PepsiCo plans to deploy another 100 heavy-duty Tesla Semis into it’s fleet in 2023
Soda giant PepsiCo has announced that beginning in 2023, its top fleet of 100 heavy-duty Tesla Semis would begin employing electric vehicles to make deliveries to customers including Walmart and Kroger.
The first Tesla Semi electric trucks were delivered to Pepsi less than three weeks ago.
Today, Reuters spoke with Mike O’Connell, the company’s vice president, who discussed the deployment of electric news in an interview.
Four 750 kilowatt (kW) chargers will be placed in both the Modesto and Sacramento locations in California, we’ve heard.
Pepsi received $15.4 million in state funding for the project as a whole, and an additional $40,000 in federal funding for the electric vehicle.
When acquiring 100 vehicles, you save $194,000 per vehicle (not including infrastructure costs), making the conversion to electric straightforward.
That’s about what you’d pay for a comparable diesel vehicle. Although Tesla has yet to reveal the Semi’s pricing, it’s reasonable to guess that, after factoring in government rebates, it will cost several tens of thousands of dollars (it was originally claimed that the 800 km variant should cost 180 thousand USD, but probably no one believes that Tesla would managed to keep the price so damn low).
There will be 36 cars available at first, with 15 based in Modesto and 21 in Sacramento. It will soon be visible across the Midwest and East Coast of the United States.
These trucks will transport light Frito-Lay items throughout a distance of 425 miles (684 kilometers). Initial tests show that vehicles are driven while their batteries are still 20% charged, so an estimated 530 mile range may be inferred (over 850 km).
As a result, the time needed to fully charge the vehicle is 35 to 45 minutes.
It is planned to eventually use the semis on longer routes of 400 to 500 miles, although initially they will only drive shorter routes of 100 miles (about 160 km) to accommodate larger cargoes, such as drinks (640 and 800 km).
After all, Tesla’s own test of a fully loaded Semi truck indicated that even such a car should have a range of roughly 850 km (805 km achieved on 94% of the battery).
O’Connell also stated that he had not heard anything about when the variations with a range of 300 miles (480 km) would be available, but that he would purchase them when they became available.
As we can see, the Semi’s 800 km range may be excessive for some deployments, but who knows if the company’s opinion will change if more experience with the vehicles is gained.
Pepsi estimates that they will get one million kilometers out of the vehicles over the course of seven years (1.6 million km). As a result, it estimates a yearly distance driven of about 230,000 kilometers.
Neither the trucks nor the chargers were funded by Tesla, but the company did contribute to their development and provided the necessary solar panels and batteries. They will be able to partially self-suffice (the location and weather of California make solar panels less of an issue there than in other parts of the world) and, with the help of the buffers, not put undue strain on the power grid.