Despite Tesla’s production challenges, on Tuesday PepsiCo. placed the largest order yet of the automaker’s new Semi heavy truck, reserving 100 units in an effort to reduce fuel costs and emissions. According to reports, the advance was likely US$20,000 per unit.

After the Tesla Semi’s presentation at an event in Los Angeles on Nov. 16, PespsiCo. placed the order in a move that shows Model 3 future owners are not the only ones willing to buy a vehicle several months in advance. Although there is still no definite price for the final vehicle, Tesla’s website says the Semi will have an expected base price of US$150,000-180,000 depending on the range of between 480-800km.

The Semi is expected to begin production in 2019 but after Tesla’s Model 3 production hell, it is uncertain when companies might finally see these trucks in their fleets. Still, this has not stopped giants like PepsiCo., Wal-Mart, J.B. Hunt and Anheuser-Busch placing orders.

The Semi is Tesla’s bet on the freight segment and the next stepping stone in Elon Musk’s promise to cover all major forms of terrestrial transportation and strive for a sustainable future. With four independent motors on rear axles, the Semi has a range of up to 800km and consumption of less than 1.24kWh/km.

The initial price may be steep but with estimated costs per km of US$0.78, Musk forecasts savings of over US$200,000 after 1 million km when compared to the average cost per km of a traditional diesel unit. Additionally, operators will enjoy the comfort and safety that Tesla offers in its Model S, X and 3 units, including the Enhanced Autopilot platform.

The data used in this article was sourced from Tesla, Automotive News, Reuters and IEEE Spectrum.

Don’t forget to follow us on twitter at @mexautomotive and @mexautomotriz for the latest industry news

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