Walmart Going Full Throttle On The Semi

by Gill D on September 30, 2020

When the Tesla Semi was officially unveiled in the quarter of 2017, the pre-orders started rolling in despite the fact that production would only kickstart in 2020. Currently, the orders sit around the 2,000 mark but now that we’re moving into the last quarter of 2020, the Tesla Semi is getting more attention from potential customers. One new customer in particular is Walmart Canada.

The mega store published a press release confirming it reserved an order of 130 units of the all-electric cargo hauler. Walmart Canada is showing its commitment to zero carbon emissions by moving its trucking fleet to an electric powered platform. Once the retailer takes delivery of its new Tesla Semis, they will be put into the service instantly. This will set Walmart Canada as the owner of the largest electric trucking fleet in the country.

Francis Lalonde, VP of Walmart Canada has shown determined confidence being as early adopter with the acquisition of Tesla’s all-electric heavy-duty vehicle noting:

“We are tremendously excited to equip our drivers with this next generation equipment. The safety and smart elements in the design are at the heart of our smart transportation ambition which will use technology and data to lower our operating costs and improve safety for associates.”

The Tesla Semi fleet will operate within Canada and with its 500-mile range, the electric truck will be a good fit for Walmart’s Canadian operations, which have 500 drivers returning to distribution centers daily. Clearly, it’s not just the range or cost of ownership that has tweaked Walmart’s interest.

Francis Lalonde stated they did their homework and believe the Tesla Semi is the safest truck available today. During the launch of the electric power truck back in 2017, Tesla CEO Elon Musk claimed that it was impossible to jack-knife the Semi as it has been designed to a higher safety standard than any other heavy-duty truck on the market.

On-board sensors prevent jack-knifing by detecting instability and reacting with positive or negative torque to each wheel while also independently activating the truck’s brakes. The surround cameras aid object detection and minimize blind spots, automatically alerting the driver to safety hazards and obstacles. This safety engineering coupled with Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving platform, Enhanced Autopilot, which has Automatic Emergency Braking, Automatic Lane Keeping, Lane Departure Warning and event recording, will be standard. Additionally, the reinforced battery shields the EV truck from impact and gives it a low center of gravity and the windshield is impact resistant and explosion proof glass. These are impressive safety features.

WHY SEMI JACK-KNIFE ACCIDENTS ARE SO DEADLY

Semi jack-knife accidents are deadly traffic collisions due to their enormous size and they are involved in thousands of fatal accidents every year.
When a semi-truck jack-knifes, the trailer swings perpendicular to the truck cab that can exceeding a 45-degree angle. These kinds of accidents cause significant damage to the semi-truck and more often than not to surrounding vehicles as well.

Watching a jack-knife incident occur is harrowing and can end in tragedy. A jack-knife accident is not random, there are situations that increase the risk of such an event from occurring:

  • Excessive speed and instant braking.
  • Driver fatigue.
  • Unbalanced load.
  • Bad weather and road conditions.
Jack-knife accidents rarely occur without anyone getting injured or incurring some damage. When the drivers of these massive vehicles lose control, it is usually impossible to move out of the way. When a jack-knife occurs, the truck travels sideways along the highway and smashes anything and everything in its path and when the trailer tips over, it can crush cars beneath it.
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