Elon Musk: Tesla Semi Truck FINALLY Enters Production

Electric Vehicles / Comments

Deliveries will commence before year-end, with Pepsi to be the first recipient.

Many thought the Tesla Semi would never come to fruition, but after myriad delays, it seems the battery-powered hauler is finally en route. Now we've got confirmation that the first examples will be heading to a big-ticket customer before year-end. "Excited to announce start of production of Tesla Semi Truck with deliveries to Pepsi on December 1st!" wrote Elon Musk on Twitter.

PepsiCo ordered 100 examples after the electric semi was revealed in 2017 and originally hoped to take delivery by the end of 2021. It's taken Tesla nearly five years to make good on its promises, but the food and beverage corporation will finally get its allotment of trucks.

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The New York-based corporation isn't the only big business to have placed an order with Tesla. Other prominent customers include Walmart and UPS; the latter originally ordered 125 examples. It's currently unknown whether this has changed, but one thing is for sure - Tesla has its work cut out for it.

Anheuser-Busch - the brewing company that owns the Budweiser and Stella Artois brands - has also requested 40 units. If Tesla can get production moving quickly, the automaker will quickly change the face of commercial land transport and possibly revolutionize the industry.

But what is attracting these blue chip companies to the Tesla Semi?

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Reduced running costs, mostly. Being electric, fleet managers won't have to budget for exorbitant diesel and maintenance bills. In fact, Tesla says owners can expect to glean up to $200,000 in fuel savings in just three years. When you're running a fleet of 20+ vehicles, that makes a massive difference.

Refueling is still more convenient than charging, but the savings are hard to ignore. Besides, Tesla claims the futuristic Semi can garner 70% of its range back in half an hour. What's more, with a range of up to 500 miles, it shouldn't be as impractical as the detractors will have you believe.

Tesla

Ahead of production, Tesla gave the electric hauler a freshening of sorts. Inside, the Semi received a new driver console with more storage space and two wireless device chargers. The steering wheel was also upgraded and now resembles the tiller found in the Model S and Model X retail vehicles. Outside, the most obvious change is that the concealed rear wheels are no more, but you can read more about the changes here.

It's unclear how many examples will be made before year-end, but hopefully, the automaker can ramp up production quickly and get these trucks to their impatient buyers. What was promised to be revolutionary is now so far behind schedule that the competition is catching up and scavenging orders, and that's not doing Tesla any favors.

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