- Walmart Canada more than tripled its preorders of Tesla Semi trucks, increasing its reservations to 130 vehicles.
- The company intends to electrify 20% of its fleet by 2022, and to run its entire fleet on alternative power by 2028.
- Tesla originally said the Semi would be available in 2019, but now says deliveries will start next year.
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In recent weeks, headlines in the electric-truck space have been filled with Nikola — a startup contending with fraud allegations, a Department of Justice inquiry, the exit of its controversial founder, and a plummeting share price.
But look a little further and the Tesla Semi, currently the subject of a lawsuit from Nikola over patent infringement, just upped its order count.
Walmart Canada announced Tuesday that it had more than tripled its reservations of the electric 18-wheelers, upping its total number of Semi orders to 130. Walmart Canada reserved 10 Semi trucks following Tesla's reveal of the new truck back in November 2017, and ordered 30 more the following year.
"Tripling our reservation of Tesla Semi trucks is part of our ongoing effort to innovate the business and prioritize sustainability," said John Bayliss, senior vice president of logistics and supply chain at Walmart Canada.
The electric Tesla Semis will reduce Walmart Canada's operating costs while improving the sustainability of its fleet, the company said. Walmart Canada also cited the Semi's safety features — including emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and lane-departure warning — as reasons for making the switch.
The new order comes as part of Walmart Canada's plan to convert 20% of its fleet to electric by 2022, and to run its entire fleet on alternative power by 2028.
The company's parent organization, Walmart Inc., aims to reduce its global carbon emissions to zero by 2040, and announced plans last week to "protect, manage or restore at least 50 million acres of land and one million square miles of ocean by 2030." That announcement came as wildfires — which have become more severe in recent years due to climate change — continued to plague the West Coast, torching more than 5 million acres of land in Oregon, California, and Washington.
Walmart Canada didn't say when it plans to take delivery of the battery-powered semis. Tesla initially said the Semi would hit the market in 2019, but now expects production and deliveries to start in 2021.
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