UPS pre-orders Tesla electric trucks

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Sandy Spring-based UPS has pre-ordered 125 electric Tesla Semi trucks, a move that could signal a major step for electric vehicles in commercial trucking.

UPS said the new trucks will join its fleet of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles, including trucks powered by electricity, natural gas, propane and other fuels.

UPS chief information and engineering officer Juan Perez said in a written statement that the company has long tested new technologies, and the electric trucks could “usher in a new era of improved safety, reduced environmental impact and reduced cost of ownership.”

Telsa Semi tractors, which are not expected to go into production until 2019, would be designed to go up to 500 miles on a charge and have safety features like automatic emergency braking and automated lane guidance.