Tesla has started production on its long-awaited Semi truck, and plans to start delivering it to Pepsi by December 1st, according to a tweet from CEO Elon Musk. The soft drink company ordered 100 of the electric transport vehicles in December 2017, just a month after it was announced, and it confirmed to Reuters that intends to use them in California when it receives them later this year.
Tesla promises that the Semi can accelerate from 0 to 60mph in 20 seconds even when “fully loaded” and keep up “highway-level speeds even up steep grades.” It also promises that you’ll be able to recharge up to 70 percent of its 300 or 500-mile range in 30 minutes. And according to Musk, it’s “super fun to drive.”
Before 2022, news about the semi was relatively scarce. Then, in May, Tesla started accepting reservations and charging a $20,000 deposit, and in August, Musk said that the version of the truck with a 500-mile range would begin shipping this year. Reservations were closed in August. According to Reuters, companies like UPS and Sysco have also preordered Tesla Semis.
While Tesla may have followed through on Musk’s recent shipping promise, the company isn’t exactly known for hitting deadlines. Its consumer-focused Cybertruck has been delayed a few times — Musk says to expect that in 2023, along with the second-generation Roadster, which was announced alongside the Semi, originally slated for 2020, then 2022.
There’s also Tesla’s full self driving technology, which Musk promised was just around the corner for years; currently, the feature is in beta (though in some ways that’s a generous term). When it was announced, Tesla said the Semi would feature at least semi-autonomous driving, though there’s currently no information about it on the truck’s webpage.
Update October 7th, 12:18PM ET: Added information about how Pepsi intends to use the trucks and other companies that have placed orders.