Tesla’s Semis have a big name early advocate: Walmart.
After a huge announcement and earth-shattering claims set to change the freight industry, Walmart has joined a short list of major retailers testing Tesla’s new Semis, announcing a pre-order of 15 vehicles.
Of the 15 semis, five will support U.S. operations, and the remaining ones will cover Canadian routes.
Walmart already operates approximately 6,000 trucks nationwide in moving products from distribution centers to stores.
“We have a long history of testing new technology — including alternative fuel trucks — and we are excited to be among the first to pilot this new heavy-duty electric vehicle,” said a Walmart spokesperson. “We believe we can learn how this technology performs within our supply chain, as well as how it could help us meet some of our long-term sustainability goals, such as lowering emissions.”
Other companies to join the fray include JB Hunt and Canadian grocery store chain Meijer.
Tesla Semi has captured imaginations with its formidable specifications list that blow traditional diesel trucks out of the water. According to Tesla, the truck has a 0 to 60 mph time of 20 seconds with an 80,000-pound load capacity, a top speed of 65 mph on 5 percent hill grades, and a 500-mile range.
Other goodies include fleet management system connectivity to sync multiple trucks to move in formation, two touchscreen panels on opposite sides of the driver, and its inexpensive cost contributing to thousands of dollars saved in fuel each year.
Charging is also on point with a 400-mile charge in 30 minutes using a Tesla high-speed Mega charger.
Look for the Tesla Semi to go into production in 2019 with its first deliveries to go out by the end of the same year.