J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which operate thousands of trucks, say they have reserved Tesla’s truck, which Chief Executive Elon Musk revealed at an event in Hawthorne, Calif., this month. The first highway-ready vehicles aren’t due out until 2019, but the company is taking $5,000 deposits.
Truck leasing and fleet management company Ryder System Inc. “is in the process of placing its initial order for a fleet of Tesla semi-trucks,” Dennis Cooke, the company’s president of global fleet management solutions, said in an email. Ryder declined to specify the size of the order.
The Semi is designed to run up to 500 miles on a single charge, and incorporates Tesla’s semiautonomous driving system, which the company said could allow big rigs to travel in autonomous convoys with other of its trucks. The company did not provide a sticker price, but said the truck would be cheaper to operate than diesel rivals and could potentially cost less than transport by rail.
Wal-Mart has preordered five units for the U.S. and 10 for its Canadian division, and sees potential for the trucks to help meet company targets for lower emissions, a spokesman said.
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