Is the long-promised electric Semi already having issues?
Just weeks after the first Tesla semi trucks rolled off the line and made their way to Pepsi, one has been spotted and photographed being towed. Or, if you're a Tesla apologist, it was photographed pushing a broken-down tow truck to safety.
The photos popped up on Reddit and showed the Tesla allegedly being towed near Pepsi's bottling plant in Sacramento, California. PepsiCo ordered 100 trucks in December 2017 when the Tesla Semi was announced, but it wasn't until the end of 2022 that it was certified by the government and could finally hit the roads.
The first Semi was then delivered after a three-year wait.
Tesla's first trucks left the Tesla factory outside Reno, Nevada, with one in Pepsi colors, one in sub-brand Frito-Lay colors, and one in plain white.
We don't know if this was the first Pepsi truck, as Tesla won't communicate its production rate, let alone the production numbers. Tesla, of course, won't reveal the issue with the truck, which it claims has 500 miles of range. It could simply have run out of electrons on its way back to the bottling plant because of a lead-footed driver, or it could be a teething issue with the trucks.
As much as people enjoy ragging on Tesla for this, it's only one of a few companies building electric semis. Some teething issues are to be expected when scaling an electric drivetrain so drastically.
It's an ambitious vehicle from a company that's never built a semi-truck before, so Pepsi must know it's a beta tester for Tesla.
Other customers include Walmart and City Furniture. However, Walmart is also investigating the Freightliner eCascadia and Nikola Tre trucks. If Tesla's claims are true, corporations with massive logistic demands will see astronomic savings on fuel and servicing.