Tesla gets biggest pre-order yet for electric truck, from Pepsi

The sleek electric semi-truck that Tesla CEO Elon Musk called “The Beast” and unveiled Nov. 16 has just received a nudge of support from Pepsi, which according to a new report has pre-ordered 100 trucks.

The junk-food giant’s reservation is the largest yet for the Tesla, which has at least 285 pre-orders, Reuters reported Dec. 12.

The news came out before markets opened and sent the Palo Alto electric car maker’s stock price spiking nearly 4 percent to close at $341.03 on Nov. 12 from $328.91 the day before.

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Walmart has said it pre-ordered 15 electric trucks and J.B Hunt trucking has said it’s reserved  ‘multiple’ semis. Food service distributor Sysco has pre-ordered trucks, and Anheuser-Busch has reserved 40, Reuters reported.

After a splashy November launch that also featured Musk unveiling the purported fastest production car in the world, the Roadster, some doubts were cast on Tesla’s ability to get the truck into buyers’ hands starting in 2019. Delays have plagued every Tesla model, including recently announced tardiness on delivery of the mass-market-oriented Model 3.

The hundreds of pre-orders are a vote of confidence in Tesla’s bid to extend the green revolution to trucking, but are not a hugely expensive gamble for major companies hoping the vehicles will turn out to be the indefatigable cost-savers Musk promised.

At the unveiling Musk said truck pre-orders would require $5,000 down. That amount has gone up to $20,000, according to Reuters. If Pepsi, a $167 billion company, paid the higher price, it would’ve put down only $2 million on 100 trucks. Walmart, a $268 billion company, would’ve deposited a maximum of $300,000 on 15.


Image: Tesla’s electric semi truck, unveiled Nov. 16, 2017 (courtesy of Tesla)


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