PepsiCo Inc has reserved 100 of Tesla Inc’s new electric Semi trucks, the largest-known order of the big rig, as the maker of Mountain Dew soda and Doritos chips seeks to reduce fuel costs and fleet emissions.
The semi-trucks will complement PepsiCo’s U.S. fleet of nearly 10,000 big rigs and are a key part of its plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across its supply chain by a total of at least 20 percent by 2030, said Mike O‘Connell, the senior director of North American supply chain for PepsiCo subsidiary Frito-Lay. Mr. O‘Connell was quoted on Reuters.
PepsiCo is analyzing what routes are best for its Tesla trucks in North America but sees a wide range of uses for lighter loads like snacks or shorter shipments of heavier beverages, O‘Connell added.
O‘Connell declined to say how much PepsiCo paid to reserve its trucks when it placed its pre-orders, or whether it plans to lease the trucks or buy them outright. Tesla initially asked $5,000 per truck for pre-orders but that amount has since risen to about $20,000. The report was made public earlier this week.
Since it was unveiled last month, Tesla has racked up a fair number of preorders from several big-name players in shipping and logistics. The day after the announcement, Walmart said it had preordered 15 trucks, while JB Hunt Transport Services said it had reserved “multiple” new Tesla trucks as well.
Tesla has been trying to convince the trucking community that it can build an affordable electric big rig with the range and cargo capacity to compete with relatively low-cost, time-tested diesel trucks.
Early orders reflect uncertainty over how the market for electric commercial vehicles will develop. About 260,000 heavy-duty Class-8 trucks are produced in North America annually, according to FTR, an industry economics research firm.
Tesla, Inc. is an American automaker, energy storage company, and solar panel manufacturer based in Palo Alto, California.
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