Dec 12, 2017

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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Coronavirus updates: Market ends worst week since financial crisis

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The stock market ended its worst week since the financial crisis, prompting the Fed to release a statement. Meanwhile, the WHO warned that countries are losing their chance to contain the novel coronavirus and raised its global risk assessment to "very high" Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected more than 84,000 others in over 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 9 hours ago - Health

California coronavirus: Latest case has no recent history of international travel

Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

A new case of the novel coronavirus in California was announced on Friday after Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that 33 people had tested positive for the virus, noting the risk to the public remains low.

What's new: An adult woman with chronic health conditions in Santa Clara County who "did not recently travel overseas" or come into contact with anyone known to be ill was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus on Friday by CDC and California Department of Public Health officials.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 9 hours ago - Health

Big video game conference delayed amid coronavirus concerns

Photo: GDC

Next month's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco became the latest tech event to be cancelled or postponed amid growing concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The big picture: A growing number of events are being scrapped, including Mobile World Congress and Facebook's F8 developer conference. Some, like the giant SXSW event in Austin, insist they are moving forward.