Walmart, J.B. Hunt, Loblaws Among The First To Reserve Tesla Semi

Tesla Semi


Tesla Semi

Tesla Semi

Tesla has proven yet again that it can beat the odds after what was supposed to be a Tesla Semi reveal turned into much more, and companies are already flocking to reserve the future electric hauler.

Yes, despite many people waiting years for their Tesla Model Xs, and now some not-so-fast Model 3 production — with some 500,000 people waiting patiently — one would think that there might be some hesitation to jump on the “Tesla slew of new products bandwagon.” Nope, this is not the case. The company continues to prove time and time again that many people have the utmost faith in Elon Musk and Tesla’s future plans.

Tesla Semi

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaking at the electric semi truck event.

This time, we’re not even talking about a bunch of Average Joes. Now, the automaker has reeled in immediate support from corporate entities.

Tesla shares were slowly dropping as of late, mostly due to Model 3 production woes.  But they jumped 4.5 percent almost immediately as J.B. Hunt Transport Services announced that it had already reserved “multiple” Tesla Semis. President and chief executive officer at J.B. Hunt, John Roberts shared:

“We believe electric trucks will be most beneficial on local and (daily) routes, and we look forward to utilizing this new, sustainable technology.”

Not long after Hunt’s announcement, Walmart revealed that it’s planning to test the electric semis for use in its fleet. In fact, the retailer already pre-ordered 15 of the behemoths.  Meijer, the Michigan-based grocery chain also picked up 4 copies.

The Tesla Semi, with 500 miles of range, far exceeded most people’s expectations, as Musk promised it would. The event itself also caught us by surprise since Musk revealed the new Roadster, a strange but innovative pickup truck that can haul a pickup truck, and the company’s new Megachargers – which will quickly charge the upcoming semi (400 miles of range in just 30 minutes reportedly).

Ben Kallo, senior research analyst at Baird said in a note:

“TSLA unveiled the Tesla Semi, a heavy-duty truck we believe could be disruptive to trucking markets given the strong specifications (~500 mile range) and low expected cost of ownership (potentially ~20% less expensive per mile than traditional trucks).

We believe the large U.S. market will support sales of the Tesla Semi as we think the vehicle should be competitive with many traditional heavy-duty trucks, and exceed performance of existing electric trucks.”

Brad Delco of Stephens Research told CNBC in an email:

Tesla Semi

A look inside the Tesla Semi

“This news is not unexpected. Transportation companies are always looking for ways to lower operating costs given the competitiveness in the industry. My assumption is that they will purchase a few trucks and test them in a more localized freight network before making a bigger purchases decision.”

In regards to Walmart — which has a fleet of more than 6,000 trucks servicing the U.S. and Canada — five of the preorders will be tested in the U.S. while the other 10 are Canada-bound. The retailer told CNBC:

“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.”

And it turns out, Walmart is not the only retailer in Canada that’s biting. Canadian grocery store chain, Loblaws, just joined the electric semi club with its order of 25 Tesla Semis. Catherine Thomas, a spokeswoman for the grocer, said that plans are in place to have a fully electric corporate fleet by 2030.

Source: CNBC, Yahoo FinanceHat tip to Henry R!

Categories: Tesla, Trucks


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87 Comments on "Walmart, J.B. Hunt, Loblaws Among The First To Reserve Tesla Semi"

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IMO day short haul from warehouse to store.

You must have clicked the wrong link. This is not the Mercedes Fuso eCanter, it’s the Tesla Semi.

Now move along…

It does not have the range of Nikola One.


FCOL!!!! Enough of the capitals!! I haven’t even finished my first cup of tea, yet!

Don’t tell me to “move along”, we will get you moving along permanently.

Yes, SJC has broken cover as a shill for Big Oil.

Oh you are SO clever…not.

It generally posts early in the morning, Moscow time.

Moscow bots, the net is infested with them.

As awsome as the Tesla semi sounds large shipping companies wont but them in bulk till they test them for a year or two at least which is why Walmart is buying such small numbers and why large sales numbers will lage the start of production…
I also have to ask if it is time for Tesla to outsource production of the Semi and roadster fot the obvious reasons of lack of cash and lack of factories??

Which is perfect, because by the time Tesla can build them in any quantity they will have been tested, and in extremely high demand.

ICE is dead. Welcome to the start of the future, where one can walk down the street during heavy traffic, and breathe clean air, enjoy far less noise, and enjoy the safety of an autonomous transportation infrastructure..

