Assessing the Tesla Semi: How Elon Musk’s Promises Measure Up Now That It Has Arrived

After years of anticipation, the Tesla Semi has finally arrived, fulfilling Elon Musk’s promise from 2017. The new electric truck is making its debut with PepsiCo, which placed an order for 100 of the vehicles, making it the first customer to receive them.

PepsiCo’s decision to partner with Tesla was driven by the company’s goal to demonstrate sustainability in their operations. As Mike O’Connell, the vice president of supply chain for Pepsi, explained, “PepsiCo owns one of the largest private fleets in North America, and that’s one of the reasons we have partnered with Tesla.” The company plans to use the Tesla Semis to deliver Frito-Lay products from its Modesto, California facility up to 425 miles on a single charge. Additionally, the trucks will be used to deliver Pepsi from its Sacramento warehouse on 100-mile daily routes, going directly to stores, and making 300- to 400-mile runs to other warehouses.

While PepsiCo has not confirmed whether they have tested the full 500-mile range that Musk promised, the company is using the Tesla Semis to make a substantial impact on their environmental footprint. The trucks have been deployed as part of PepsiCo’s partnership with the California Air Resources Board to demonstrate the benefits of zero and near-zero emissions technologies. As O’Connell pointed out, “This project has delivered a 91% reduction in greenhouse gas, and we’re using this as a showcase to then cascade to our other operations.”

With the Tesla Semi now in operation, it remains to be seen how it will perform in real-world conditions and whether it can live up to the hype surrounding its launch. Nonetheless, it is a promising development in the electric vehicle industry and a significant step forward for sustainable transportation.