On Thursday, Tesla Inc chief executive Elon Musk delivered the company’s first heavy-duty tractor-trailer to PepsiCo without an updated forecast for the truck’s prices, production plans or how much freight it could haul.
Musk, who appeared on stage at an event at Tesla’s Nevada factory, said the battery-powered long-haul truck would reduce highway emissions, outperform existing diesel models in power and security and would derive a fast charging technology that Tesla would use in its next Cybertruck pickup
“If you’re a trucker and you want the most badass rig on the road, this is it,” Musk said, noting that it was five years since Tesla had announced it was developing the all-electric truck. Still, industry experts remain sceptical that battery electric trucks can take the strain of hauling hefty loads for hundreds of miles economically.
At Musk’s first Tesla reveal since taking over Twitter – an acquisition some investors worry has become a distraction – the company did not announce pricing for the Semi, provide details on variants of the truck it had initially projected or supply a forecast for deliveries to PepsiCo or other customers. Tesla said it would begin using the Semi to ship parts to its plant in Fremont, California.
In 2017, Tesla had said the 300-mile range version of the Semi would cost $150,000 and the 500-mile version $180,000, but Tesla’s passenger electric vehicle prices have increased sharply since then.
Robyn Denholm, chair of Tesla, recently said the automaker might produce 100 Semis this year. Musk said that Tesla would aim to have 50,000 trucks in 2024.
PepsiCo, which completed its first cargo run with the Tesla truck to deliver snacks for those attending the Nevada launch event, had ordered 100 trucks in 2017
Brewer Anheuser-Busch, United Parcel Service Inc and Walmart Inc were among other companies that had reserved the Semi. Tesla did not provide details on orders or deliveries to customers nor an estimate on the total cost of ownership for future buyers compared to diesel alternatives.