Five years after the unveiling of the Tesla semi truck prototype, the company says it’s finally ready to deliver the first batch to Pepsico Inc.
In a tweet, Tesla CEO Elon Musk celebrated the news, saying the company would deliver Tesla semi trucks to Pepsico on December 1. Pepsico has said it reserved 100 semi trucks and plans to have 15 units on the road by the end of this year.
The original plan was to have the Tesla semi truck ready for production within two years of the first unveiling in 2017. Retailers like Walmart and Anheuser-Busch InBev SA have put down deposits for the big rigs. However, Tesla decided to prioritize the production of Model 3 sedans and Model Y sport utility vehicles, a decision most likely related to battery cell and semiconductor supply shortages.
This past January, Musk told analysts he wouldn’t be introducing any new models this year because of parts constraints. However, the tax incentives made available by the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act seem to have changed his mind. The IRA makes heavy-duty electric trucks, like Teslas, eligible for up to $40,000 in federal tax credits.
On August 10, a tweet from Tesla’s Chief Executive Officer stated that the company would start shipping semis with 500 miles of range this year.
Other electric vehicle companies are joining in the effort to bring electric semi trucks to big retailers, including Nikola Corp. and Volvo AB, which recently announced it would deliver 20 fully electric trucks to Amazon by the end of the year.
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