Pepsi’s gets Tesla trucks for Christmas, electric vehicle haulage era begins

PepsiCo is switching to electric delivery vehicles for US wholesale customers in a move that could slash supply chain emissions for the drinks giant. 

The soda company is the first customer to receive a delivery of the Tesla Semi, with vehicles beginning to arrive at the beginning of this month. In total, 36 have been now been received, 15 of which are based at Pepsi’s manufacturing hub in Modesto, with 21 deployed from a Sacramento facility. Both sites are in California. PepsiCo’s central US distribution sites will be next to make the switch, with operations on the East Coast the last to go electric. 

Once the full order is complete, PepsiCo will have 100 Tesla Semi trucks in its fleet, each of which can achieve a range of more than 500 miles with a full 82,000lbs load on a single charge, according to Tesla’s claims. United Parcel Service Inc and food delivery business Sysco Corp have also invested in the model. Meanwhile Walmart — one of PepsiCo’s customers now receiving products on the Semi — is exploring alternative options within the electric vehicle (EV)  haulage market.  

While this is good news for emissions and air pollution, with the future of haulage looking increasingly plugged-in, some have voiced uncertainty as to just how suitable Tesla’s designs are. Speaking to Reuters, Oliver Dixon, a senior analyst at the consultancy Guidehouse, quipped that ‘dragging a trailer full of chips around is not the most intense, tough ask’, before explaining he still believes ‘Tesla has an awful lot to prove to the broader commercial vehicle marketplace’ before its position is guaranteed. 

In the UK, forthcoming changes to road tax mean EV drivers will soon be liable to pay. Air Quality News recently published an editorial by industry expert Nick Ruxton-Boyle on possible ways to ensure the most polluting vehicles, and their owners, still pay their fair share

Image: u/Tutrifor (via Reddit)


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