First announced by Elon Musk in 2017, the Tesla Semi has been one of the longest-delayed products in the company’s history. But the new electric truck is finally here, with PepsiCo being the first customer to receive some of the 100 vehicles it pre-ordered.
“PepsiCo owns one of the largest private fleets in North America, and that’s one of the reasons we have partnered with Tesla,” said Mike O’Connell, vice president of supply chain for Pepsi. “We have the 15 in Modesto that we’re launching … and then we have 21 in Sacramento.”
To start, Pepsi is using the trucks to deliver Frito-Lay products from its Modesto, California, facility up to 425 miles on a single charge. It is also delivering Pepsi out of its Sacramento warehouse on 100-mile daily routes, going directly to stores, and making 300- to 400-mile runs to other warehouses. Pepsi declined to say whether it had pressed the trucks to test if they have the full 500-mile range Musk promised.
CNBC visited Frito-Lay Modesto where PepsiCo has been transforming the facility in partnership with the California Air Resources Board to demonstrate the sustainability benefits of zero and near-zero emissions technologies. The Tesla Semis there are the latest additions to the company’s fleet of more than 80,000 vehicles.
“This project has delivered a 91% reduction in greenhouse gas, and we’re using this as a showcase to then cascade to our other operations,” O’Connell said.
Watch the video to learn more about PepsiCo’s Tesla Semis and whether they live up to the hype.