PepsiCo to Put Tesla’s Semi to the Test in Trucking Event

PepsiCo Tesla Semi

PepsiCo announced on Wednesday its plans to participate in the Run on Less trucking industry event with at least one Tesla Semi. The event, designed to showcase advancements in freight efficiency, will provide in-depth insights into the performance of Tesla’s Class 8 electric truck that is poised to revolutionize the trucking industry.

“We’re really excited to participate in the run and allow the industry to have access to the insights and the learnings that we are getting from experiencing these vehicles,” said Amanda DeVoe, sustainability and technology director, fleet, at PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America division, speaking to Automotive News. The truck will operate with maximum payload and travel up to 500 miles round trip during the event.

While Tesla has released minimal information about the Semi to date, the Run on Less event will monitor the truck’s performance and post independent data on its website, providing a rare glimpse into the capabilities of Tesla’s electric Semi.

“Getting Tesla into this is a big deal,” said Mike Roeth, executive director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency. He highlighted the interest that Tesla’s entry into the trucking industry will garner, given its previous disruption of the automotive sector.

Tesla previously showcased a video of an eight-hour run from its Fremont, California, factory to a PepsiCo bottling factory in San Diego. The Semi, loaded with just under 82,000 pounds, travelled the 500-mile route with a battery capacity starting at 97% and finishing at 4%. Tesla claims that the unmodified Semi used less than 2 kilowatt-hours of energy per mile in normal traffic.

The Run on Less event, set to begin on September 11, will monitor the operations of electric big rigs from several truck manufacturers over a three-week period. Oakville, Ontario-based fleet telematics company, Geotab, will collect data for daily posting.

“Any data on a Class 8 electric vehicle that can be shared is a big deal because there are lots of questions about their performance,” said Charlotte Argue, Geotab’s senior manager for sustainable mobility.

Run on Less will provide public data on various performance aspects, including distance traveled, the effect of speed and distance on battery charge, and weather conditions encountered. The event is anticipated to give industry insiders and spectators a more precise understanding of the capabilities of Tesla’s electric Semi.

Last December, PepsiCo detailed its Tesla Semi experience, after taking first deliveries of the electric truck that month for its subsidiary FritoLay.

In April, PepsiCo debuted 21 Tesla Semi trucks at its bottling plant in Sacramento, while its Modesto plant in California also has the trucks as well.