Updated Dec 1, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Tesla begins delivering first Semi trucks

Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils the "Semi" electric truck near Los Angeles, California, in 2017. Photo: Veronique Dupont/AFP via Getty Images

Elon Musk announced Thursday that Tesla is rolling out its long-awaited all-electric Semi trucks.

The big picture: The first shipment of the Tesla Semi, which was unveiled five years ago, was delivered to PepsiCo's Modesto, California, factory Wednesday, Tesla Semi program manager Dan Priestley said during a livestreamed event at the electric vehicle company's Nevada plant.

  • "We delivered the truck, they took it over and they brought back a load of snacks for everybody here to enjoy tonight," Priestley added.

Zoom in: "We're incredibly excited tonight to actually deliver our first production Tesla semi trucks," Musk said at the event.

A screenshot of a Tesla tweet on a Semi test drive.
Photo: Tesla/Twitter
  • The Tesla CEO thanked PepsiCo for being "a great partner" as Priestley symbolically handed over keys to executives Kirk Tanner and Steven Williams, who high-fived upon receiving them.
  • "It's been a long journey, long five years, but this is gonna really revolutionize the roads and I think make the world a better place in a meaningful way," Musk added.

By the numbers: The Semi had a 500-mile driving range in a test, according to Tesla.

  • "It's not like 500 miles with no load, with special aero, and special everything. It's fully loaded," Musk said at the event as an image of a Semi displayed on the screen behind him with a caption stating it completed the test with 4% battery left.

Yes, but: Oliver Dixon, senior analyst at consultancy Guidehouse, was among those casting doubt on the vehicle's capabilities after Musk didn't take questions following the end of the presentation.

  • "Not very impressive — moving a cargo of chips (average weight per pack 52 grams) cannot in any way be said to be definitive proof of concept," Dixon said, per Reuters.

Flashback: Musk claimed when he first unveiled a Tesla Semi prototype five years ago that it would begin production in 2019.

Between the lines: The vehicle is coming three years late, but pandemic disruptions and supply chain issues might be partially to blame, Axios' Nathan Bomey notes.

Of note: Just a few days before Thursday's event, French automaker Renault completed deliveries for Coca-Cola with a fleet of electric trucks — jumping ahead of Tesla's own agreement with Pepsi, per Axios' Alan Neuhauser.

Go deeper: Tesla Semi to put EV heavy trucks to the test

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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