The US-based trucking firm J.B. Hunt Transport Services is placing reservations for “multiple” units of the newly revealed Tesla semi trucks, the company revealed in a statement released on Friday.
The news follows immediately after the official unveiling of the new Tesla semi truck, and demonstrates to some degree the great appeal that the offering will have to some (though of course not all) operators, but it seems must have also been set up in advance.
That core caveat, of course, is whether Tesla can deliver the vehicle at the specs announced in 2019. It still needs to get Model 3 production ramped up and presumably needs to finalize several items on the Semi. There are also concerns that battery tech still isn’t where it would need to be to truly replace long-haul semi truck applications. Elon got around the fact that the Tesla Semi has considerably less range than a conventional semi truck by emphasizing the need for truckers to rest and the potential to charge at truck stops, but that may not be a strong enough argument for some buyers. (Rail and sea freight shipping of course don’t require advanced battery tech and yet can still be relatively “low carbon.”)
“J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: JBHT), one of the largest supply chain solutions providers in North America, announced that it placed a reservation to purchase multiple Tesla Semi tractors to be manufactured by Tesla,” the company stated in a press release yesterday. “J.B. Hunt plans to deploy electric tractors to its Intermodal and Dedicated Contract Services divisions to support operations on the West Coast.”
“Reserving Tesla trucks marks an important step in our efforts to implement industry-changing technology,” said John Roberts, president and chief executive officer at J.B. Hunt. “We believe electric trucks will be most beneficial on local and dray routes, and we look forward to utilizing this new, sustainable technology.”
It’ll be very interesting to see how much interest the Tesla semi truck garners from industry operators in the short term — as the company doesn’t have much competition in the sector (and seemingly won’t), with Daimler being the only other major firm making similar moves.
For more on the new Tesla semi truck, see our in-depth coverage of the reveal here: Tesla Semi Truck, Tesla Roadster 2.0, Tesla Pickup — Hot! From Unveiling Event! (101 Pics).