Tesla Semis sales continue to grow

Elon Musk is forcing the entire automotive world to transform to electric
Elon Musk is forcing the entire automotive world to transform to electric

While it represents only a fraction of the larger market for heavy-duty trucks, as the Wall Street Journal points out, Tesla’s pre-order list for the electric semi has continued to grow.

Here’s a roundup of all the companies to date that have preordered the semis

  • Walmart – Shortly after the release of the truck, Walmart said it preordered 15 vehicles as part of a pilot test in the U.S. and Canada. The company said in a statement that it believes “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."
  • Anheuser Busch – It’s not yet clear whether the company will purchase the 40 semis outright, or if they’ll be leased, but the objective is to include them in a fleet that, the company says, will help reduce its operational carbon footprint by 30 percent.
  • J.B. Hunt – The trucking company said it pre-ordered “multiple"(reportedly as many as 40) Tesla semis, calling it an “important step in our efforts to implement industry-changing technology."
  • Meijer – The Michigan-based grocery chain said the night of Tesla’s semi release party that it pre-ordered four trucks for testing purposes.
  • JK Moving – Based in Washington, the moving company has ordered at least four semis.
  • Loblaw – The Canadian supermarket chain pre-ordered 25 semis, saying it’s a part of a “our commitment to electrify our fleet."
  • Fercam – The Italian trucking company reportedly pre-ordered a single semi, even though Tesla’s reportedly building the trucks to North American specifications.
  • Girteka Logistics – Another Europe-based transport company, Girketa reportedly also placed a pre-order for one Teslas semi.
  • Ryder – The company hasn’t said how many semis it pre-ordered, only telling the Wall Street Journal last month that it was “in the process of placing its initial order for a fleet" of them.
  • DHL Supply Chain – The logistics trucking company pre-ordered 10 semis, reportedly with the intention of testing them on longer runs and evaluating their driver’s response to them.
  • Fortigo Freight Services – A Canadian logistics firm, Fortigo told the Wall Street Journal it ordered a single Tesla semi.

All told, by that count, Tesla has at least 140 semis pre-ordered. The automaker hasn’t officially released a reservation count.

Tesla says the trucks will start at $150,000 with a 300-mile range; at $180,000, the trucks are expected to pack a 500-mile range. Those are set as “base" prices, though, so, similar to the Model 3, there’s likely to be some fluctuation when add-ons are taken into consideration.

At the launch event, Musk touted the 0-60 speed of five seconds, and the trucks will come equipped with Tesla’s semi-autonomous Autopilot suite. The trucks have a centrally-mounted seat, which positions the driver like they’re in a McLaren F1. For what it’s worth, according to Musk, the trucks can withstand a thermonuclear explosion.

Tesla’s planning to install new “Megachargers" that, Musk said, can restore the vehicle with 400 miles of range in about 30 minutes.

Not every trucking company’s buying into the idea of an all-electric semi just yet. Operating with slim margins, there’s numerous outstanding questions of just how feasible the Tesla trucks are for business.

“We’re going to sit on the sidelines and watch that develop," James Welch, chief executive of truckload carrier YRC Worldwide Inc., told theWall Street Journal. Welch seemed particularly concerned with having to stop and recharge the vehicles. “Recharging time has to be quick because you’re paying a driver whether he or she is running or sitting," Welch told the newspaper.

Nevertheless, there’s clearly a willingness to see how the trucks perform. Musk said the trucks will be available by 2019-around the same time the list of Tesla’s supposed to be approaching the end of the Model 3 deposit list, beginning production of the Model Y, and prepping production of the new Roadster. Jalopnik

“If you order the truck now," Musk maintained last month, “you’ll get it in two years."

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