Tesla is using the same reservation system for the Tesla Semi as it has used for its previous vehicles. By requiring a cash deposit with each pre-order, the company is able to bring in some cash before it even begins production. It’s a model that other automakers can only envy (and it does benefit customers by allowing them to minimize the wait time for their new vehicles).
Tesla has increased the required cash deposit to $20,000 per truck (or the full $200,000 price for a special Founders Series model), so when a customer places a large order, it represents quite a vote of confidence in the product, which gives Tesla a publicity boost in addition to the welcome cash.
Now the company has received what appears to be the largest Tesla Semi order to date. Pride Group Enterprises, a truck leasing firm that operates in about a dozen markets in the US and Canada, has placed a reservation for 150 Semis, with an option to buy a total of 500.
The order is estimated to be worth between $22 million and $100 million, and should add at least $3 million to Tesla’s coffers right away.
Tesla plans to offer two variants of the Semi: a version with 300 miles of range will cost $150,000, and a 500-mile version will go for $180,000. Efficiency is expected to be around 2 kWh per mile fully laden, which could translate to as much as $200,000 in savings on fuel and maintenance over each vehicle’s lifetime.
The production date has been pushed back a few times since the Semi’s 2017 unveiling, and recently Tesla has been making vague predictions that production will begin “soon.” Pride Group has said nothing about when it expects deliveries to begin.
“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,” said Pride Group CEO Sam Johal. “We believe that electrification is the way of the future as we work together across multiple industries to reduce our carbon footprint. We have the option to increase our order as we gauge customer acceptance of this new technology.”