MotoGP bike, F1 car or rallycross supercar. Now imagine all that acceleration with your bum hanging mere millimetres off the tarmac…

The kart is packing full 12 EDF – or Electric Ducted Fan – motors, with eight located on either side of the driver, and four behind, making it look like an angry, protective peacock.

The price? Well, the C5 Blast Go-Kart Ultimate will set you back $60,000 in Canadian Dollars – about £34,000 – which does sound a lot for a kart. But then again, we doubt you could find a machine that will let you go faster for less, right?


“Speed will not be an issue, and we think we can eventually go under one-second 0-to-60mph, making it faster than any vehicle in existence,” said Aldo Baiocchi, President of Daymak.

Each go-kart is custom built and tested, with delivery taking 60 days after purchase.