The Tesla Semi was presented to the world last night by Elon Musk. Walmart was so intrigued, they pre-ordered 15 trucks to drive around the U.S. and Canada. This move could pay-off big for Tesla, as Walmart has a fleet of around 6,000 trucks all over the country to move merchandise around.
“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 spokesman Kory Lundberg. “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.”
Tesla’s Semi goes from 0 to 60 in 5 seconds, a previously unimaginable speed for vehicle that size. Towing the maximum 80,000 lbs, it can go from 0 to 60 in 20 seconds, and 65 mph at a 5% incline which is significantly faster than its diesel counterpart at 45 mph. 80% of routes are less than 250 miles in distance which means the 500 mile range of the Tesla Semi will be able to get someone there and back with no problem.
In addition to being remarkably efficient on the road, the truck is safe and driver friendly. It has automatic emergency braking, automatic lane keeping, and will have enough room in the cab for the driver to stand.
J.B. Hunt Transport Services is also in the mix, reportedly pre-ordered ‘multiple’ trucks themselves. Musk promises lower costs to companies using diesel trucks, and as more companies taking them up on that offer, the four truck manufacturers that currently dominate the Class 8 truck market will have to counter if they want to survive.