After a long delay since its initial announcement by Elon Musk in 2017, the Tesla Semi has finally been released. PepsiCo has become the first company to receive some of the 100 vehicles it pre-ordered. Mike O’Connell, the vice president of supply chain for Pepsi, has stated that the partnership between the company and Tesla is due to PepsiCo owning one of the largest private fleets in North America. Currently, Pepsi is using the Tesla Semi trucks to deliver Frito-Lay products from its Modesto, California facility on a single charge of up to 425 miles. The company is also using the trucks to transport Pepsi products on 100-mile daily routes from its Sacramento warehouse to stores, as well as making 300- to 400-mile runs to other warehouses.
The environmental benefits of the Tesla Semi are also being highlighted by PepsiCo, which has been transforming the Frito-Lay Modesto facility in partnership with the California Air Resources Board to demonstrate the sustainability benefits of zero and near-zero emissions technologies. The Tesla Semis are the latest addition to Pepsi’s fleet of more than 80,000 vehicles, which has reportedly delivered a 91% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. O’Connell has stated that this project is being used as a showcase to demonstrate the benefits of these technologies, which can then be applied to other operations within the company.
However, it remains to be seen whether the Tesla Semi can deliver on all the promises made by Elon Musk. Pepsi declined to comment on whether the trucks have been tested to see if they can achieve the full 500-mile range that was promised. Despite this, the arrival of the Tesla Semi is a significant milestone in the evolution of electric vehicles, and it is likely that more companies will follow Pepsi’s lead in adopting this new technology to reduce their carbon footprint.