Bee’ah, the UAE-based environmental energy and waste management company, has ordered 50 Tesla Semi trucks.
The purchase will see Bee’ah have the first and largest fleet of Tesla trucks in the Middle East, which are expected to come fitted with Tesla Autopilot that allows semi-autonomous driving on motorways.
Bee’ah said it placed the order immediately after they were launched on November 16 last.
With production of the electric trucks due to begin in 2019, the first delivery is expected in 2020.
Bee’ah, which has a current fleet of over 1,000 vehicles, said the Tesla Semi trucks will primarily be used for waste collection and transportation, including transportation of materials for recovery.
Launched in California by CEO Elon Musk, the new Tesla Semi truck will provide Bee’ah’s with vehicles capable of travelling 805 kilometres on a single charge. Running on battery power, the trucks are guaranteed for 1.6 million kilometres of usable life, while carrying 36,287 kilograms of cargo.
The Sharjah-based firm already has a number of electric vehicles in its fleet, having partnered with some US-based companies specialised in transforming diesel-powered vehicles into electric ones.
Bee’ah said the purchase from Tesla is the next phase of the company’s transition to a full eco-friendly fleet, as it works on other future partnerships that will eventually allow the company to get rid of all vehicles that run on diesel.
The move towards electric vehicles is in line with the company’s policy of improving air quality for the UAE community. In late 2015, the company announced seven new air-monitoring stations, which collect and analyse data on local air pollution to help partners in government and education form new strategies for reducing harmful emissions across industries.
“We are extremely pleased to turn towards Tesla for a solution that enhances our leadership of sustainable practices in the region,” said Salim Al Owais, chairman of Bee’ah.
“As a company that strives to be the best in our field, we only work with partners that we consider to be the best in theirs. Through this latest investment, we hope to demonstrate to others the value and importance of seeking out better, more viable ways of achieving our business aims, all for the greater good of our communities.”
The deal for 50 trucks is the second major investment in Tesla. Last year, the Bee’ah engaged Tesla to fit its Powerpack battery technology at Bee’ah’s state-of-the-art net zero energy headquarter complex, which is currently under construction.
The Tesla batteries will store solar energy to power the building, and any excess electricity generated will be fed directly into Sharjah’s main power supply grid, thereby ensuring maximum efficiency.
The use of Tesla Powerpack technology marked a significant step towards Bee’ah’s vision of a future where buildings are powered solely by renewable energy – starting with its own headquarters. Designed by revered British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, the new headquarters is currently under construction in Sharjah, and will become a platinum LEED certified building upon completion.
“Bee’ah’s investment in Tesla’s Semi trucks and its Powerpack battery technology is a further example of our quest to take a holistic approach to environmental management, stretching far beyond waste management,” said Al Owais.
“Beyond their obvious environmental benefits, the new Tesla trucks also signify another step forward in Bee’ah’s march towards innovative tech-based solutions to the region’s most pressing challenges.
"Autonomous technology will enable multiple Tesla Semi trucks to travel in convoy unaided by human intervention, bringing safer transportation to the UAE’s roads. To the same end, on-board sensors will detect instability during travel, and automatically make adjustments to vehicle torque and braking to prevent dangerous ‘jackknifing’.”
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