Well, it didn’t take long for a company to announce its commitment to Tesla’s new Semi trucks. Tesla held an incredible event last night announcing their new Semi truck, and Walmart has already announced that it has ordered these awesome trucks from Tesla.
According to CNBC, Walmart says that it has preordered 15 of the new electric Semi trucks from Tesla. It’s likely that Walmart initiated discussions before Tesla even announced the Semi truck publicly, but getting interest from Walmart is a bit start for Tesla. Out of the thousands of trucks that Walmart uses on a daily basis, 15 may seem like a small number, but it’s a good sign for Tesla (and everyone else) that there are companies who believe in the product. Walmart publicly announcing the purchase is a big boost of confidence for Elon Musk and his mission to revolutionize the Semi truck industry.
Update: Wal-Mart says it’s preordered 15 of Tesla’s new electric tractor trailers https://t.co/hv1SaZlyNb
— CNBC (@CNBC) November 17, 2017
The pilot purchase from Walmart is planned for use in US and Canada. Walmart says that five of the preordered vehicles will be used for Walmart’s US business, and 10 will be used for its Canadian routes. Walmart right now has about 6,000 trucks in its fleet.
In a statement, Walmart said that “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.” In addition, “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.”
We reached out to Tesla to comment on Walmart’s purchase, but the Tesla spokesperson declined to comment on its customers.
During the event, Musk said that the truck will enter production in 2019. Trucking companies are closely watching how Tesla addresses production for the Semi truck. Furthermore, industry watchers are keeping a close eye on things such as per-mile cost, maintenance costs, maintenance issues, and EV charging infrastructure for the trucks.
Walmart, however, isn’t the only company that announced preorders for the Semi truck. JB Hunt Transport Service, a 56-year-old company based out of Arkansas, said that it has reserved “multiple” Semi trucks from Tesla. President and chief executive officer, John Roberts, said that “We believe electric trucks will be most beneficial on local and dray routes, and we look forward to utilizing this new, sustainable technology.”