Following on news that Walmart, the trucking firm JB Hunt, and the Canada-based grocery chain Loblaw will all be placing orders and putting down reservations for Tesla’s newly revealed semi truck, the truck leasing and fleet management firm Ryder Systems has revealed that it will be doing so as well.
The company “is in the process of placing its initial order for a fleet of Tesla semi-trucks,” as revealed by its president of global fleet management solutions, Dennis Cooke, in an email to The Wall Street Journal.
Importantly, the email didn’t provide any specifics as regards Ryder’s order size — so it’s not clear whether the firm is just purchasing one or a few units to try out, or if it’s putting in a more serious order as Loblaw (25 units) and Walmart (15 units) did.
The Wall Street Journal provides more: “The Semi is designed to run up to 500 miles on a single charge, and incorporates Tesla’s semi-autonomous 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.
“The Semi’s 500-mile range on a single charge exceeds what some analysts had expected but could still limit its use on long-haul routes, at least until a nationwide network of charging stations is built. The battery’s weight could also be an issue, as heavier trucks can carry less freight.”
With that reality in mind, Tesla’s unveiling of the new semi truck of course included the news that the company is now working on the development of a global network of so-called “megachargers” — which will be able to recharge the semi trucks with 400 miles of range in just around 30 minutes time, enough to get something to eat, stretch out, and use the restroom. It should be noted that some countries require truckers to take such breaks every couple of hours.