Although passenger vehicles are Tesla’s bread and butter, the popular EV company has also dipped its toe into making electric semitrucks, with the most notable example being the fleet it built for PepsiCo’s Sacramento, California, plant.
Now, the North American Council for Freight Efficiency has gotten a tour of the Pepsi facility and has released a video that includes some information and details about how the soda and snack food company uses its fleet of 21 electric semis.
According to Amanda DeVoe, Pepsi’s transformation and strategy director, the company has found that it is most advantageous to run the trucks for around 12 hours a day on routes that are mostly under 100 miles.
However, three of the semis are dedicated to “long-haul routes” of 250 to 450 miles. Using Tesla Megachargers along the routes, the trucks can reportedly go from 5% charged to 95% charged in only 20 to 30 minutes.
Also worth noting is that Tesla’s “regenerative braking” technology allows the trucks to be used on “hellacious routes” such as the Donner Pass.
“Going across Donner Pass and back from [Sacramento] to Nevada, we’re able to, on the trip back, actually zero out, in terms of state of charge improving due to regenerative braking,” Dejan Antunović, Pepsi’s electrification program manager, said in the video. “It extends range for us in a way that is invaluable.”
According to the Department of Energy, even though medium- and heavy-duty trucks account for only 4% of the vehicles in the United States, they consume 25% of total highway fuel and create nearly 30% of highway carbon emissions. Stricter standards on smog-forming emissions on trucks will take effect in 2027, which could force companies to turn to electric versions such as this Tesla fleet.
The commenters on the Inside EVs article reporting the news seemed impressed by the performance of the trucks as Pepsi presented it and optimistic about the future of electric trucks.
“Interesting to have some data. TBH all this is filtered by the companies so it’s important to take that into consideration,” wrote one commenter. “That being said, it confirms what I said: it’s working and the technology will evolve fast enough to be viable for almost every deliveries in medium term perspective.”
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