PepsiCo. has received the permit for the installation of a Tesla Semi Megacharger at its Modesto, California, facility, according to public documents released by Stanislaus County.
The Stanislaus County Planning Commission officially issued a permit for the Megacharger installation yesterday on November 22nd, the documents show. PepsiCo. has been attempting to receive installation privileges since April, when it initially submitted the application on April 21st. The Planning Commission has performed regular inspections, including a Fire review, in the months between the submittal of the application and the issuance of the permit. The permit approval was first shared by @MarcoRPTesla.
PepsiCo. will be the first company to receive Tesla Semis later this year. CEO Ramon Laguarta stated on CNBC earlier this month the company would officially receive the first Tesla Semi units in Q4, meaning Tesla has about five weeks to deliver the vehicles to PepsiCo.
The Megacharger is what Tesla plans to use to charge the Semi and has been in development for several years. On November 15th, photos of a Tesla Semi prototype charging at a recently-installed Megacharger at the automaker’s Gigafactory Nevada facility outside of Reno were shared by @hwfeinstein on Twitter. The indication that Tesla was installing a Megacharger at the facility occurred in mid-October when Sawyer Merritt shared photographs of a Megarcharger station.
Now that PepsiCo. has officially received permission to install the Megacharger at its facility in Modesto, Tesla must begin to focus on the final touches of the Semi. Tesla only has a handful of weeks to complete the first builds of the Semi and get them to PepsiCo. if it wished to remain on schedule with deliveries. The Semi has been in development for several years, but Tesla has been cell constrained for the duration of that period. Simply put, battery cells are available in limited qualities, even for the world’s largest manufacturer of EVs. And since Tesla’s passenger fleet has continued to grow at a rate the company is struggling to keep up with, evident with the growing backlog and delayed delivery projections, the Semi and other projects that would consume many battery cells with even a few production units have been put on hold for the time being.
However, the Semi project seems to be somewhat of a priority for Tesla. During Q1 2020, CEO Elon Musk said that it was time to ramp “volume production” of the Semi, but the plans were evidently scrapped as the cell constraint issue arose. Later in the year, during the Q3 2020 Earnings Call, Musk said:
“We need to solve the cell constraint before ramping Semi to significant volume. That’s the only real constraint on Semi’s progress.”
Now, limited production can begin, and PepsiCo. will be ready to charge its first units of the Semi it receives with its new Megacharger.
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