With more than 420,000 commercial trucks on the road and ever-increasing fuel costs, freight companies are looking for alternatives to save their budgets and reduce their environmental footprint.
Walmart Canada is one of those companies as it has purchased 30 electric semis in order to reduce its carbon footprint in 10 years.
The American Transportation Research Institute estimates that heavy and medium duty trucks account for 24% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, while light duty trucks account for 17%.
Walmart’s aim is to have all its diesel trucks replaced by electric Tesla models by 2028. It has already bought 30 electric semi-trailers on top of the 10 ordered last November, according to a press release issued by the company.
By 2022, about 20% of Walmart’s fleet will be electric. The first 20 Tesla 18-wheelers will be stationed in Mississauga, the remaining 20 trucks will operate out of the Surrey, B.C. fulfillment centre, which is set to open in 2022. The facility will feature a fully electric Walmart fleet base, a first for Walmart internationally.
“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, logistics and supply chain, Walmart Canada.
The $232,000 trucks will have a range of about 800 kilometers and will consume less than two kilowatt-hours of energy per mile at highway speeds, earning 50% more per mile than a regular truck. Braking technology recovers 98% of kinetic energy to the battery, suggesting an infinite battery life.
The trucks are also able to go from zero to 60 mph in 20 seconds with a full 80,000-pound load and can climb 5% grades at 65 mph (compared to 45 mph with a diesel truck).
Cameras surround the vehicles and aid in object detection, which will automatically alert the driver of safety hazards. Additional driver safety features including automatic emergency braking, automatic lane keeping, and lane departure warning.
Other trucking companies that have pre-ordered Tesla trucks are Fortigo Freight and Loblaw Companies Ltd.
Frontier Supply Chain Solutions has also jumped on the electric vehicle bandwagon by pre-ordering two day cabs from Thor Trucks. The $150,000 day cabs give 483 kilometers of range per charge. The move is seen as a step into the future by Frontier president and CEO Michael Butterfield.
“I’m really excited about this move to electric technology for our fleet,” said Butterfield. “The trucking industry is known to burn through fossil fuels at an extraordinary rate – that’s just the nature of the business. So, if we have a chance to save the environment, why wouldn’t we take it?”

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