PepsiCo, one of the biggest Tesla Semi buyers, expects to take delivery of the first all-electric Class 8 trucks before the end of this year.
That sounds great but the problem is Tesla recently announced that customer deliveries of the Semi are pushed to 2023 due to supply chain challenges and the limited availability of battery cells. Did Pepsi not get the memo? It would seem that way at first sight, judging by company CEO Ramon Laguarta’s recent remarks.
During an interview on “Squawk on the Street,” CNBC’s Jim Cramer asked about PepsiCo’s plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The executive replied that one of the measures is adding electric trucks to its fleet and said that PepsiCo is expecting Tesla Semi deliveries in Q4 2021.
“We replace our fleet regularly, every ten years more or less...and we are already starting to buy electric trucks from Tesla. I mean I don’t want to promote anybody, but that’s the brand we are using so far, and we are getting our first deliveries this Q4.”
Gallery: Tesla Semi
After Tesla first unveiled the Semi in 2017, PepsiCo placed the biggest order for the electric truck at the time: 100 units for its fleet. At the time, PepsiCo said that 15 Semis would be used for a project to turn its site in Frito-Lay Modesto, California, into a zero-emission facility.
Earlier this year, the beverage giant said it expected to take delivery of those 15 Semi trucks by the end of 2021, but that was before Tesla confirmed another delay to the program.
Now, there are two possible explanations for the inconsistency between Tesla’s Semi delivery timeline and PepsiCo’s expectations. The most obvious one, although quite unlikely, would be that the beverage giant’s CEO is wrong and didn’t get updated about Tesla’s delays.
The second explanation would be that PepsiCo will get delivered pre-production Tesla Semis before the end of this year as part of a trial. The latter seems like a more plausible hypothesis, especially since Tesla has been making progress toward starting low-volume production of its electric semi truck at the facility located next to Gigafactory Nevada.
Corroborate this with the fact that pilot production of 4680 cells in Nevada is going well according to Tesla and the company is building a Megacharger for the Semi near the plant, and PepsiCo CEO may turn out to be right after all. Watch this space for updates.