The first production prototypes of Tesla’s long-awaited electric semi-truck have successfully arrived five years after CEO Elon Musk initially unveiled the commercial vehicle. Pepsi received the first Tesla Semi trucks at a ceremony held at the company’s Sparks, Nevada, facility.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Inc., delivered the company’s first heavy-duty Semi on Thursday to PepsiCo without providing any new estimates for the truck’s cost, its planned manufacturing, or the volume of cargo it can transport.
The battery-powered, long-haul truck will lower highway emissions, exceed current diesel models on power and safety, and spin off a fast-charging technology Tesla would employ in its future Cybertruck pickup, according to Musk, who spoke on stage at a Tesla event in Nevada.
Since Tesla first revealed it was creating the all-electric truck five years ago, Musk stated, “If you’re a trucker and you want the most powerful truck on the road, this is it.”
Industry experts are still uncertain about the ability of battery-powered trucks to carry the weight of heavy loads over long distances without breaking the bank.
The company did not disclose pricing for the Semi at Musk’s first Tesla unveiling following his acquisition of Twitter, which some investors fear has turned into a distraction. It also did not provide information on the truck’s variations that it had initially anticipated, nor did it provide a forecast for deliveries to PepsiCo or other clients. Tesla announced that it would start employing the Semi to transport parts to its Fremont, California, plant.
Tesla had estimated the price of the Semi’s 300-mile range version at $150,000 and its 500-mile range version at $180,000 in 2017. Still, since then, the company’s costs for its passenger electric vehicles have climbed significantly.
Tesla’s chair, Robyn Denholm, reportedly stated that the manufacturer might construct 100 Semis this year. According to Musk, Tesla plans to make 50,000 of the vehicles by 2024.
PepsiCo purchased 100 trucks in 2017, and they have finished their first cargo run with the Tesla vehicle to distribute snacks to attendees of the Nevada launch ceremony.
Other businesses that had reserved the Semi included Walmart Inc., United Parcel Service Inc., and Brewer Anheuser-Busch. The entire cost of ownership for potential consumers in comparison to diesel alternatives was not disclosed by Tesla, nor were there any specifics on orders or delivery to customers.
According to Musk, an upgraded version of Tesla’s Supercharger that will be made available to the Cybertruck features liquid-cooling technology in the charging cable and can charge the Semi at a rate of 1 megawatt. In 2023, the Cybertruck is expected to begin manufacturing.
Only 1% of vehicles sold in the US are trucks, but Tesla claims that they account for 20% of all vehicle emissions.
Tesla made the unspecific claim that other, upcoming cars would make use of the Semi’s powertrain technology. Three electric motors are used in the Semi, two of which are kept in reserve for when the truck needs to accelerate and just one of which is activated at highway speed, according to Musk. This feature makes the Semi more energy-efficient.
Compared to a diesel truck, this vehicle has insane power, Musk remarked. In essence, it’s similar to an elephant running like a cheetah.
Tesla demonstrated a potential “Robo Taxi” under development with a mock-up of the vehicle covered in a tarp on a slide that was part of Musk’s presentation.