As the first commercial owner of a Tesla Semi fleet, PepsiCo is in a unique position to get not only first-hand information about the all-electric Class 8 vehicle but also provide feedback to the manufacturer.
While PepsiCo may be limited by its contract with Tesla when it comes to the amount and type of information it can disclose to the public, the company has provided interesting insight into the Tesla Semi ownership experience over the past few months.
Now, we get to learn more about Tesla's first commercial vehicle courtesy of a new video that offers a look into how the Semi is helping PepsiCo achieve its sustainability goals. Posted by The North American Council For Freight Efficiency (NACFE) on its Vimeo channel and picked up by Teslarati, the video takes a look at Pepsi's electric depot in Sacramento, California, which is home to 21 Tesla Semis, among other commercial EVs.
Before delving into the video, it must be said that NACFE is the organizer of the Run on Less freight efficiency challenge, in which PepsiCo will enter at least one Tesla Semi next month.
Running for three weeks starting September 11, the Run on Less event is expected to offer the first independent performance data on the Semi, and that's obviously a big deal.
Gallery: Tesla Semi new photos
And now for the interesting stuff in the video, we learn that Pepsi is running its Tesla Semi fleet in Sacramento for around 12 hours a day (mostly during daytime), delivering beverages predominantly under 100 miles on a daily basis.
According to Amanda DeVoe, Pepsi's Transformation and Strategy Director, the use of EVs is most advantageous for this type of short-range travel from the company's distribution warehouse in Sacramento to where it will deliver beverages.
That said, Dejan Antunović, Pepsi's Electrification Program Manager, noted that three of the 21 Tesla Semi trucks used at the Sacramento facility are "dedicated to the long-haul" routes, which range from 250 miles to 450 miles. Obviously, Tesla's Megachargers have been a huge help with that, helping minimize downtime. For example, the Semi is said to go from 5-10 percent to 95 percent state of charge in 20 to 30 minutes of charging.
Antunović said that the Semi's technology, particularly regenerative braking, has also been a great help for Pepsi, especially on the challenging routes that include the Donner Pass.
"Going across Donner Pass and back from [Sacramento] to Nevada, we're able to, on the trip back, actually zero out, in terms of state of charge improving due to regenerative braking… It extends range for us in a way that is invaluable."
And if you were wondering what drivers think about the Semi's cabin and central driving position, they describe both as being very comfortable. Check out the video to learn more about how the Tesla Semi is transforming Pepsi's – and soon America's – short- and long-haul trucking.