Skip to main content

World’s largest retailer cautiously optimistic about Tesla’s electric big rig

Tesla Semi Truck
Image used with permission by copyright holder
At its recent event, Tesla unveiled its newest vehicle in the form of the Tesla Semi. Unlike most of its vehicles, which are meant for individual consumers, Tesla’s Semi is aimed at commercial markets that rely on semi trucks to deliver their products from warehouses to stores. The company’s big rig, which can haul 80,000 pounds and can travel 500 miles on a single charge, has been greeted with cautious optimism by many companies that make use of huge haulers.

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, said that it had placed an order for 15 Tesla Semis. The company wants to have 10 trucks for use in the U.S. and five for Canada. In total, Walmart operates about 6,000 semi trucks within the U.S.

J.B. Hunt Transportation Inc. is one of the first major trucking companies to invest in Tesla’s new vehicle. The company did not say how many trucks it had ordered, but did state that it had reserved “multiple” trucks for use along the West Coast.

Loblaw, a Canadian-based grocery chain, has purchased a small number of the trucks and said it hopes to convert its entire fleet to electric by 2030.

Tesla did not announce the exact cost of its new semi-trucks, but it has been reported that the company requires a deposit of $5,000.

While several major companies are willing to give the Tesla Semi a shot, the cautious reaction reflects general uncertainties within the trucking industry. The trucks can only travel about 500 miles on a single charge, which is roughly half what of what a standard diesel semi can do on one tank of gas.

That being said, Tesla and other makers of electric vehicles are investing in semi trucks due to their belief that the market will shift towards electric vehicles within the next decade. Those predictions are based, in part, on the efforts of the world’s governments to combat climate change. Numerous countries have implemented regulations focused on reducing the carbon footprint of semi trucks. Some cities and states within the U.S. are considering imposing taxes on diesel vehicles. China, one of the world’s largest markets, is hoping to convert all of its vehicles to electric within the next several years.

As of right now, it is unclear just how successful the Tesla Semi will be. The backing of Walmart and J.B. Hunt will certainly help, but other players within the trucking industry are taking a wait-and-see approach to electric semis.

Editors' Recommendations

Eric Brackett
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Tesla Model 3 is the world’s most-searched-for electric car, survey says
A red Tesla Model 3 at dusk.

Electric cars have come a long way over the past few years. While sales are still just a drop in the bucket compared to gasoline and diesel cars, there are now enough electric models that buyers have some actual choice at different price points. That means it's also possible to hold an electric car popularity contest. Compare the Market, a U.K. price-comparison website, used Google search data to determine the most-searched-for electric car in the world -- and the Tesla Model 3 came out on top.

Given the hype surrounding the Tesla Model 3 since well before its launch, it's not surprising that Tesla's least-expensive vehicle was the subject of the most searches. The Model 3's lead over other electric cars was significant. It garnered 54.7 percent of search traffic surveyed. The Nissan Leaf took second place, at 16.1 percent, followed by the Tesla Model S (13.1 percent) and Model X (9.5 percent). The only other models with significant search traffic were the BMW i3 (4.4 percent) and Renault Zoe (2.2 percent).

Read more
There’s a huge Black Friday sale on Thule roof cargo boxes
thule rooftop cargo boxes deals amazon november 2023 box on car

It's almost winter, which means snowy day trips and skiing, and if you pack your whole family inside one vehicle, it can be difficult to get the rest of your critical belongings (such as bikes and kayaks) to your destination. In theory, you could buy a larger car. Many families get a minivan for the explicit purpose of relieving this kind of pressure. But that's pretty extreme when you could simply expand the storage space of your current car. And with Black Friday sales like this one, putting dozens of Thule rooftop cargo boxes on big discounts, now is a good time to consider doing so. We're seeing deals were you could save $100 (or even more) or Thule rooftop cargo boxes and accessories. Just tap the button below to access the curated collection, then keep reading for our take in how to shop the sale.

Why you should shop the Thule rooftop cargo box sale
One of the first things we want you to know before you shop the Thule collection is some features that aren't immediately apparent just by looking at the cargo boxes. For example, you may be highly concerned about driving off and having your belongings (including embarrassing items like underwear) go everywhere because the box flies open. Thule boxes, however, typically snap shut with an audible click. You know your items are secure. Alternatively, items like their

Read more
Honda recalls more than 300,000 vehicles over seat belt safety issue
2015 Honda Accord Sport

Honda has recalled more than 300,000 of its 2023-2024 HR-Vs and Accords over a safety issue, according to a document posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The issue concerns a missing seat belt part, which means that in the event of a crash, the belt “will not properly restrain the occupant, increasing the risk of injury,” the NHTSA said.

Read more