PepsiCo has joined a dozen other companies Tuesday in preordering Tesla’s new electric Semi trucks, which boast a 500-mile range between charges. According to Reuters, the snack and beverage company’s reservation of 100 Tesla big-rigs marks the largest order yet by one company.
The announcement follows Tesla’s campaign to introduce itself into the freight truck market. By offering an affordable, solidly built alternative to diesel semitrucks, the company hopes to reshape the way semitruck drivers view electric trucks. The diesel market currently produces roughly 260,000 heavy-duty big wheelers.
Tesla engineers have crafted the new vehicle to replace diesel semitrucks, which are 20 percent more expensive to drive and maintain than the new Tesla Semi trucks. Tesla is known for its technologically advanced luxury cars, so the addition of electric semitrucks came as a surprise.
In total, Tesla has 267 orders of the trucks to a number of prominent companies that include Anheuser-Busch, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. and Sysco Corp.
Tesla unveiled the sleek, futuristic-looking Semi truck at a Nov. 16 ceremony in Hawthorne, California, also introducing the world’s quickest car, the Tesla Model S.
At the unveiling ceremony, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk revealed that the new Semi trucks are equipped with advanced computers and sensors.
“Even with 80,000 pounds, it’ll get to 60 mph in 20 seconds,” Musk said.
The electric big-rig incorporate Tesla’s trademark look, as designed by Franz von Holzhausen.
So far, neither Tesla nor any of the dozen companies who have purchased the new Semi truck have disclosed the price tag. Tesla started orders at a $5,000 deposit per truck, but that number has increased to $20,000, according to the Reuters article.
The Tesla Semi trucks are scheduled to be released in 2019.