Giant German based logistics and transport company DHL has said that the time taken to recoup the extra capital cost of electric delivery vehicles and trucks could be 25 per cent less than even the audacious claims made by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

When Tesla unveiled its electric prime mover , it made bold claims about the trucks saying that companies would recoup the cost of the vehicle in two years thanks to the savings on fuel.

Now DHL North American exec Jim Monkmeyer has told Reuters  that might have been conservative.

Monkmeyer said that he expects the shipping company to recoup the extra cost in just 18 months, saving tens of thousands of dollars per year in fuel costs. The absence of fuel is only part of the equation, he noted. As EV motors are much less complex than diesel engines in conventional trucks, emphasising the Semi won’t need as much maintenance.

Appropriately, Tesla’s Elon Musk has hinted that the Semi’s performance might see an upgrade. He’s “feeling optimistic” that Tesla can outdo the specs from the November 2017 debut without hiking the price. That probably should be taken with a grain of salt given Musk tends to set overly ambitious goals but when a company like DHL throws its weight behind the claims they are given more weight.

DHL’s hopes depend on the Semi living up to initial expectations, of course, and there’s a lot that could go wrong. It’s no mean feat to produce an EV that large with a range of 500 to 800 km (the battery will be gigantic), and a lot of Tesla’s calculations are predicated on the assumption that diesel prices will remain the same. If there are unforeseen technical hurdles or diesel becomes cheap, the Semi’s value may go down the tubes. However, it’s not often that customers suggest a vehicle maker is underselling its product.