Tesla shares pop after trucker JB Hunt reserves ‘multiple’ Tesla Semis

Tesla shares jumped Friday after J.B. Hunt Transport Services announced the item has reserved “multiple” fresh electric semis just unveiled by Elon Musk.

Tesla shares spiked 4.5 percent in morning trade before closing 0.8 percent higher at $315 a share.

“We believe electric trucks will be most beneficial on local along with dray routes, along with we look forward to utilizing This particular fresh, sustainable technology,” John Roberts, president along with chief executive officer at J.B. Hunt, said in a statement.

Wal-Mart also said Friday the retail giant is actually planning to test the Tesla trucks along with has actually preordered 15.

In an expansion coming from personal vehicles, Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled an electric semitractor-trailer Thursday which features a 500-mile range on 1 charge along with is actually electronically connected having a fleet’s management system. The vehicle allows the driver to stand along with puts the steering wheel inside center having a touchscreen panel on both sides of the driver. Musk said the truck is actually set to go into production in 2019, although the company has fallen far behind on its production schedule for the type 3 mass market consumer vehicles.

“TSLA unveiled the Tesla Semi, a heavy-duty truck we believe could be disruptive to trucking markets given the strong specifications (~500 mile range) along with low expected cost of ownership (potentially ~20% less expensive per mile than traditional trucks),” Baird Equity Research senior research analyst Ben Kallo along with his team said in a Friday note.

“We believe the large U.S. market will support sales of the Tesla Semi as we think the vehicle should be competitive with many traditional heavy-duty trucks, along with exceed performance of existing electric trucks,” Kallo said.

Baird has an outperform rating on Tesla having a cost target of $411, based on Kallo’s type, which does not include any revenue coming from the truck however factors in spending for research along with development.

J.B. Hunt said the item plans to deploy the electric trucks to its intermodal along with dedicated contract services divisions to support operations on the West Coast.

“This particular news is actually not unexpected. Transportation companies are always looking for ways to lower operating costs given the competitiveness inside industry,” Stephens Research Analyst Brad Delco said in an email to CNBC. “My assumption is actually which they will purchase a few trucks along with test them in a more localized freight network before producing a bigger purchases decision.”

Savings could be inside tens of thousands of dollars per truck a year.

Musk said Thursday a Tesla truck might be 25 cents cheaper to operate per mile than a standard diesel truck, at $1.26 a mile versus $1.51.

The average number of miles driven a year per large truck is actually just over 100,000, according to industry analysts. which means each Tesla Semi could save a company at least $25,000 a year.

The U.S. Class 8 semitrailer market is actually about $30 billion in size so every 1 percent is actually worth $300 million, according to RBC Capital Markets analyst Joseph Spak.

— CNBC’s Phil Lebeau, Michael Bloom along with Robert Ferris contributed to This particular report.

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