Tesla delivered the first Semi trucks to its customers, five years after the heavy-duty carrier was introduced. The event featured two truck cabs out in Pepsi and Frito-Lay livery, PepsiCo’s snack foods subsidiary.
The Tesla Semi debuted as a prototype in 2017. During a presentation at Tesla’s factory in Sparks, Nevada, Musk did not say how many trucks were delivered to PepsiCo, how many were produced, or at what rate.
Tesla’s chair, Robyn Denholm, reportedly stated that the manufacturer might produce 100 Semis this year. Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the truck’s production start in early October and claimed PepsiCo would get the first deliveries on December 1.
The launch is Tesla’s first venture into the trucking industry, as US President Joe Biden’s government plans to grant a hefty $40,000 tax credit for clean commercial cars. Musk had previously stated that the Semi would most likely be the first Tesla vehicle to be self-driving. However, he stated in October that Tesla vehicles were not yet ready to remove people from the equation.
The driver of the total electric semi-truck sits in the center of the cab rather than on one side, which is rare. Tesla has bragged about the truck’s capabilities, claiming that it accelerates significantly faster than standard diesel-powered semi-trucks, even when fully loaded. During the presentation, Tesla presented a video of a fully loaded Tesla Semi driving up a steep incline and past other trucks.
It’s also much easier to drive than conventional semi-trucks, Musk claims because it doesn’t have a multi-geared gearbox like diesel vehicles. According to Tesla, the truck can go 500 kilometers on a single charge. Tesla boasts that the vehicle can tow up to 82,000 pounds.
Musk tweeted last week, “Tesla team just completed a 500-mile drive with a Tesla Semi weighing in at 81,000 lbs!”
Musk and Dan Priestley, Tesla’s senior manager of truck engineering, also touted new ‘megawatt’ ultra-fast chargers that will be used to quickly replenish the truck’s batteries, although they did not specify how long it will take to recharge the vehicle. When Tesla’s pickup truck goes on sale, these chargers will be made available to Cybertruck drivers, according to Musk.
Regenerative braking, which uses electric vehicles’ motors to slow down and recharge their batteries using the vehicle’s own motion, will also be a safety benefit, according to Priestley, because drivers won’t have to downshift when driving down long hills and may not need to use the truck’s actual brakes at all.
Tesla’s Autopilot technology, which was marketed as a benefit for long-haul truck drivers in the first presentation five years ago, was not mentioned during the presentation.
According to a recent American Lung Association assessment, replacing gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles with electric trucks might dramatically enhance human health and even save tens of thousands of lives. During the presentation, Musk also mentioned such benefits, as well as the benefit of noise reduction for people who live near highways.
However, Musk recently tweeted about his liking for Coca-Cola products, making things awkward between Tesla and PepsiCo. Coca-Cola is Pepsi’s main competitor. Musk, who now runs both Twitter and Tesla, shared a snapshot of his bedside table, which included four open cans of Diet Coke.
PepsiCo did not respond when questioned about Musk’s public professions of adoration for Diet Coke in the days leading up to the presentation.
PepsiCo Foods North America CEO Steven Williams and PepsiCo Beverages North America CEO Kirk Tanner emerged near the end of the event and thanked Musk for enabling them to participate in the Semi truck program.