Five years after Elon Musk demonstrated prototypes and began accepting deposits for the electric big rigs, Tesla Inc. will deliver its first Semi trucks to PepsiCo Inc. Transport Topics reported that Musk tweeted on October 6 that the carmaker will hand over Semis to PepsiCo in December. The food and beverage conglomerate has reserved 100 of the trucks and plans to deploy the first 15 by the end of the year.
Musk stated when the Semi was first revealed in November 2017 that it would go into production two years later. While prospective customers such as Walmart Inc. and Anheuser-Busch made deposits, Tesla ended up prioritizing production of Model 3 sedans and Model Y sport utility vehicles for consumers while dealing with battery cell and semiconductor supply issues. In its own tweet on Oct. 7, PepsiCo confirmed that it will receive its first Tesla trucks in early December to serve a Frito-Lay plant in Modesto, Calif., and a beverage plant in Sacramento.
Due to part shortages, Musk told analysts in January that Tesla would not release any new models this year. He changed his tune three days after the United States Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which made heavy-duty electric trucks eligible for federal tax credits of up to $40,000. On August 10, the CEO tweeted that the company would begin shipping Semis with 500 miles of range this year.
Tesla will compete with other manufacturers of battery-powered big rigs, such as Nikola Corp., a relative newcomer, and more established firms such as Sweden’s Volvo AB. This week, the latter announced that it will deliver 20 fully electric trucks to Amazon.com Inc. by the end of the year.