First Tesla Megachargers for the Semi are looking ready for some real-world use

Credit: Tesla Inc.

Elon Musk might have highlighted the idea that Tesla will not be introducing any new vehicle models this year in the Q4 and FY 2021 earnings call, but the company sure seems to be hard at work in building out the Semi’s first Megachargers. From Megacharger units spotted in Giga Nevada to charging stalls being sighted in PepsiCo’s Modesto, CA facility, it appears that the buildout of the Tesla Semi’s charging infrastructure is now starting. 

Tesla’s Semi Megachargers at the Giga Nevada complex have been sighted over the past months, and lately, aerial images of the site have revealed that four of the Class 8 truck’s stalls have already been completed. Images of four Tesla Semi prototypes seemingly parked at the Megachargers were shared by Tesla in its Q4 and FY 2021 Update Letter as well. 

But while Megachargers in the Giga Nevada complex are interesting in their own right, Tesla also made it a point to install some of the all-electric Class 8 truck’s Megacharger stalls at PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay Modesto, CA facility. Images of the charging stalls were shared by members of the Tesla community about two weeks ago. The charging units attracted a lot of attention then since it became evident that the Megachargers were actually very large, possibly about 7 feet tall as per estimates of EV group The Kilowatts.

These Megachargers at the Modesto site appear to have been installed as of the end of January, based on images taken this past weekend. Needless to say, it would be pretty interesting — but perhaps not that surprising — if sightings of some Tesla Semi prototypes start getting reported around the Frito-Lay Modesto facility in the near future. 

PepsiCo is one of Tesla’s key customers for the Semi. During an interview with CNBC last November, CEO Ramon Laguarta mentioned that PepsiCo is expecting its first deliveries of the Tesla Semi by the end of the fourth quarter. This did not come to pass, though public documents released by Stanislaus County revealed that PepsiCo did receive a permit for the installation of Tesla Semi Megachargers on the Modesto site. Reports from the EV community earlier this month eventually suggested that PepsiCo’s Semi deliveries would likely happen in early 2022 instead.  

It seems evident that Tesla and Elon Musk are setting low expectations for the Semi program, at least for this year. The CEO’s statements during the recent earnings call are proof of that. Yet despite Musk’s comments, the Semi program does seem to be moving forward lately, and it seems to be catching its rhythm. It would not make much sense for PepsiCo to build out Megachargers for a truck that’s coming a year away, after all. And while a few Tesla Semis being delivered to one customer is not equivalent to a full production ramp, it does establish the idea that the all-electric truck is a project that the company is dead serious about. 

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First Tesla Megachargers for the Semi are looking ready for some real-world use
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