It’s been a five-year wait for Tesla’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) class-8 electric semi-truck. On December 1, the vehicle debuted at a special Semi Delivery Event at Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada, a sprawling facility that primarily manufactures battery backs and electric motors.
The event was open to Tesla’s shareholders. Those who wanted to attend were invited to visit the Shareholder Platform and enter a random drawing. Each share represented one entry in that draw. Winners were invited to take part in this milestone event in which PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP), the first company that will adopt these vehicles, has 100 Tesla Semis on order. Today PepsiCo received the first production of these vehicles in an effort to reduce both fuel costs and overall fleet emissions. How many trucks PepsiCo acquired has yet to be announced.
Though the Semi isn’t listed on the Tesla website, it was advertised at $180,000. Buyers will benefit from the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, which includes a $40,000 tax credit for purchasing heavy electric vehicles. The state of California awarded a $15.4 million grant to one of the PepsiCo facilities that will put Elon Musk’s first semi trucks trucks to use.
The fully electric semi truck features an unusual design in which the driver sits in the center of the cab rather than on one side. The truck can drive 500 miles on a single charge. It has three electric motors, one of which drives the truck most of the time while the other two are used mostly for acceleration and hard pulling. It can pull up to 82,000 pounds.
Tesla is one of several companies competing to enter the North American EV Truck market because of such high demand. The largest heavy-duty freight trucks—Class 8 semis—are projected to account for nearly $30 billion in sales each year, or more than 250,000 new trucks, according to industry data.
In October, Musk tweeted, ”500-mile range & super fun to drive.” However, the specs of this vehicle, including battery charging capabilities, software, displays, and cockpit design still remain a mystery.