Tesla Finally Delivers Semi After A Three-Year Wait

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The official event was livestreamed on Twitter, which is owned by Elon Musk.

PepsiCo has formally taken delivery of its Tesla Semi all-electric trucks this past Thursday, following a three-year wait. The delivery event was livestreamed on Twitter, now owned by Elon Musk, at a formal ceremony near the Tesla factory outside of Reno, Nevada. Musk, ever the showman, drove one of the three Semis in front of the gathered crowd at the factory.

Of the three trucks, one was painted with Pepsi's logo, another was white, and the third featured Frito-Lay brand colors, which is also owned by the beverage company. Over a year ago, Pepsi said it hoped to receive 15 Semis by the end of 2021. Three down, 12 more to go.

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Evidently, deliveries didn't take place on the initial timeline. Like other Tesla vehicles, specifically the Cybertruck, production and delivery typically don't get underway when Musk claims they will. It's understandable for there to be uncontrollable production delays in the auto industry, but many customers (mainly hopeful Cybertruck owners) still express frustration.

Musk announced in October that Tesla Semi order books had finally opened. Interested buyers had to pay a $20,000 deposit to secure a spot prior to production. The base model carries a sticker price of $150,000 and the more expensive version begins at $180,000. The main difference between the two models is range. The base Semi has a claimed range of 300 miles while the upgraded version bumps that up to 500 miles. Both are eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $40,000.

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That's just one reason why Pepsi decided to buy them. The company is also participating in a California Air Resources Board project with $15.4 million in grant funding. Additional Semis are expected to be delivered to Pepsi in the coming few years though a specific timeline has not been provided. Musk previously said he wants to increase Semi production to hit 50,000 units in 2024.

Tesla will be facing competition from hydrogen-powered Semis from Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz, to name two examples. These companies are claiming hydrogen is a better powertrain option for long-distance semis. Musk, however, says hydrogen power is not necessary for this purpose.

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