Tesla has announced that it is starting production of its Tesla Semi and that soft drink giant, Pepsi will receive the first electric trucks on the 1st December.
The Tesla Semi, which is an all-electric class 8 heavy duty truck, was first announced back in 2017 and, at the time, it was supposed be on the road by 2019.
However the vehicle program was delayed for years, and until recently, it wasn’t expected to go into production until next year. Tesla supremo Elon Musk, however surprisingly announced in August that the Tesla Semi would start shipping this year and now comes the confirmed timing.
Production of the electric truck started last week and Musk reiterated that the truck will have a range of 805 km on a single charge.
The electric trucks are being produced in Nevada near Tesla’s Gigafactory, where Tesla has built a special dedicated production line for it which will churn out about five trucks a week initially. However Tesla plans to move to higher volume production at its Gigafactory in Texas later next year
Musk announced in a Tweet last week that Pepsico would get the first Tesla Semi deliveries on the 1st December.
Pepsi placed one of the first orders soon after the Semi Truck’s launch in 2017 committing to buy 100 of the electric trucks for its fleet, with 15 of them earmarked for a project to turn its snack food subsidiary, Frito Lay’s Modesto facility in California into a zero emission site .
Tesla has install one of its Megacharger station for the trucks at the Modesto facility in preparation for the first delivery of the electric truck.
The Tesla Semi and its claimed 800km range and efficiency of less than 2 kWh per mile. At $US 0.20 per kWh, and a $US0.40 cost of operation per mile, makes it about half the cost of operation of a diesel truck.
Considering companies can spend up to $US80,000 on fuel per year per truck in the USA, its not hard to imagine how it could be really attractive for large fleets to embrace the Semi Truck and to go electric. Only time will tell if Tesla can be successful and whether Tesla can quickly help electrify the trucking industry in the USA and significantly cut emissions from freight transport.
There’s no indication at this stage as to when or if we will see the Tesla Semi in Australia