On Tuesday, PepsiCo unveiled its new fleet of 18 Tesla Semi, Class 8 all-electric semi trucks, which will be used at the company's Sacramento bottling plant.

PepsiCo ordered the first 100 Tesla Semi in 2017, which shows us how long it had to wait. Tesla started deliveries on December 2, 2022, but the initial production rate is very limited.

According to media reports, PepsiCo intends to use 21 Tesla Semi at the Sacramento plant for local deliveries of Pepsi products. Another 15 vehicles will be used by PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay manufacturing plant in Modesto, California.

To prepare for the electrification, the company installed high-power DC fast charging stations at both sites. The article mentions four 750-kilowatt (kW) charging stalls (at each station, as we understand), which visually are very similar to the V4 Superchargers. This type of charger is often called Megachargers, because of the megawatt level charging capability. Unfortunately, there are no details about the stations or the charging connector.

One of the most interesting things is that PepsiCo's initial purchase of Tesla Semis (estimated at around $250,000 per vehicle) was, in large part, paid for by state and federal grants. Yahoo noted:

"The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District paid for 18 of the 21 trucks to be used at the South Sacramento bottling plant with $4.5 million in grants, said Alberto Ayala, its executive director."

"PepsiCo received a total of $15 million in state and local grants for the vehicles and charging infrastructure in both Sacramento and Modesto, plus $40,000 per vehicle from the federal government"

We guess that with such financial support, other fleets would also be willing to go electric.


An interesting thing is that, according to Erica Edwards, senior vice-president for manufacturing for PepsiCo, the Tesla Semi trucks "have a range of around 400 miles before they need to be charged." Tesla says that the range is 500 miles (over 800 km) when fully loaded, while the efficiency is 1.7 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per mile (1.06 kWh/km).

As more and more fleets start receiving their vehicles, we will probably see some valuable range and efficiency tests. The true, reliable range should also be indicated by the length of the regular routes that are selected by fleets.

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