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The purchase price difference between a Tesla Semi and a regular diesel truck could potentially be paid off in less than two years, according to Jim Monkmeyer, president of Transportation at DHL Supply Chain.

The cost could be recouped due to savings on maintenance and fuel.

“We are estimating that we could have pay back within a year-and-a-half based on energy usage as well as lower maintenance cost,” Monkmeyer said to Reuters.

DHL bought 10 Tesla Semis

“The maintenance savings can be enormous as well. Just because the engines are much simpler in terms of the number of parts and the complexities of the parts.”

DHL has only ordered 10 Tesla Semis so far but was one of the first companies to do so. It is currently trialling the vehicles with a view to transitioning the majority of its fleet from fuel to electric in the years ahead.

However, the cost of diesel is not static and fuel efficiency is always improving, which means that Tesla might not seem so cost-effective in the future.

Monkmeyer also said that Tesla infrastructure could be an issue, raising the question of how robust its network of charging stations will be versus the availability of diesel pumps.

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