TORONTO – The Canadian subsidiary of Walmart said it will acquire 30, 18-wheeler semi-electric trucks from Tesla. The company already ordered 10 trucks last November—making its Tesla Semi fleet the largest in Canada.
Walmart Canada hopes to electrify 20% of its fleet by 2022 and will use the first 20 Tesla Semis out of Mississauga, Ontario. The remaining half of the fleet will operate from Walmart’s distribution center in Surrey, British Columbia, set to open in 2022.
“We are always looking for innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment and lead the industry in the drive for sustainable change,” stated John Bayliss, senior vice president of logistics and supply chain.
The vehicles will consume less than two kilowatt-hours of energy per mile on the highway, earning 50 percent more mileage than a regular truck. An article in The Toronto Star, wrote: “Walmart says it will be able to convert from diesel quicker because the travel distance per charge is in line with its current fleet that consists mainly of single-day round trips.” Special features include vehicle cameras to help minimize blind spots, automatic energy braking, automatic lane keeping and lane departure warning.
Other companies that ordered the $232,000 electric trucks include Fortigo Freight, a Toronto trucking firm; and Loblaw Companies Ltd. The new rigs eventually will be switched to autonomous operation.
In other news, Walmart Inc. plans to double its spending on attracting and retaining drivers by year-end. A national TV ad broadcast this week offers referral bonuses of as much as $1,500.