Thing is, this customer isn't ready to order in bulk.
The new Tesla Roadster may be the car that has the car community buzzing, but the company's first semi truck was supposed to be the big reveal that revolutionized the industry. The Tesla Semi truck is still a very important step in the road to mainstream electric vehicles, but its success will ultimately hinge on whether Elon Musk can get companies to switch over to his truck. According to a Reuters report, Tesla has already received high-profile orders from Wal-Mart Stores Inc and fleet operator J.B. Hunt. Unfortunately, there's a small catch.
Unlike consumer models, Tesla needs to sell its big rig in volume in order to prove its viability. While the customers that placed orders for the Tesla Semi do require a massive amount of shipping vehicles, neither has decided to place a volume order for the new electric truck. Wal-Mart says that it plans to order 15 trucks, five for the US and ten for Canada. Most of the customers that placed a $5,000 deposit said that they would want to test it before committing to buying it. Since this truck is so revolutionary, we aren't surprised to hear that would-be customers are a bit skeptical. J.B. Hunt has not announced how big its order would be, but it has reserved several trucks for use on the West Coast.
Tesla hasn't even announced pricing on its new truck, which could influence whether or not companies decide to order more of them (if any at all). It will be interesting to see whether or not Tesla will be able to convert this industry into one that relies on electric vehicles, but the company will be on its way to greater success if it can convince these two shipping giants to jump on the electric bandwagon.