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First Tesla Semi deliveries to PepsiCo are starting this Q4: CEO

Credit: Tesla Inc.

PepsiCo CEO Ramon Laguarta has shared a pleasantly surprising update on his company’s Tesla Semi orders. While speaking with CNBC‘s Jim Cramer, Laguarta remarked that the first deliveries of the Tesla Semi for PepsiCo’s operations would be starting this Q4. This bodes well for the ramp of the all-electric Class 8 truck, which has already seen several delays since its unveiling in late 2017. 

“Actually, transportation is about 10% of our overall gas emissions, so it’s important, and we’re working on different solutions. We replace our fleet regularly, every ten years more or less. That’s the life of a truck. We’re already starting to buy electric trucks actually from Tesla. I don’t want to promote anybody, but that’s the brand that we’re using so far, and we’re getting our first deliveries this Q4. So it’s something we started a few years ago. We’re working with Tesla,” the PepsiCo CEO said. 

This is quite interesting as Tesla has been tempering the expectations surrounding the Semi as of late, with CEO Elon Musk sharing a very conservative timeframe for the all-electric Class 8 truck’s release during the 2021 Annual Shareholder Meeting. While discussing the launch of Tesla’s next vehicles like the Cybertruck and Semi, both of which are expected to utilize the company’s new 4680 cells, Musk noted that he is looking at about 2023 for the pickup and Class 8 truck’s ramp. 

“I think most likely what we’ll see is Cybertruck start production in the next year and then reach volume production in 2023. And, hopefully, we can also be producing the Semi and the new Roadster in ’23 as well. So, we should be through our severe supply chain shortages in ’23. I’m optimistic that that will be the case,” Musk said, highlighting the current challenges being faced by the auto sector due to the ongoing supply chain shortages. 

That being said, reports have suggested that Tesla is making some progress in its Semi program. Back in March, PepsiCo posted a press release stating that it is looking to deploy 15 all-electric trucks by the end of the year. These vehicles were reportedly the Tesla Semi. Just a few days later, reports from EV blogs such as Electrek claimed that a pilot line near Giga Nevada has been set up for the Semi, though the output of the facility would be extremely conservative at just about five trucks per week. 

More recently, aerial footage from EV advocates has hinted that Tesla is already building some Megachargers for the Semi near Giga Nevada. With this in mind, and with recent statements from Tesla suggesting that its pilot production of its 4680 cells is now going well, the PepsiCo CEO’s statements might end up proving accurate. After all, producing 15 Tesla Semis by the end of the year seems feasible, as the company would likely be able to produce enough consumer-ready 4680 cells for such a small number of trucks. 

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First Tesla Semi deliveries to PepsiCo are starting this Q4: CEO
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