Elon Musk announced that Tesla is starting Tesla Semi production and that Pepsi is going to get the first electric trucks starting December 1.
Tesla Semi, an all-electric class 8 truck, was unveiled back in 2017. At the time, it was supposed to come as soon as 2019. The vehicle program was delayed for years, and until recently, it wasn’t expected to go into production until 2023. However, Elon Musk surprisingly announced in August that the Tesla Semi would actually start shipping later this year.
Today, the CEO confirmed that Tesla has started production of the electric truck:
Musk reiterated that the vehicle has a range of 500 miles (805 km) on a single charge.
Tesla Semi electric trucks are being produced in Nevada near Tesla’s Gigafactory. Last year, Electrek exclusively reported that Tesla was building a production line for the Tesla Semi in a new building near the Gigafactory. At the time, we were told that the production equipment installed would be for about five electric trucks per week. Tesla plans to move to higher volume production at Gigafactory Texas.
In today’s tweet, Musk announced that Pepsico would get the first Tesla Semi deliveries on December 1. After the launch of Tesla Semi in 2017, PepsiCo placed one of the biggest orders for Tesla Semi: 100 electric trucks to add to its fleet. The company planned to use 15 of those trucks for a project to turn its Frito-Lay Modesto, California, site into a zero-emission facility. Last year, PepsiCo said that it expected to take deliveries of those 15 Tesla Semi trucks by the end of the year before it was delayed again.
While the company didn’t get its Tesla Semi trucks last year, Tesla did install a Megacharger station for the trucks at its Modesto facility, which led many to believe that it would be the first to take delivery of the electric truck.
This is exciting. Tesla Semi has real potential to change the game in the trucking industry with its useful 500-mile range and efficiency of less than 2 kWh per mile. At $0.20 per kWh, that’s a $0.40 cost of operation per mile. That’s about half the cost of operation of a diesel truck.
Considering companies can spend up to $80,000 on fuel per year per truck, you can imagine how it could be really attractive to go electric. If successful, it could quickly electrify the trucking industry and significantly cut emissions from freight transport.
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