Tesla has only delivered a limited number of its electric semi trucks, and most of them are in operation in PepsiCo’s fleet – primarily in its Sacramento facility, which has been completely electrified and is solar-powered.

Tesla’s semi truck has a list price of $250,000 but the actual price may vary if Tesla decides to mass produce the vehicle.

PepsiCo explained that it uses most of its 21 Tesla Semi electric trucks for deliveries within 100 miles with several stops. They operate for up to 12 hours a day. However, Tesla’s semi trucks can also conduct long-haul trucking with routes that vary between 250 to 450 miles.

To support the use of Tesla’s trucks, PespsiCo has been installing 750 kW Megachargers at PepsiCo facilities. They enable charging to 80% capacity in less than 45 minutes.

In my opinion, the next big move in electric semi trucks will come from Amazon. The company has wisely created 8 regions within the U.S. that operate a series of warehouses to fulfill online orders including many on the same day. A regional strategy reduces the number of miles that a package has to travel to be delivered to a customer or inventory has to travel to warehouses. Regional distribution is ideal for electric semis due to the limited range that electric semis can drive – 500 miles or less – before requiring a charge.

Tesla is clearly the leader in getting the most press for their EV semi trucks and I rank Einride as second only to Tesla. However, FreightlinerVolvo Trucks, and Navistar Inc., have the better trucks.

I anticipate that Rivian, who provides EV delivery vans to Amazon, will eventually offer their own EV semi truck. If they don’t, Rivian is missing out on a massive market opportunity. I continue to recommend that Rivian create a separate company – Rivian Industrial Solutions – focused on commercial vans for deliveries and semi trucks. If this happens, Amazon will likely increase their investment in Rivian or acquire the commercial division altogether. With its regional strategy and the fact Amazon began offering 3PL services in 2022, Amazon has the potential of becoming the largest user of EV and eventually autonomous semi trucks in the U.S.

Walmart also has the potential of becoming a leader in the use of EV and autonomous semi trucks. Note to Walmart: As the largest retailer with the most stores and extensive relationships with the largest CPG brands in the world, you have a great opportunity to create the largest collaborative fleet of EVs and autonomous semi trucks. You also have the potential for creating one of the largest last mile EV delivery fleets via Walmart GoLocal. However, truth be told, Walmart GoLocal requires massive improvement – an acquisition of OneRail or a partnership with OneRail should be explored.

Keep on trucking!