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Staggering financial benefit of Tesla Semi fleet revealed in Jay Leno interview: ‘[It] attracts a lot of our customers’

“You’re looking at nearly $200,000 in fuel savings.”

"You're looking at nearly $200,000 in fuel savings."

Photo Credit: X

The Tesla Semi has been making waves as an all-electric heavy-duty hauling vehicle from America’s most famous EV company. Even Jay Leno recently spotlighted the truck — and that interview revealed the powerful financial reason that so many companies are making the EV switch.

We already knew that powering an EV is cheaper than fueling a traditional gas-powered engine. In fact, recent rule changes by the EPA that will encourage Americans to drive EVs are expected to save drivers $1 trillion over the next 30 years, per Yale Climate Connections. Plus, electric engines are quieter, smell better, and don’t produce toxic fumes or heat-trapping gases that warm up the planet.

Now, Tesla has proved that those benefits can scale up.

Leno interviewed Dan Priestley, Tesla’s senior manager of semi-truck engineering, during an episode of the Emmy-winning “Jay Leno’s Garage.”

In a clip from that encounter posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, Leno asks, “I can’t imagine, what is it with something like this versus a diesel truck?”

“Yeah, the first three years of operation, you’re looking at nearly $200,000 in fuel savings,” replies Priestley. “That’s massive for a fleet, particularly when you look at ones that have thousands of trucks. So that’s what really attracts a lot of our customers, is the economics of the total cost of ownership.”

The benefits for a company are obvious. A $200,000 savings for one truck means that a company with a modest five-truck fleet can save $1 million in those first three years of operation — and then keep saving.

Even factoring in the cost of the upgrade, it’s a good deal. A basic Tesla Semi with a 300-mile range is expected to start at $150,000, and the long-range version that travels 500 miles on a single charge comes in at $180,000, according to Business Insider. That means each truck is paying for itself in fuel savings alone in less than three years.

One company that has begun to make the switch is snack and beverage giant PepsiCo, which started using some Tesla Semis in late 2022.

The Jay Leno clip was shared by Tesla Owners Silicon Valley (@teslaownersSV), which calls itself “the most notorious Tesla club in the world.”

The tweet attracted commenters who marveled at the cost and pointed out that there was a potential for even greater savings. 

“Wow it’s a big saving,” one person wrote

“Crazy thing is electricity is a fraction of the cost here in [Pa.] vs [Calif.],” said another user. “Gas is just as pricey.”

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