Don’t write the obit for ICE vehicles just yet. We may get to 50% market share eventually, but we probably won’t get to 90% any time soon. Gasoline is a remarkable substance. It is energy dense, easy to fuel and remarkably cheap.

You listed literally the only advantages. Everything else with gasoline is downsides.

Nor does he mention the carbon returns directly to the atmosphere, after partially and inefficiently, burning it.

I _DO_ want to see the solar array system for these MegaChargers Elon spoke of, though…

“Powered by Sunlight(tm)” We’ve heard that before.

A Megacharger can be supplied by a 250 m side square of solar panels or by an average sized wind generator. That is all including night time out for PV and no wind time for wind power.
Also that is for a permanent continuous Megacharging 24/7 which is obviously far from reality. Ok, there are usually several chargers in one spot but at night very few people are charging, so on average the equivalent of one Megawatt feed will be enough initially.

Yeah I’ll say its early to say “Death of ICE”.

I for myself only drive plug-in vehicles, 1 BEV and 1 PHEV, yet I’m in the minority.

More ICE’s were made last year than any in the entire history of internal combustian manufacture.

And, ICE’s are being used in NEW APPLICIATIONS – for instance the new 163 Megawatt Natural Gas/Oil plant in Northern California.

This HUMBOLT BAY CENTRAL STATION has 10 – 22,000 hp engines cranking out the juice. They are ‘dual fuel’ in that they start as a diesel but run as a natural gas plant. And during emergencies they can totally run on oil. Normally, fuel consumption of each engine is 650 gallons/hour but decreases to a trivial 3 gallons/hour when operating in gas mode (the cylinder is ignited as a diesel (sparkless), but most of the fuel ‘charge’ is methane). Typical efficiencies even BEFORE the waste heat is sold for productive purposes is over 60%.

So if you have a Tesla and live in the area, you can thank these ICE’s for providing your juice – unless you are super-rich and can afford a solar-island for yourself.

And the reason for this Nat Gas plant and many others Bill:

So in the not to distant future these plants will become largely stranded assets and that process has already started.

No surprise to me that electricity usage is a bit down since their rates have been confiscatory. That is the REAL question I have, – why do Californians accept such nonsensical power rates?

Better you guys than me.

The local power company here TRIED to do PG&E rates. That lasted exactly one month. Next month the rates were exactly 40% of the month before after all the complaints. Totally coincidentally, of course.

We Californians pay higher rates but our average monthly bills are smaller by about $30 per month. How can that be? Our higher efficiency requirements are a big part of that. A mild climate is also a part of it. When you consider our electricity bills as a percentage of income then you should ask why the rest of the country doesn’t get on board the efficiency wagon. Those poor fools are wasting money which they don’t have.

Gasbag nails it and as solar gets cheaper and cheaper and battery storage will follow that cost reduction curve you will see California become a leader in solar plus battery storage at both the utility level and the individual home/business level.

Remember, Mexico just broke the record for a new solar tender at UNDER 2 cents a WATT!

That’s what I’m talking about and these cost reductions are what Elon Musk is basing his 7 cents/kwh pricing for the Megachargers on.

Deregulation for the win!

Sounds like you’re living somewhere which has some sense. Here in CA we opened up our generation to competition. Due to the miracle of deregulation, we now have insanely high power rates.

Commercial users pay much less than residential (assuming good power factor and reasonable demand charges).

The silver lining is that we’re switching to solar at a record speeds to escape the high rates.

I live in Washington. The vast majority of electricity I consume is generated via hydro.

I didn’t own a car for 6 years. Then, two years ago, I bought a used 2013 Nissan Leaf SV with 15k miles for $8k. In ten years I’ll buy a Tesla truck and live in a large Airstream.

Wow, a gasoline enthusiast! Like my colleague that really believes that his Alfa Romeo Giulietta JTD is a cool car..

