Nearly a year after Tesla introduced the Tesla Semi to the world, demand for Tesla’s all-electric semi-truck shows no signs of slowing down. Less than four weeks after the unveiling, Tesla was already fielding pre-orders from a range of Fortune 500 companies, including UPS which put in an order for 125 units. Since then, Tesla Semi pre-orders have continued to roll in, with the Financial Post reporting that Walmart recently placed an order for 30 additional vehicles, on top of the 10 they already reserved late last year.
The move comes as Walmart aims to reduce its overall carbon footprint. Indeed, Walmart is aiming to utilize electric vehicles exclusively within the next 10 years. Before then, 20% of Walmart’s Canadian fleet may be comprised of electric vehicles within the next few years.
“We are always looking for innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment and lead the industry in the drive for sustainable change,” Walmart’s John Bayliss told the Post.
Tesla Semi production is slated to begin sometime in 2019, with the entry-level Tesla Semi model said to boast a range of 300 miles (priced at $150,000) with a more premium model boasting an impressive range of 500 miles (priced at $180,000). As for the underlying interest in the Tesla Semi, environmental awareness is just one part of the equation. Large companies are also interested in the Tesla Semi because it promises to improve overall safety on the road and improve overall profitability.
To this point, DHL Supply Chain president Jim Monkmeyer recently said that while a Tesla Semi may be more expensive than a diesel truck at the time of purchase, the difference in cost can quickly be made up within two years thanks to “savings on maintenance and fuel.”
“The maintenance savings can be enormous,” Monkmeyer added. “Just because the engines are much simpler in terms of the number of parts and the complexities of the parts.”
Meanwhile, Elon Musk has boasted that the final specs of the Tesla Semi may be even more impressive than what the company initially announced. Of course, the looming question with respect to the Tesla Semi is whether or not Tesla can actually ship it on time.