Ever since they were announced in 2017, Tesla’s electric semi trucks have been highly anticipated additions to America’s supply chain. While the eco-friendly big rigs have yet to hit the road, they may be very close — depending on whom you decide to believe.
Ramon Laguarta, the top executive at PepsiCo, which initially placed the biggest public order for Tesla’s semis, recently said he expects to see his company’s trucks by the end of 2021. Considering it’s been four years since the order was placed, that doesn’t seem out of the question, but it doesn’t exactly match the timetable laid out by the automaker.
“We’re getting our first deliveries this Q4,” Laguarta told CNBC on Nov. 8 during an interview at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Scotland. Q4 would refer to the final quarter of 2021, which ends on Dec. 31.
Laguarta didn’t specify how many Tesla trucks he was expecting by the end of the year but a press release from PepsiCo in March stated that the company would have 15 electric semis deploying before 2022. That doesn’t sound like too many vehicles, but the order might be difficult to fill when Tesla hasn’t even put them into production yet.
According to CNBC, Tesla CEO Elon Musk initially expected his company to begin making the rigs in 2019 but that has since been pushed back several times. He has blamed current raw materials shortages for further delays. Fortune has reported that Musk most recently stated that they will go into production in 2023, which obviously puts Laguarta’s plans of shipping soda and snacks in them in a matter of months way off the mark.
The investment in Tesla’s exciting new tech was likely a major one for PepsiCo. The company pre-ordered 100 of the electric vehicles at an estimated total price of $2 million. It’s unclear whether the soda giant will be leasing or buying the trucks outright, adding another unknown to this entire enterprise for PepsiCo stockholders.
While 100 new semi trucks sounds like a big deal, it will really just be a drop in a bucket of Mountain Dew for PepsiCo, which operates one of the largest private fleets of any American company. In 2019, Pepsi’s senior director of transportation global procurement Rodney Noble told a Congressional subcommittee that the company had 36,000 trucks.
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