Tesla delivers fleet of Semi trucks to Pepsi facility in California

Tesla this week delivered a fleet of Semi trucks to PepsiCo in California as the automaker slowly ramps up production orders of its long-delayed all-electric Class 8 vehicle to customers.

It’s unclear exactly how many trucks Tesla delivered in California on Tuesday. According to media reports, PepsiCo will use 21 Semi trucks at a Sacramento bottling plant for local deliveries, while another 15 will be used by PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay manufacturing plant in Modesto.

The Semi trucks PepsiCo received are part of an order for 100 Tesla Semis the company made in 2017. Other companies waiting for Semi truck orders include Walmart, FedEx and J.B. Hunt. 

PepsiCo officials said some of Semi trucks will be used for long-haul deliveries across California. The trucks have a range of about 400 miles before they need to be charged, according to Erica Edwards, senior vice president for manufacturing for PepsiCo, during a press conference to unveil the Semis on Tuesday.

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) officials have pitched the Semi as an electric truck that would have a range of 500 miles fully charged. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in December that the Semi had successfully completed a 500-mile trip between Fremont, Nevada, and San Diego with a load weighing 81,000 pounds.

PepsiCo’s initial purchase of Tesla Semi trucks (estimated at about $250,000 per vehicle) was largely paid for by state and federal grants.

“The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District paid for 18 of the 21 trucks to be used at the South Sacramento bottling plant with $4.5 million in grants,” said Alberto Ayala, the district’s executive director, according to The Sacramento Bee.

PepsiCo received a total of $15 million in state and local grants for the vehicles and charging infrastructure in both Sacramento and Modesto, as well as another $40,000 per vehicle from the federal government.

The Semi had been priced at $150,000 for the 300-mile range version and $180,000 for the 500-mile truck, according to previous information on the Tesla website. Musk has also said the company aims to produce up to 50,000 Semi trucks per year at its factory in Sparks, Nevada.

Tesla recently ordered a voluntary recall of 35 Semi trucks due to a parking brake issue.

According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration safety recall report, electronically controlled parking brakes on Semi trucks “may intermittently fail to transition when the parking brake is engaged or disengaged, which could then result in the parking brakes not being set or released.”

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