The battery-electric Tesla Semi Class 8 truck looks like it’s finally becoming a reality, five years after Elon Musk’s flashy introduction of the truck, with a scheduled December delivery to PepsiCo.
In a Tweet, Musk said he’s “excited to announce start of production of Tesla Semi Truck with deliveries to @Pepsi on Dec 1st!” and that it has a “500 mile range & super fun to drive.”
PepsiCo confirmed via Twitter, saying “We can confirm our first electric Tesla Semis Dec. 1 2022, supporting our Frito-Lay plant in Modesto, CA, + our PepsiCo beverages plant in Sacramento. We’re looking forward to this next step in our #PepsiCoPositive journey + will provide more details once we have taken delivery.”
Many commenters on PepsiCo's Twitter post pointed out that the company said it was expecting its first delivery in the fourth quarter of last year but it never happened, with Tesla announcing production was pushed out to 2022, and by later that year there were speculations that supply-chain problems might push it out again to 2023.
Earlier this year, nearly five years after Musk introduced his electric Class 8 Tesla Semi in a flashy launch event, Tesla started taking deposits for the truck, at $20,000 each.
Tesla's CyberTruck electric pickup is still expected in 2023. During Tesla’s Q2 2022 earnings call, Musk said the Cybertruck would enter production in mid-2023 and might be Tesla’s “best product ever.”
PepsiCo’s Sustainability Push
The Tesla Semi won’t be the first EV for PepsiCo. In fact, as far back as 2009, Frito-Lay was a launch partner for the now-defunct medium-duty Smith Electric Vehicle.
In 2019, PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division announced that it plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 20% by 2030 through the replacement of all its existing diesel-powered freight equipment with zero-emission and near-zero emission technologies at its Modesto manufacturing site. Peterbilt soon afterward delivered the first of six Model 220EV electric medium-duty cabovers. One of those cabovers was used by Frito-Lay in the North American Council for Freight Efficiency’s 2021 Run on Less Electric demonstration project.
Teslarati recently posted an up-close look at Tesla's liquid-cooled megachargers at the Frito-Lay Modesto facility.
Since the Tesla Semi was first announced, a number of other battery-electric Class 8 trucks have gone into production, including the Freightliner eCascadia, the Volvo VNR Electric, the Nikola Tre, BYD 8TT, Lion Electric, Xos, the Peterbilt 579EV and Kenworth T680E, as well as more options in specialty applications such as refuse and yard tractors.