September 29th, 2020 by Steve Hanley
There are over 2,000 pre-orders for the Tesla Semi and that number just grew by about 80 trucks. Walmart Canada announced this week it has tripled its order to a total of 130 of the all-electric cargo haulers as part of its commitment to convert 20% of its fleet to electric trucks by the end or 2022 and to 100% by 2028. Once all those 130 trucks are received and placed in service, Walmart Canada will have one of the largest fleets of electric semis in the country.
The transition to zero emissions vehicles is in line with the parent company’s pledge to reduce its carbon emissions to zero by 2040, a goal announced earlier this month as part of the global Climate Week campaign. In total, Walmart Canada will invest $3.5 billion over the next five years to expand its business in a sustainable fashion.
“Tripling our reservation of Tesla Semi trucks is part of our ongoing effort to innovate the business and prioritize sustainability,” says John Bayliss, senior vice president for logistics at Walmart Canada. “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.”
Not only is the Tesla Semi 100% electric; it incorporates a number of safety features such as automatic emergency braking, lane centering, and lane departure warnings. “We are tremendously excited to equip our drivers with this next generation equipment. The safety and smart elements in the design are at the heart of our smart transportation ambition which will use technology and data to lower our operating costs and improve safety for associates,” says Francis Lalonde, vice president for transportation at Walmart Canada.
The Tesla Semi is one of the safest trucks on the road and it is ultra efficient as well. It uses less than two kilowatt hours of electricity per mile when traveling fully loaded at normal highway speeds. That alone will save the company lots of money in diesel fuel costs compared to the cost of electricity. It can accelerate to 60 mph when fully loaded in 20 seconds (about the same as a 1956 Volkswagen Beetle!) and can climb a 5% grade at a steady 65 mph. A typical diesel tractor labors to pull an 80,000 load up a 5% grade at 45 mph. It also has a maximum range of 500 miles — well within the normal daily round trip distance for Walmart trucks in Canada.
In addition, the Tesla Semi should cost far less to maintain and repair than a convention diesel powered tractor, making the total cost of ownership for the electric trucks lower than it would be for conventional tractors. And of course, those 130 Tesla Semis won’t be spewing a cloud of carbon dioxide, NOx, and fine particulate matter in their wake. Costs less to own and reduces emissions? The EV revolution is here.
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