PepsiCo orders 100 Tesla Semi trucks in largest preorder to date

Beverage companies are continuing to drink Elon Musk’s Kool-Aid. A few days after Anheuser-Busch made the largest preorder of Tesla’s all-electric Semi trucks, PepsiCo swooped in with the new top order. According to Reuters, the soda and snack giant has reserved 100 Semi trucks in a bid to reduce fleet emissions and cut down on fuel costs.

Each reservation requires a $20,000 deposit, so that’s $2 million in Tesla’s bank account right now (assuming PepsiCo placed its order after Tesla raised the deposit amount from the original price of $5,000). And if the trucks end up retailing for around $150,000, that would put the company’s bill to the automaker at $15 million. (That’s if and when the trucks end up shipping — which, knowing Tesla, could be a moving target.)

The trucks would only represent a fraction of PepsiCo’s 10,000-vehicle fleet, but a company executive told Reuters the Semis would be put to use for short-haul deliveries:

PepsiCo intends to deploy Tesla Semis for shipments of snack foods and beverages between manufacturing and distribution facilities and direct to retailers within the 500-mile (800-km) range promised by Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk.

The semi-trucks will complement PepsiCo’s U.S. fleet of nearly 10,000 big rigs and are a key part of its plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across its supply chain by a total of at least 20 percent by 2030, said Mike O‘Connell, the senior director of North American supply chain for PepsiCo subsidiary Frito-Lay.

PepsiCo is analyzing what routes are best for its Tesla trucks in North America but sees a wide range of uses for lighter loads like snacks or shorter shipments of heavier beverages, O‘Connell said.

Since it was unveiled last month, Tesla has racked up a fair number of preorders from several big-name players in shipping and logistics. The day after the announcement, Walmart said it had preordered 15 trucks, while JB Hunt Transport Services said it had reserved “multiple” new Tesla trucks as well.

In the weeks that followed, others lined up to put their deposit down, including Ryder, DHL, and Canadian supermarket chain Loblaw. (Jalopnik just published a nice roundup of all the companies that have said they plan to purchase the trucks.)

Which beverage company will be next to preorder some Tesla Semis? Coca-Cola? Nestle? InBev? Or will it be Kraft, owners of Kool-Aid?

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