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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.

Go deeper

Ford's big plans to turbocharge the electric car industry in the U.S.

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Ford Motor Company’s new $11 billion manufacturing plan, the biggest component of which will sit just outside Memphis, is part of a much bigger effort to put the U.S. at the center of the electric vehicle revolution, executive chairman Bill Ford says.

The big picture: Ford’s plans — for enormous facilities in both Tennessee and Kentucky, employing a combined 11,000 workers — are ambitious manufacturing efforts designed to minimize their environmental impact.

Court backlogs force prosecutors to dismiss some cases

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

The pandemic slowed the criminal justice system to a crawl in much of the U.S., and now an increase in violent crime is straining the system even further.

Why it matters: COVID-19 has caused backlogs in criminal cases across the U.S. to swell, forcing district attorneys to focus on the most violent offenses — and decline, delay or deal down a slew of other cases.

Axios-Ipsos poll: Biden trust takes a blow as COVID lingers

Data: Axios/Ipsos polls; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

For the first time in his presidency, Joe Biden faces a trust deficit among Americans when it comes to COVID-19, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: The latest findings point to malaise more than fear. But malaise could spell real trouble for a Democratic president who built his support on a pledge to steer the nation out of crisis — and whose party's bare House and Senate majorities are on the line in 2022.