Fifteen Tesla Semi electric trucks are going to replace all of PepsiCo’s existing diesel-powered freight equipment with “zero-emission (ZE) and near-zero emission (NZE)” trucks and equipment at its Frito-Lay Modesto, California, manufacturing site.

We reported on the project earlier this year when PepsiCo submitted it to the California Air Resources Board and San Joaquin Valley, but it has now been made official.

The Modesto facility is one of Frito-Lay’s largest in the US, and they are turning it into a ‘Near Zero-Emission Freight Facility Project’ with the help of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, which is contributing half of the $30.8 million cost of the project.

Michael O’Connell, vice president of supply chain at PepsiCo, commented:

Frito-Lay is continuously looking for ways to reduce our environmental impact. The Modesto project is indicative of our commitment to sustainable business practices that lead to innovation, increased productivity, operational excellence, and business growth. We are grateful for the support of San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, CARB, and CCI in making this important project happen. We hope this work will become an operating model for all of our facilities across the US, and that we act as the catalyst to accelerate adoption of alternative fuel vehicles across the industry.

PepsiCo confirmed that the vehicle deployed will include 15 Tesla Semi trucks, 6 Peterbilt battery-electric box trucks, and more:

  • Fifteen (15) heavy-duty Tesla battery electric tractors
  • Six (6) Peterbilt 220EV battery electric box trucks
  • Three (3) BYD 8Y battery electric yard tractors
  • Twelve (12) Crown battery electric forklifts powered by lithium-ion technologies
  • Thirty-Eight (38) Volvo tractors with low NOx engines powered by natural gas with renewable attributes

After the launch of Tesla Semi in 2017, PepsiCo placed one of the biggest orders for Tesla Semi: 100 electric trucks to add to their fleet.

Tesla’s involvement in the project will be greater than just Tesla Semi trucks.

According to PepsiCo’s filing with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, Tesla would also supply charging stations, a “large” solar array, and two energy storage systems of undisclosed sizes:

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) [Tesla] will deliver 15 highly anticipated Tesla Semis along with battery electric truck charging infrastructure, a large-scale solar PV system, and two energy storage systems for facility peak shaving and heavy-duty electric truck charging.

PepsiCo says that they expect the project to be completed by 2021.

When launching Tesla Semi in 2017, the automaker said that the production versions of electric truck, which is a class 8 truck with a 80,000-lb capacity, will have 300-mile and 500-mile range options for $150,000 and $180,000, respectively.

It was supposed to be released in 2019, but it has been delayed.

The company is focusing on bringing the Model Y to market, and it is forcing Tesla to delay the launch of the production version of the Tesla Semi until the end of next year.

Last year, CEO Elon Musk said that they found opportunities to extend that range during testing, and he said that the Tesla Semi production version will have closer to 600 miles of range.


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