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Pepsi talks about Tesla Semi; exec makes strange comments about electric truck range

Tesla Semi Image Credit: u/Tutrifor

Pepsi, the first customer to use Tesla Semi, commented on the rollout of the electric truck in its fleet and made some odd remarks about its lineup.

When Tesla has started deliveries of the Tesla Semi earlier this month, its first customer to take delivery was PepsiCo.

Today, the company is commenting on the integration of the electric truck into its fleet for the first time in a Reuters article based on an interview with PepsiCo Vice President Mike O’Connell, but the article glosses over some very odd comments about the Tesla Semi lineup.

O’Connell confirmed that PepsiCo is currently rolling out 36 Tesla Semis: 15 in Modesto and 21 in Sacramento. The company expects to take delivery of the 100 Tesla Semi trucks it has ordered by the end of 2023.

Where things got weird was when O’Connell, according to the article, talked about the Tesla Semi’s lineup:

PepsiCo’s new Semis can haul Frito-Lay food products about 425 miles (684 km), but for heavier loads of sodas, the trucks will make shorter trips of about 100 miles (160 km), said O’Connell.

O’Connell reportedly said the company’s Tesla Semi trucks still had a 20% charge after hauling loads of chips more than 425 miles.

But it’s unclear why the trucks only make 100-mile trips with tons of soda.

Tesla has made it clear that the Tesla Semi can achieve a range of over 500 miles on a full charge at 82,000 pounds.

We reported that unfortunately Tesla has not released the weight of the truck and therefore we don’t know the actual load capacity of the Tesla Semi, but we do know that it can travel 500 miles at full capacity.

It’s true that a trailer full of chips will be lighter than a trailer full of sodas, but ultimately they’re both limited to 82,000 lbs in an electric truck, per regulations. Therefore, Tesla Semi should be able to travel 500 miles with a full capacity soda trailer.

Electrek’s Grasp

As I said in my article on the Tesla Semi’s battery and missing information from Tesla’s presentationwe really need Tesla to confirm the weight of the truck to know the actual load capacity.

I estimate the weight of the Tesla Semi to be around 27,000 pounds, which is definitely higher than most diesel semis and would result in lower load capacity.

But based on information released by Tesla, the truck can still travel 500 miles with a total weight of 82,000 pounds (truck, trailer and load) regardless of the actual load capacity. That’s why it’s so odd that PepsiCo says it’s limiting trips with sodas to 100 miles.

I don’t know if it’s based on a lack of knowledge or if there was some kind of misunderstanding in the interview.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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