PepsiCo Places Order for 100 Examples of Tesla Semi
Biggest Public Preorder Yet Could Be Ideal for Long-Haul Snacks or Short-Haul Beverages
PepsiCo Inc placed the largest public order for the all-electric Tesla Semi, earmarking 100 of them for use in the company’s logistics network. As reported by Reuters, the company says it is reserving the trucks in a bid to reduce fuel costs and fleet emissions.
The Class 8 truck, which has a theoretical range of up to 500 miles, will likely get put into use to ship snack foods and beverages between manufacturing facilities and distribution centers. Furthermore, the truck could potentially see direct-to-retailer use as well, provided the deliveries are within that range (that likely precludes much use in wide-open middle America, confining PepsiCo’s Tesla Semis to metropolitan centers).
According to Reuters, PepsiCo will likely press the truck into use for longer-haul shipments of lightweight snacks (the company’s brands include Lay’s, Cheetos, Doritos, and Walkers) or short-haul runs of heavy, dense beverages.
The soft-drink giant joins companies like Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Anheuser-Busch in ordering the zero-emissions truck. Tesla claims it will have a wide network of fast-recharge “Megachargers” by the time the Semi hits the market, which will be able to restore 400 miles of range in 30 minutes. That could expand the truck’s usable radius a bit, allowing operators to get to a truck stop and quickly recharge while they take a break and stretch their legs. However, it still doesn’t compete with a long-haul truck, which has a total range of 1,500 miles or more.
Nevertheless, for the fleets mentioned above, the short-haul Tesla Semi could be a good way to cut costs and lower emissions. We’ll know more as the revolutionary Class 8 concept gets closer to series production, possibly by 2020.