Tesla (TSLA) secures massive order of Tesla Semi electric trucks from Walmart

Tesla Semi

Tesla (TSLA) has secured a massive order of 130 Tesla Semi electric trucks from Walmart Canada.

Back in 2017, shortly after the unveiling of the Tesla Semi, Walmart Canada ordered 15 electric trucks from the automaker.

They have been adding to that original order and now almost 3 years later and after the Tesla Semi program was delayed, Walmart has announced that it is expanding its Tesla Semi orders to 130 trucks:

“Walmart Canada is now reserving a total of 130 Tesla Semi trucks, making it one of the largest reservations of electrified trucks in the country. The move comes on the heels of Walmart Canada announcing a major $3.5 billion investment over the next five years aimed to generate significant growth in the business and is aligned with  Walmarts global goal to target zero emissions by 2040 announced at Climate Week earlier this month.”

Tesla first started taking reservations with a $5,000 deposit per truck, but it later changed the listed deposit price to $20,000 for a “base reservation” of the production version and the full $200,000 for the “Founders Series” truck.

It means that Walmart would have placed over $2 million in deposits alone for the electric trucks and the total order could be worth over $20 million.

It makes this new order one of the biggest orders to date for the Tesla Semi.

John Bayliss, Senior Vice-president of Logistics and Supply Chain at Walmart Canada, commented on the new order:

Tripling our reservation of Tesla Semi trucks is part of our ongoing effort to innovate the business and prioritize sustainability. By converting 20 per cent of our fleet to electric vehicles by the end of 2022 and committing to alternative power for all fleet vehicles by 2028, we are putting safety, innovation and sustainability at the forefront of our logistics network.”

In a press release, Walmart cites the following sustainability and safety features as “key highlights on the new Tesla Semi electric trucks”:

  • Tesla Semi consumes less than two kilowatt-hours of energy per mile at Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) and highway speed, significantly reducing operating costs per mile compared to diesel.
  • 500 miles range allows a driver to go to their destination and back without recharging (500 mile range at maximum weight at highway speed)
  • Capable of 0-60 mph in 20 seconds with a full 80,000-pound load and can climb 5 per cent grades at a steady 65 mph (compared to 45mph for same grade in a diesel truck)
  • Regenerative braking technology recovers 98 per cent of kinetic energy to the battery
  • Surrounding vehicle cameras and sensors aid object detection and minimize blind spots, automatically alerting the driver to safety hazards and obstacles
  • Additional driver safety features including Automatic Emergency Braking, Automatic Lane Keeping, Lane Departure Warning

Walmart notes that the range of 500 miles on a single charge is one of the main reasons they chose to go with the Tesla Semi:

“The ability to travel 500 miles per charge is in line with Walmart Canada’s general fleet system, which consists mainly of single day round trips – allowing for the ability to convert from diesel at a faster pace. The enhanced driver safety features also offer a significant opportunity for the company to continue to address this critical issue.”

They didn’t note when they expect to take delivery of the electric trucks, but they did say that the order is part of their plan for 20% of their fleet to be electric vehicles by the end of 2022.

At the unveiling of the Tesla Semi in 2017, the automaker said that the electric truck would be coming in 2019, but the vehicle has since been pushed to “low-volume production in late 2020.”

The timeline was later pushed to 2021, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently told employees in an email obtained by Electrek that “it’s time to bring Tesla Semi to volume production” without updating the timeline.

Recently, the automaker has been talking about building a few more pre-production Tesla Semi prototypes toward the end of the year and then move to volume production in Texas next year.

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