According to a tweet from Elon Musk, Tesla is finally ready to start manufacturing its Tesla Semis. PepsiCo confirmed that it will get the first batch of them, with delivery expected in December.
PepsiCo reserved 100 of the Semi trucks in 2017 and is not the only company that has been waiting years for delivery. Walmart Canada more than tripled its reservation of Tesla Semis to 130 units in December 2020. UPS and the food distribution company Sysco Corp have also placed orders.
PepsiCo did not disclose how many Tesla Semis it would receive in December. However, its website says it will operate as many as 15 electric semi-trucks by the end of the year. It already has a Megacharger for the Semis installed at a Frito-Lay plant in Modesto, California.
The companies expect their fleets of Tesla Semis to help them become more environmentally friendly. Walmart Canada aims to cut its net carbon emissions to zero by 2040. PepsiCo ordered the trucks in an effort to cut fuel costs and emissions. PepsiCo says transportation accounts for 10% of its carbon emissions. Its trucks travel 1.2 billion miles per year.
The trucks will primarily be used for short hauls. Tesla CEO Elon Musk says they can travel up to 500 miles on a single charge and are “super fun to drive.”
The Tesla Semi can deliver merchandise from a Walmart warehouse to surrounding retail sites in less than a day and recharge overnight. PepsiCo aims to use it to deliver products from the Frito-Lay plant in Modesto and its PepsiCo beverages factory in Sacramento, California.
Although there’s no word on whether they will be equipped with Autopilot or Full Self-Driving, some people might remember that one episode of The Simpsons. While fully self-driving trucks don’t exist yet, it wouldn’t be the first time The Simpsons predicted something.
Tesla expected to start producing them in 2019. However, parts shortages forced it to delay production. A shortage of semiconductor chips, which are mostly produced in Taiwan, was especially concerning. Tesla briefly floated the idea of manufacturing its own chips to use in its vehicles.
Despite a string of good news in 2022 that includes the Tesla Semi finally going into production, Tesla stock is sliding. Investors expressed concern about Elon Musk’s upcoming $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, worrying that he might be spreading him too thin.
With the opening of Gigafactory Berlin and Gigafactory Texas, there was some concern that Tesla can now produce electric vehicles faster than it can deliver them. However, it reportedly still controls a 2/3 market share for EVs despite increasing competition from other vehicle manufacturing companies that didn’t take EVs very seriously before Tesla took off.
Tesla initially planned to manufacture the Semi at Gigafactory Texas. However, the Semi is being produced near the Gigafactory in Nevada.