"We don't have Mercedes. Is Tesla OK?"
The company that makes America's second-favorite cola drink also owns the potato chip maker, Frito-Lay. As you can imagine, it has to move a huge amount of product. As part of PepsiCo's "broader sustainability strategy" it has announced an update about progress being made to reduce diesel usage by 78 percent at its California Production Site in Modesto.
"To date, the equipment and infrastructure in place at the site includes nearly 60 tractors, box trucks, yard trucks, or forklifts powered by electric, lithium-ion technologies or natural gas with renewable attributes, with the remaining 15 electric tractors expected to deploy later this year. Infrastructure to support the project incorporates an adjacent natural gas station with renewable attributes, as well as solar carports, battery storage, truck charging systems and employee electric vehicle charging stations." According to Electrek, those "15 electric tractors" are confirmed to be Tesla Semi trucks.
Following the reveal of the Tesla Semi, PepsiCo reserved 100 units of the truck, seeing "a wide range of uses for lighter loads like snacks or shorter shipments of heavier beverages." There's never been a clear timeline for delivery, so PepsiCo expecting to take delivery for its fleet by the end of 2021 is big news.
Tesla hasn't unveiled the actual production version yet or updated the specs. In 2017, Tesla announced that 300-mile and 500-mile range versions would arrives priced at $150,000 and $180,000, but four years is a long time in battery technology, so, like the Cybertruck, we expect the ranges to increase by the time the Semi goes into production.
Tesla's class 8 truck with an 80,000-pound capacity was set to be built in Texas, but there have been recent job postings for a quality control manager and a process technician for "Semi-Truck production lines" at Gigafactory Nevada. Since Tesla announced its electric truck, Mercedes and Hyundai have announced fuel cell trucks, with the Mercedes going 621 miles on a tank of hydrogen. However, it looks like Tesla might get to market first, and it has some big orders to fill. PepsiCo's order is one of the biggest, but United Parcel Service (UPS) has the most significant known order to date at 125 vehicles. It's also worth noting that PepsiCo lists Volvo Trucks as a contributor to its plan.