Walmart in line to Pilot Tesla Trucks

Tesla Inc.’s new all-electric Semi truck has started getting customers. Tesla Semi reservations require a $5,000 deposit per truck.

Walmart Stores Inc. is known to have preordered 5 trucks for its U.S. and 10 for Canadian units. Walmart spokesman Kory Lundberg said, “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. 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.”

Electrifying the big vehicles is creating lot of buzz in the commercial trucking industry. With autonomous features in addition to electrification will help operators save on labor costs.

The Grand Rapids, Michigan-based retailer, Meijer Inc., has reserved four Semi trucks said Dan Scherer, a fleet manager. He said Meijer operates 220 trucks in six states in the Midwest.

The Lowell, Arkansas-based logistics company, J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc., is also known to have placed a reservation to buy multiple Tesla Semi tractors. Chief Executive Officer John Roberts said, “Reserving Tesla trucks marks an important step in our efforts to implement industry-changing technology. We believe electric trucks will be most beneficial on local and dray routes, and we look forward to utilizing this new, sustainable technology.”

Tesla is apparently only building the trucks to North American specifications and limiting orders to the continent. However, there are a few European companies that are interested in the vehicles.

For Tesla Semi and the next-gen Roadster, production is still 2 to 3 years away.