Retailers to Pilot New Tesla Electric Semi
LOS ANGELES, CA - We’re off to the races with new production under way on electric semi-trucks. Stepping into the delivery ring is Tesla Founder and CEO Elon Musk, whose previous car and SUV models have been a continued success. The industrious automotive titan first partnered with Meijer before making plans with J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc., and Walmart, lifting the flag to signal that the race is on for finding new, sustainable ways to deliver goods.
Meijer signed up for four truck test-drives with a $5,000 down payment for each, and by implementing the new vehicle, the company’s delivery system has the potential to be 20 percent more fuel efficient and to drive 500 miles before needing a recharge. Production for the semis is expected to begin in 2019, but they were unveiled yesterday, November 16th, by Musk in Tesla’s design studio near L.A.
"Meijer has always prided itself on being innovative, especially in our fleet and supply chain," Frank Guglielmi, Meijer's Senior Director of Communications, in a recent MLive article. "We have made a small financial commitment to ensure we are at the front of the line to test this new Tesla truck technology, which has the potential to not only reduce our carbon footprint but also realize cost savings that will allow us to keep prices low for our customers. Once our testing is complete, we will validate several factors, including environmental impact and product safety, and make a decision on whether we will complete the purchase."
Meijer is not the only one driving business full-speed into a future of innovative delivery options. J.B. Hunt’s order reserved multiple semis, which are set to trek West Coast routes. Most recent yet, Walmart has placed an order for five electric trucks for the U.S. and 10 for Canada.
“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,” said Walmart's Director of National Media Relations Kory Lundberg in an article from Bloomberg. “We believe we can learn how this technology performs within our supply chains, as well as how it could help us meet some of our long-term sustainability goals, such as lowering emissions.”
With these heavy-hitting clients standing in line for their Teslas, it’s no wonder that the future of the electric semi truck market is looking bright. German automaker Daimler AG unveiled its own version of the electric truck, but it also won’t be available for several years.
"It's kind of like the checkered flag is being waved," said Glen Kedzie, Energy and Environmental Counsel with the American Trucking Associations in the MLive article. "We've seen different fuels come and go, and electric has gotten to the front of the line."
News of these companies venturing into the electric delivery option trails our previous report of Loblaw's intent to utilize the ingenious technology.
As we continue to see these innovative delivery options take form, AndNowUKnow will continue to report on all of the advances and impacts in our industry.