Orders trickle in for Tesla Semi

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Updated Nov 20, 2017
Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk has long dismissed fuel cells as a transportation technology.

Just two days after California automaker Tesla revealed its battery-powered Semi, orders started rolling in.

John Roberts, J.B. Hunt president and chief executive officer, says his company has placed a reservation for “multiple” Tesla tractors, each requiring a $5,000 down payment for a 2019 production date.

Roberts says reserving the trucks was an important step in the company’s efforts to implement industry-changing technology.

“We believe electric trucks will be most beneficial on local and dray routes, and we look forward to utilizing this new, sustainable technology,” he says, adding J.B. Hunt plans to deploy the electric tractors in its intermodal and dedicated contract services divisions on the West Coast.

Retail giant Walmart also disclosed it has placed reservations for 15 trucks, deploying five in the U.S. and 10 in Canada. Canada is becoming a hotbed for Tesla Semi early orders. Canadian grocery chain Loblaw announced it would order a total of 25 of the new all-electric tractor as it works to convert its entire fleet to battery power by the end of the decade.

Grocery and discount house Meijer Inc., told Bloomberg News it would test four Tesla trucks.

Jason Cannon has written about trucking and transportation for more than a decade and serves as Chief Editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. A Class A CDL holder, Jason is a graduate of the Porsche Sport Driving School, an honorary Duckmaster at The Peabody in Memphis, Tennessee, and a purple belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Reach him at [email protected]