“I also have to ask if it is time for Tesla to outsource production of the Semi and roadster…” The Roadster is supposed to be Tesla’s “halo car”, the model for which it shows what it can do if it pulls out all the stops. Farming that out to another auto maker would be a huge mistake. Can you imagine what the Tesla haters would say? “Look, Tesla had another auto maker make what was supposed to be its really high performance car!” Contrariwise, I think it would make all kinds of sense to have the Semi Truck body made by a truck manufacturer. I’ve been mystified by Elon’s repeated statements about how “easy” it is to make the Semi Truck, and how it can be made from Model 3 parts. Well, I can certainly believe some parts of the powertrain can be made from Model 3 parts, particularly the motors and the battery packs. But the rest of it? A Semi Truck needs bigger wheels, a bigger driveshaft… bigger everything! And I don’t notice a lot of similarities between the Semi Truck’s cab and the Model 3 cabin, either, aside from the video screens. But if Tesla is determined… Read more »

Thats not how the ‘Halo Product’ works. A halo product is a more affordable product that introduces a consumer to a company with a very positive experience. That positive experience is assumed when looking at other products of aid company. Since the price of the Roadsters price puts it outside most peoples range it can’t be considered a halo product.

Apples iPod, was deemed the halo product that gave people confidence in apple without buying the $1500 computer. After the iPod experience people would take the plunge on the computer based on that experience.

A “halo” product may not make money but it gives the company a good image.

Have you ever thought about reading your posts through *before* hitting the ‘post comment’ button?

Yup huge #s of tractors are used this way out and back .
Predictable route
This will be way more popular than anyone predicts

Interestingly, Walmart was experimenting with designing high efficiency prototype semis a couple years ago. Their prototype also had a center mounted driver seat, and several similar approaches to increasing aerodynamic efficiency.

What will be the price of a Tesla Semi?

Battery pack storage capacity in kWh?

A Peterbilt semi tractor costs around $100k to $120k. A Tesla will probably cost $150k to $200k. SWAG.
How many kWh will the pack be when it starts selling? 200 kWh to start with, then larger packs showing up relatively soon (1 to 2 years later) thereafter. I don’t think they will be long haul semis at first. Regional point to point would probably be the first application.

I predict that the large pack will be first. Even if you don’t need the range, the large pack is needed for performance (charging, driving, and regen).

Tesla Semi will be WAY more than $200k.

The Tesla semi will be in the $300,000 region IMO. Just the packs will retail for more than $100,000.

Ziv, I agree these early trial units will have much smaller batteries and much less than 500 miles of range. 200 kWh (100 highway miles in favorable weather) is a little too small, though.

I’d guess 400 kWh. That should be the same weight as diesel, so they can be dispatched to the same trailers as diesel. A cost premium of ~$30 matches their 2 year payback claim for a daily 100 mile A-B-A trip. It’s also enough battery to hit the announced performance numbers (except range, of course).

If you do the math of 2kwh/mile fir 500 miles you get 1,000kwh or 1mwh battery.

My guesstimate was about what I think Tesla will actually deliver, not what Tesla claims they will deliver.

G2 is right. A large electric semi gets .5 mile per kWh, so 500 mile range is 1000 kWh battery size. That’s what Tesla said it’ll be, and that’s what they will do. The truck is designed to be such.

It’s gonna be a 1500 kWh battery.

Looking at the numbers the Tesla semi can have 800 kWh of batteries maximum. This is a day cab so some may have less.

You didn’t cite any numbers, just more bulls***

Keep it up Scott, you can be booted and banned. I have read people saying they were in the past.

Did you watch the reveal? Energy use around 2kWh/mi, 500mi range, it’s looking like a 1,000kWh battery pack. Tesla aren’t fooling around, like Fuso and other wannabe EV trucks. Their claiming 500mi at 65mph with 80,000GVW fully loaded, possibly up a 5% grade, so you know it’s going to be at least 400mi. This is not your average short haul truck, it is a fully proposed Semi trailer tractor.
The only thing that seems strange is they haven’t announced another Giga-factory yet. With all these products, and what looks like another round of huge demand, they are going to need LOTS of battery supply in the next two years. Like, more battery supply than every other manufacturer combined at this rate!

The 2 kWh per mile would have to be an empty trailer going down hill with a tail wind.

2 kWh/mile at 60 mph is correct for a super-streamlined, loaded semi. The 12mpg Supertrucks do about 1.75 kWh/mile, but they have some extra tricks that aren’t practical yet.

We have yet to see the REAL numbers from independent testing, all we have is claims from Tesla.

Hmmm, I thought Elon had tweeted something about renting/leasing the Semi Truck’s battery pack, for something like $25k-27k per year. But after Googling the subject, it looks likethat was just more hot air from self-appointed analysts.

I was thinking that this will be the final nail in the coffin for fuel cells.
Time to divert R&D resources from fuel cells to battery and charging infrastructure.


Yup, and solar at trucking depots for cheap electricity to charge the electric semis will be a NO BRAINER.

