A Tesla semi-truck was unveiled on Thursday by Elon Musk. In its quest to compete with Amazon, Walmart has already pre-ordered fifteen of them.
“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,” a Walmart spokesperson told Fortune in an email. “We believe we can learn how this technology performs within our supply chain, as well as how it could help us meet some of our long-term sustainability goals, such as lowering emissions.”
Walmart, considered as the world’s largest retailer, already has a fleet of about 6,000 trucks. Now, the company is set to test five semis in U.S, and another ten in Canada.
With this move Walmart joins the list of other big companies who have pre-ordered the Tesla Semi. The list includes J.B Hunt Transport Services and Michigan based grocery chain Meijer. While Meijer has Pre-ordered 4 vehicles, J.B hunt hasn’t specified the number of vehicles yet.
“While we’ll be in the testing stage, we’re excited about the potential benefits this kind of technology offers our fleet,” the Walmart spokesperson said.
In the past few years Walmart has invested in high tech and innovative technology in its quest to compete with Amazon. The company bought Jet.Com, and tests of an online grocery delivery service with Uber and Lyft. Walmart declined to comment about the specifics of their preorder.
Tesla’s Semi is packed with an impressive list of features, the vehicle has the ability to go from 0-60 miles/hr. in five seconds when there is no trailer. With cargo attached, it can achieve the same speed in 20 seconds. The semi can be charged 400 miles in just 30 minutes using Tesla’s new high speed Megachargers.
The semi is a class 8 truck, which means it is in the category of biggest freight trucks. The truck contains the same motor as Tesla’s Model 3 Sedan. A reservation will cost $5000, and production will start in 2019.