Tesla’s electric truck division just received a huge a shot in the arm from Walmart.
Walmart announced that they are more than tripling their previous order of the electric 18-wheelers manufactured by Tesla. They are upping the total number to 130. Tesla first revealed their new Semi truck back in November 2017.
The Tesla Semis will reduce Walmart’s operating costs, while improving the sustainability of its fleet, the company said. Walmart also cited the truck’s safety features, which include emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and lane-departure warning, as reasons for purchasing the vehicles.
Walmart Shifts Green
The new order comes as part of Walmart’s plan to convert 20% of its fleet to electric by 2022. They have also pledged to run their entire fleet on alternative power by 2028.
Walmart says it aims to reduce its global carbon emissions to zero by 2040. Last week, they announced plans to “protect, manage or restore at least 50 million acres of land and one million square miles of ocean by 2030.”
That announcement came as wildfires — which have become more severe in recent years due to climate change — continued to plague the U.S. West Coast. They have torched more than five million acres of land in Oregon, California, and Washington State.
Walmart’s $3.5 billion environmental investment will impact every aspect of the retailer’s business. They predict it will lead to a faster e-commerce experience, two new distribution centers to speed up the flow of products, “smarter” stores, an enhanced omni experience, and modern digital tools.
When Will They Arrive?
Walmart didn’t say exactly when it plans to take delivery of the battery-powered trucks. Tesla initially said the vehicles would hit the market in 2019, but now expects production and deliveries to start in 2021. Highlights of Tesla’s electric truck include the following.
- Consuming less than two kilowatt-hours of energy per mile at Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) and highway speed. That significantly reduces operating costs per mile compared to diesel trucks.
- A 500 mile battery range will allow many drives to get to their destination (and back) without having to recharge.
- Can reach 60 mph in 20 seconds with a full 80,000-pound load. It can climb five percent grades at a steady 65 mph — compared to 45 mph 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. They will automatically alert the driver to safety hazards and obstacles.
Tesla and Walmart are obviously two of the largest and most valuable companies in the United States. If these Tesla Semis end up being a huge hit, you can expect other corporations to jump on the electric truck bandwagon too.