Who’s putting money down for a Tesla Semi?

Enlarge / Side view of a Tesla Semi. (credit: Megan Geuss)

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Walmart, JB Hunt Transportation Services, and Ryder System Inc. had placed deposits to reserve the first Tesla Semis. On Tuesday, German shipping company DHL announced that it, too, would place reservation deposits with Tesla for 10 trucks. This week, the WSJ also reported that reservation deposits for the Semi had jumped from $5,000 to $20,000.

The companies will be early adopters of the all-electric truck that Tesla announced in mid-November. On paper, the specifications for the Semi seem impressive—just last week, Tesla posted “expected prices” that exceeded expectations. The company seems to be targeting $150,000 for a truck with a 300-mile range and $180,000 for a truck with a 500-mile range, with both trucks due out in 2019. That said, those prices can change, and Tesla doesn’t have a great track record with meeting deadlines.

We also should remember that the specs/lineup of products can change, too. When the Powerwall was announced in 2015, Telsa offered a “backup battery” at 10kWh and a “daily cycle” battery at 7kWh. But the 10kWh battery was eliminated shortly after the company started delivering its batteries.

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