The recent announcement of an electric semi-truck from Elon Musk-led Tesla Motors was generally met with enthusiasm, with the company getting wind in its sails courtesy of some key orders and government help.
Canada’s largest province of Ontario is offering $75,000 in Canadian dollars or (around $59,000 USD) for the purchase of Tesla electric trucks. They will similarly subsidize purchases from BYD, a Chinese auto manufacturer, as part of Ontario’s Green Commercial Vehicle Program, which gives out rebates on fuel-saving devices to promote the spread of eco-friendly vehicles.
The program will now offer up to a 60% rebate for buying a Tesla Semi.
"Although there is no limit on the number of alternative fuel commercial motor vehicles or fuel saving devices that an applicant may apply for," a spokesperson for the Canadian Ministry of Transport explained to The Drive. “Payment of incentives will be subject to the availability of funds and GCVP policy objectives, which may change over time."
Canadian food retailer Loblaw was one of the first to pre-order the trucks from Tesla.
In more good news for the electric auto manufacturer, UPS will be buying 125 of its semis - the largest such order so far. The delivery company is looking to grow its fleet of alternative-fuel vehicles.
The Semis will cost UPS $200,000 per truck, with the order totaling $25 million. UPS is betting that the overall cost of owning an electric vehicle will be lower than conventional vehicles, which cost around $120,000.
Tesla will provide technical support and consultation on the trucks, which will be primarily used in the U.S.
“We have high expectations and are very optimistic that this will be a good product and it will have firm support from Tesla to make it work,” said Scott Phillippi, UPS senior director.
Walmart, PepsiCo, fleet operator J.B. Hunt, and food company Sysco Corp. have also pre-ordered Semis from Tesla.