Fuel cells have always been the oilies way to divert R&D resources away from batteries anyway, so it actually is only a return to normal and an end to foolishness.

I just reviewed a Sept 2017 CNBC bit where Bob (what a putz) Lutz is trashing the Tesla semi (with complete ignorance) and THEN he mentions govt rebates for the truck! What a putz!


The Tesla Semi is simply ingenious. What I like most is the use of 4 model 3 motors. Economy of scale at its finest.

Yeah, and redundancy too!!

Hopefully these customers ‘testing the waters sight/unseen’ will turn out better than ENTERPRISE rent-a-car’s experience with the NISSAN LEAF.

One manager told me the car was a NIGHTMARE for them – customers constantly getting stranded, the car not going as far as listed in cold weather (think 10-20 degrees), and the manager having to delegate several additional part time employees to

1). Get Stranded customers.
2). Arrange additional tow-trucks to retrieve the stranded cars.
3). Arrange additional vehicle ‘Normal’ rentals for those IRATE customers who demanded their money back.

It poisoned the water so bad that it will be a VERY long time before ENTERPRISE ever looks at a LEAF in this area.

(The subject came up since I had seen a wallbox on the outside of Enterprise buildings years ago, and then suddenly – evey last one was ripped out, and I asked why).

Yeah, right, as if you couldn’t tell the Leaf is too short range for that application. Just what you would expect. If you like a good conspiracy theory you would think it was designed to fail to prove the concept was not viable.
Now if they did the same exercise with the Bolt, or any Tesla, I’m sure the situation would be quite different.

You are blaming ME personally for Enterprise’s car choices? That’s delusional.

Nice story. I’m sure precessional truckers, who are used to monitoring fuel consumption and planning their driving, with 500 miles of range to work with, won’t make the same mistakes as inexperienced layperson (aka dumb) renters with 80 miles of range.

Or even professional truckers. 🙂

(I’m having mental images of a trucker standing up and precessing like a spinning gyroscope. Don’t you just hate auto-correct?)

I look forward to seeing the performance reviews of the trucks through all the high altitude passes the Interstates and Canadian highways cross to see what the real world range is with an 40 Ton (US) payload after a 100 mile 6% incline.

I’m also curious about where these Megachargers get installed. I’m wondering if Tesla has made agreements with any of the major Truck Center chains in the US or Canada, possibly Mexico in the future. Will there be a Megacharger map similar to a Supercharger map where you can also locate Tesla service centers.

“I’m also curious about where these Megachargers get installed.”

Presumably, where those customers who actually buy Tesla Semi Trucks need or want them installed. Doesn’t make much sense to put them any other place!

Placement isn’t going to be like Tesla Superchargers. Placement has to be tailored to exactly where the trucks are going to be parked at the end of a shift and/or during the driver’s lunch break.

Agree. The business model for this has long been in place. It’s how LNG nat gas is being adopted. Large fleets that have the same exact run between states all the time. You just have to connect the dots. Lots of cargo gets moved this way. For instance a big adopter of nat gas trucks are of course short hall that return to the same shed every night (e.g. garbage) but also things like the UPS long haul runs between regional distribution centers. They’ve added over 400 nat gas trucks just this year including 50 LNG trucks.

Including installation of more fueling stations where needed.

For sure, energy consumption will be quite elevated during 100 miles at 6% incline. After 50 miles at the latest, you have to release the oxygen masks, otherwise the average driver will pass out. That’s some additional energy consumtion, in addition to the huge draw by the thrusters you will need to lift the heavy truck further above the ground, given that there are not many stretches of Canadian roads elevated higher than three miles above ground. After 80 miles, a pressure suit would be advised, unless the driver happens to be a bad ass mountain climber, and after the 100 mile stretch, watch out not to crash into passenger airplanes, as you are now at least 6 miles above sea level.
There is no 100 mile road with a 6% constant incline anywhere on this planet…

And if there were such roads the electric motor would still be at full power while the ice died due to lack of air.

If an EV semi truck is interesting everywhere, they will obviously shine even more in the mountains. Not only will they go up faster and more easily but they will recuperate a big part of the energy going down afterwards. Diesel trucks are slow on the way up and waste all the energy going down, the more the waste break pads in the process as well. If you use a semi in the mountains the ev return will jump from 20% cheaper to even cheaper.

A good idea would be to place the Megacharger where trucks like to go but also where there is already an easy access to electric power. Obviously dams with their storage capacities would be nice candidates or a crossing between an electric transmission line and a road. Roads just near green electricity production centers would also be advantaged locations.

