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Tesla lines up buyers for electric semi-truck

PepsiCo is the latest company to go public with preliminary plans to buy electric semi-trucks from Tesla, which recently unveiled a rig with plans to begin production in 2019.

Why it matters: While these are not final transactions, the announcements by major companies represent something of a corporate vote of confidence in Tesla despite its recent stumbles scaling up production of its mass-market Model 3 sedan.

Reuters reports that the food and beverage giant has reserved 100 of the trucks, the largest reported corporate purchase plan thus far. Walmart has reserved 15 trucks and the trucking company J. B. Hunt Transport Services has also placed orders, among other buyers. Overall reservations to date are at 276, according to Reuters calculations.

  • PepsiCo confirmed the order to Axios. “These trucks will be deployed across our snacks and beverage businesses,” a spokesperson said.

Big picture: If automakers like Daimler and Tesla can eventually succeed in making electric heavy trucks more than just a tiny portion of U.S. and worldwide commercial fleets, that would bring the world closer to a peak in oil demand.

The projected growth of petroleum demand for heavy trucking is a primary reason why the International Energy Agency’s most recent World Energy Outlook does not show a peak in worldwide crude consumption by 2040, the end of its analysis period.

Go deeper: My Axios colleague Steve LeVine wrote about the unveiling of Tesla’s semi-truck here, and explored the battery technology that Musk may be using here.

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