Tesla Semi caught testing at Frito Lay, company use ‘coming soon’

Credit: Ricardo

The Tesla Semi is still being tested on the grounds of Frito Lay’s factory in Modesto, California, and employees at the facility say they have been told company use is “coming soon.”

Frito Lay, a subsidiary of PepsiCo., was set to receive the first 15 Semi units from Tesla late last year as the automaker reportedly started producing the vehicle at Gigafactory Nevada. However, the date was then pushed back to early 2022, but deliveries never took place. CEO Elon Musk then clarified that Tesla would not be releasing any additional products in 2022 due to market conditions and parts shortages, which would have the company focusing on the manufacturing of its mass-market vehicles, the Model 3 and Model Y.

PepsiCo. has an order for 100 total Tesla Semi units. The company said in late 2019 that the Semi, along with Tesla’s Solar and battery storage products, would help the company significantly decrease the amount of carbon emissions it produces during day-to-day operations.

However, new developments out of the Modesto Frito Lay facility show that the company may be preparing for the imminent inclusion of the Semi into its corporate fleet. A Teslarati reader familiar with the Frito Lay site, who wished to be identified as “Ricardo,” sent photographs of the Semi testing around the facility.

Credit: Ricardo
Credit: Ricardo
Credit: Ricardo
Credit: Ricardo

Ricardo said the Semi has been at the facility for the entire week, and other employees at the plant have indicated the all-electric truck will be “coming soon,” meaning it could be added to the company’s fleet sooner than many think.

Frito Lay did not immediately respond to our request for comment.

Tesla also was testing the Semi’s Megacharger, a Supercharger specially designed for the class-8 truck. Frito Lay now has a series of four Megachargers, one more than what was spotted there in January by The Kilowatts, so the expansion is ongoing.

Frito Lay has an additional Megacharger on site. (Credit: Ricardo)

The Semi was spotted on two other instances this week testing on public roads, but Tesla has done this routinely with the vehicle for several years. Spotting a Semi at Frito Lay invokes slightly more excitement due to the company’s massive order for the truck and the fact that deliveries were scheduled for six months ago but never occurred. With more Megachargers being added to the facility as well, perhaps Tesla is working toward producing the Semi in limited volumes for some of its clients in a potential redirection of company goals for 2022. While this is unlikely due to parts shortages and an already-lengthy order bank for its passenger vehicles, Frito Lay is confident the Semi is “coming soon.”

I’d love to hear from you! If you have any comments, concerns, or questions, please email me at joey@teslarati.com. You can also reach me on Twitter @KlenderJoey, or if you have news tips, you can email us at tips@teslarati.com.

Joey Klender: Joey has been a journalist covering electric mobility at TESLARATI since August 2019. In his time at TESLARATI, Joey has broken several big stories, including the first images of the Tesla Model S Plaid, the imminent release of the 4680 Model Y through EPA certification, and several expansions to the Lucid AMP-1 factory in Arizona, to name a few. His stories have been featured in several publications, including Yahoo! Finance, Fox News, CNET, and Seeking Alpha. In his spare time, Joey is playing golf, watching MMA, or cheering on any of his favorite sports teams, including the Baltimore Ravens and Orioles, Miami Heat, Washington Capitals, and Penn State Nittany Lions. You can get in touch with joey at joey@teslarati.com. He is also on Twitter @KlenderJoey.
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