Albertsons plans to add 10 Tesla Semi all-electric trucks to its Southern California fleet, the company says. The grocery store chain expects the trucks to use less than 2 kilowatt hours of energy per mile, and travel more than 300 miles on a single charge with a fully loaded trailer.
This move is part of the national food and drug retailer’s effort to lower carbon emissions and run a more sustainable transportation program. “Advancing supply chain efficiency and sustainability is an important goal for our company,” said Tom Nartker, VP of transportation for Albertsons Companies. “We’re excited to pilot this expansion of our transportation program with trucks that help us limit our overall carbon footprint.”
Currently the company’s fleet services 2,300 stores across the country, including Albertsons, Vons, and Pavilions stores in Southern California. Albertsons says their entire 1,400-plus truck fleet is certified under the EPA’s SmartWay transportation program, as are 92% of the trucks operated by third-party carriers. In 2016, 89% of third-party carrier trucks were certified, according to the company’s 2018 sustainability update.
Although the upfront cost for a Tesla Semi is between $150,000 and $200,000, it should require less maintenance due to fewer parts that need regular upkeep, Supply Chain Dive’s Jennifer Sweeney points out.
“Estimates say a Tesla Semi will operate at $1.26 per mile versus $1.51 per mile for a standard diesel truck,” she wrote. “The average number of miles driven each year by a large truck is just over 100,000, according to industry analysts. That means each Tesla Semi could save a company at least $25,000 a year.”
Albertsons joins a growing list of companies placing orders for Tesla’s semi-truck. Walmart initially ordered 10 last year and then asked for another 30 in September to help meet the retailer’s goal of phasing out diesel engines for its truck fleet by 2028, CleanTechnica reported. Anheuser-Busch, UPS, Pepsi, J.B. Hunt Transport, and DHL all put in orders as well.
Mitch Jackson, vice president of environmental affairs and chief sustainability officer at FedEx, told Environmental Leader this year that the company has had electric vehicles in their fleet since 2009. In 2018, they placed an order for 20 Tesla Semi trucks.
“The Teslas would be the first over-the-road vehicles, where they’re traveling long distances,” Jackson said. “Tesla is talking about 2019 production. We often get in at the incubation stage to help foster technologies and start working toward commercialization.”
Over the summer, Tesla took a Semi prototype on a cross-country tour without any escort or accompanying vehicles. The truck used fast charging stations in the Supercharger network to power up, Popular Mechanics reported.
Meanwhile, Tesla rival Nikola Motor Company announced a new hydrogen-electric truck for European markets called Nikola Tre. Production is expected to begin on the truck in 2022 to 2023, the company said.