Tesla Starts Semi Production; First Delivery To Pepsi In Dec.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the luxury electric vehicle maker has started the production of Tesla Semi electric trucks, and the first delivery will be to food and beverages giant Pepsico Inc. starting December 1.

In a tweet, Musk said, "Excited to announce start of production of Tesla Semi Truck with deliveries to @Pepsi on Dec 1st!"

Musk added that the vehicle has a range of 500 miles on a single charge.

Tesla's all-electric class 8 truck, Tesla Semi, was unveiled in 2017, with a plan to start production as soon as 2019. However, the plans got delayed for years. In 2020, Musk had said that Tesla's own battery cells, which were under development, would not reach high-volume production until 2022, and would eventually affect the Cybertruck, Semi, and Roadster programs.

In April this year, the company said it plans to release the Tesla Semi EV in 2023, along with its long-awaited electric pickup Cybertruck.

However, in August, Musk tweeted that Tesla 500 mile range Semi Truck will start shipping this year, while Cybertruck will start shipping next year.

Following the Semi launch in 2017, PepsiCo had placed orders for 100 Tesla Semi electric trucks to add to its fleet. The company was expecting to take deliveries of 15 Tesla Semi trucks initially, reportedly for a project to turn its Frito-Lay Modesto, California, site into a zero-emission facility.

Last year, Tesla had installed a Megacharger station for the trucks at Pepsi's Modesto facility.

Tesla says Semi, being more powerful, more efficient and fully electric, is the future of trucking. In its website, the company notes that charging with electricity is around 2.5 times cheaper per mile than refueling with diesel. Operators can see estimated fuel savings of up to $200,000 within their first three years of ownership.

CNBC reported that the truck is expected to cost $180,000, and that it would qualify for a tax break of up to $40,000 under a U.S. subsidy program.

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