First Tesla Semi truck with 500-mile range delivered to PepsiCo

Details about output and pricing are still under wraps.
Ameya Paleja
Tesla Semi
Tesla Semi


Five years after CEO Elon Musk unveiled the company's long hauler, Semi Truck, electric automobile maker Tesla has finally delivered its first truck. The first vehicle was delivered to PepsiCo at an event held at Tesla's factory near Reno, Nevada.

Musk drove the truck to the event and declared, "If you're a trucker and you want the most badass rig on the road, this is it".

Promises made with Tesla Semi

Musk's declaration at the event isn't the only expectation from the Tesla Semi. During the long wait for the truck to go into production, many details about the vehicle were released to the public. These include the promise of up to 500 miles of range on a single charge and power relative to a diesel truck. In his presentation, Musk even compared the Semi to an elephant that can move like a cheetah, Reuters reported.

Technologies promised in the Semi are also crucial for Tesla's future models, such as the Cybertruck, which is expected to use the updated version of the Supercharger. Armed with 1-megawatt charging and liquid-cooling technology in the charging cable itself, these are features that potential users will look forward to for other Tesla offerings.

As per Tesla's claims, the Semi is powered by three electric motors, of which only one is engaged at highway speeds while the other two kick in when the truck needs to accelerate. This is why the Semi is highly energy efficient and uses less than 2kWh of energy per mile. The company also claims that the Semi is 2.5 times cheaper to refuel when compared to diesel trucks and can provide $200,000 of fuel savings in the first three years of ownership.

Details on models, and pricing still unavailable

Back in October, Musk announced that the Semi Truck would be delivered before the end of the year, so it was done. The recipient of the truck, PepsiCo, had placed orders for 100 trucks in 2017 and had to wait five years to get its first one. According to a Reuters report, Tesla plans to produce around the same number this year, with production reaching 50,000 trucks only in 2024.

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It is interesting to note that Tesla only completed the first fully loaded 500-mile trip with this truck on Monday this week. The truck carried 81,000 pounds (36,740 kgs) during this trip, which is near the gross combination weight of the truck of 82,000 pounds.

Although it is common for Musk to not take questions at Tesla events, the scant details available about the different models and pricing of the Semi raise further eyebrows. Back in 2017, Musk had said that the Semi top model would cost $180,000 but Tesla has increased the prices of its passenger vehicles sharply since then, and the Semi will be no exception.

Other than the fact that this was Musk's first major Tesla appearance since taking over Twitter, where his attention is now divided, there are now many more options available in the electric truck segment since Semi was announced in 2017. While Tesla seems keen to satisfy PepsiCo's order, others such as Walmart and United Parcel Service have also reserved Semis, and it is unclear how and when their orders will be fulfilled.