Four years ago, PepsiCo made waves by placing a (relatively) huge order of 100 electric Tesla Semi trucks, part of an initial wave of high-profile companies that did so—companies such as Wal-Mart, J.B. Hunt, and Anheuser-Busch. A wave of EV truck purchases that, it should be noted, totaled somewhere in the high 200s of units. But since then, there has been a lot of silence on the topic. Oh, sure, there’s been a cargo run or two using the electric rigs, a few delays, and certainly no Semi deliveries. But a recent interview with PepsiCo CEO Ramon Laguarta gives us a much better sense of when we might see these battery electric trucks on public roads.
Laguarta told CNBC that the multinational corporation, which owns everything from its eponymous soda brand to major chip brands like Fritos and Ruffles, expects the first delivery of Tesla Semis to take place in the fourth quarter of this year. Q4 started back in October and runs until the end of the year, so that means Laguarta is saying the deliveries could start any day now.
The statement was in response to a question from CNBC host Jim Cramer about how the massive company is planning on reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Laguarta told Cramer that transportation is about 10 percent of the company’s overall carbon emissions. Back in 2017, PepsiCo was estimated to operate roughly 10,000 diesel trucks in its fleet, and its order for Tesla Semis was 100 units. Laguarta did not tell CNBC how many Tesla Semis it expected to take delivery of, but even 100 units would be a small fraction of the company’s fleet—and a small fraction of its carbon emissions.
Regardless, it’s a firm(ish) timeframe that gives us something to sink our teeth into. If PepsiCo is expecting Q4 Tesla Semi deliveries, it could be ready to start fulfilling other orders. But as with so many things involving Tesla’s future product, like the oft-delayed Cybertruck and Roadster, it’s hard to know if the electric automaker can meet Laguarta’s delivery expectations.
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