I’m rather surprised Jay Cole doesn’t have an Op:ED on this yet, but he’s sure to in the next day or two: Basically, Bob Lutz (of whom I admit I always love listening to – that’s why they put him in ‘Revenge of the Electric Car’) is at it again. But this time he’s in danger of being SHOT by Tesla Fans. He states – Tesla loses $4000 on each S, which to me is hard to believe since I THOUGHT the “S” cost Tesla $32,000 to make, and then the moderators say – “Well, Why doesn’t GM make a decent Electric Car that people want to buy”? Lutz:”GM makes cars that are profitable”. “You can’t sell a car like you sell an I-phone – for that all you need is a store front and kids. Dealerships take a huge financial burden off of GM – all the headaches are the dealer’s problem and business”. But here’s the biggie that is going to put Lutz’s life in danger: “Tesla constantly deflects.. If they have problem making cars, they go to mars. If they have problems coming out with a new model, they make a battery plant. If the battery plant… Read more »

Yeah Lutz an ex CEO that never built a company or had a vision and Chanos a parasite that tries to destroy companies and profit from it. Neither of the two shumks could be compared to visionaries like Musk, Bezo, Gates, Page, Brin, or Jobs who really revolutionized industries and had a vision of creating something no one else even thought possible.

“Yeah Lutz an ex CEO”

Right old comments from…. An EX CEO, who has no influence or insight as to whats going on in GM is meaningless.

hate to give any credit to the old haterader. The worst part of this whole dissolution is the “”$200.00 per kW “” that was said by the old fossil.

“…this time he’s in danger of being SHOT by Tesla Fans.”

Hmmm, well this Tesla fan thinks nobody takes Bob seriously anymore. You don’t shoot the guy sitting on his front porch in his rocking chair, yelling “Get off my lawn!” at the neighborhood kids. You just shake your head and think it’s sad how far he’s fallen from the days when he was influential and respected.

Now that made me giggle!

Bingo PP!

Lutz is another bitter old conservative that simply wants to substitute his alternative reality for what is really in progress and starting to happen.

Notice he almost never talks about his company because its not doing particularly well and he would rather go out on the conservative circuit and bash Tesla.

500mi, $0.07/kWh, if that’s 1,000kWh then you just drove your truck 500mi for $70.00. 1mil mi cost you $140k. Sorry, what would that cost you in diesel? If you get 6mi/gal @ $2.5/gal, that 500mi to cost you $208, so $135 saving could be pretty good.
500mi at 65mph, not slowing down as much up hills compared to diesel truck (45mph vs 65mph on 5% grade as quoted) means quicker travel time. Improved acceleration 0-60 fully loaded in 20sec. What is this improvement in time worth?
If Tesla can come anywhere close to these numbers in the real world, then what trucking company wouldn’t be interested?

$0.07/kwh? Where are you getting that residentially, never mind commercially?

1. At the Reveal, Elon said Tesla would be guaranteeing a 7¢ per kWh price for charging, at Tesla Megachargers.

2. Industrial price for electricity is near wholesale price, and significantly lower than residential price.

P.S. — Commercial price for electricity is also lower than residential, as you can see at the same linked website.

Nice job Meijer! I hope to see one of these driving around Michigan.

MLIVE says 5 for Meijer

Ooops it’s 4

For Michigan, Tesla will have to make the semi bigger so it does not fall into a pothole.

Let’s keep a keen eye on Tesla semi sales in Canada.
– Diesel fuel costs are currently $3.00 to $3.60 USD/gal ($1.00-1.20CDN/litre).
– Electricity is very cheap (everywhere except for Ontario.)
– GVW for semis is mich higher in Canada (esp. Eastern Canada.) Battery weight will be less of an issue.
– Canada does not have influential anti-environment anti-EV politicians. The federal gov’t is currently planning its Paris Agreement strategy.

These are the reasons why Wal-Mart is sending the majority of its trucks to Canada as opposed to its home market, the US.

For intents and purposes, the trucking revolution should begin north of the 49th.

All good points

Canada is still behind on super charging. So I bet mega chargers will be a slow roll out.tesla does not even have a store in the capital of Canada (Ottawa).

True, but since the majority of long distance travel is along the Trans Canada highway (4800 miles long) 12 Mega chargers at 400 mile intervals covers the majority of the population.
So, yah I think Canada represents a great demonstration opportunity for Tesla.