Tesla recently received a preorder for 130 of its Semi trucks from Walmart Canada. The retailer made the order to save on logistics costs and lessen its environmental impact. The Fremont, California automaker has not set a firm release date for its battery-powered 18 wheelers.
CEO Elon Musk tweeted that his company intended to begin volume production of its electric big rigs in June.
Why Walmart Canada Wants So Many Tesla Semis
Currently, Walmart Canada operates 408 physical locations in the Great White North that serve 1.5 million customers daily. To keep those stores fully stocked, the firm needs to make large freight shipments regularly. Consequently, the corporation has to spend a fortune on gasoline and transportation maintenance costs every year.
The retailer believes the Tesla Semi can help it lower its logistics costs and decrease its pollution output. In fact, the corporation reserved 15 of the electric ground haulers when the carmaker unveiled them in 2017.
In a press release, Walmart Canada explained the automaker’s electric tractor-trailers have better energy per mile rates than diesel-powered trucks. The firm noted the Semi’s 500-mile range would allow it to complete a delivery cycle without needing a recharge.
The corporation also significantly increased its electric big-rig order to help it fulfill its environmental commitments. Walmart Canada intends to make 20 percent of its logistics fleet battery-powered by the end of 2022 and upgrade its entire transportation network to zero-emission vehicles by 2028.
The hypermarket chain did not disclose the financial terms of its massive electric 18 wheeler preorder. Buyers can reserve Tesla’s standard edition Semis for $20,000 while its “Founders Series” is available for advance purchase at $200,000.
The Expanding Utility of Tesla’s Vehicles
Upon its founding in 2003, Tesla sought to break into the consumer vehicle market with its stylish sedans, sports cars, and crossovers. But in recent years, the appeal and utility of its automobiles has greatly expanded.
Early last year, the company introduced a $35,000 version of its Model 3. By April 2019, the modestly priced auto became the best-selling electric vehicle (EV) in U.S. history. Last March, the Model 3 broke the Nissan Leaf’s record as the world’s most purchased EV.
Tesla’s cars have also gained increased resonance with law enforcement agencies and taxi services across the world.
Police departments in Luxembourg, Indiana, California, and Denver have added the manufacturer’s battery-powered vehicles to their fleets. Officials said the fuel efficiency, high-performance, and low maintenance costs of Tesla’s products made them ideal patrol cars.
Law enforcement agencies in Dubai and Mexico have also reserved units of the firm’s forthcoming Cybertruck to facilitate their operations.
Last December, a cab company in Germany announced it would spend $3 million to upgrade its fleet with Tesla EVs. The firm told Electrek the environmental and financial benefits offered by the battery-powered cars made a bulk order a no-brainer.
Because of their relative novelty, EVs only made up 2.6 percent of all cars sold worldwide last year. But as Tesla sedans, trucks, and big rigs are becoming increasingly popular in the commercial sector, electric transports are approaching an inflection point. In the not too distant future, the public might view fossil fuel-powered vehicles as charming anachronisms.