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Tesla’s first-ever Semi ‘Megacharger’ to be installed at Frito-Lay’s Modesto plant

By @Joey Klender /Twitter

Tesla’s first-ever ‘Megacharger’ for the all-electric Semi will be installed at Frito-Lay’s Modesto, California plant, according to documents.

After being unveiled in November 2017, Tesla received hundreds of pre-orders for the Semi, its first all-electric commercial vehicle. Frito-Lay was one of the first, as its parent company, PepsiCo, reserved 100 Tesla Semis on December 12th, 2017.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that Frito-Lay would be receiving 15 Tesla Semis before the end of 2021. It was a massive announcement because Tesla has delayed the Semi project on several occasions due to battery constraints. Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced last year to company employees in a leaked email that it was time to begin “volume production” of the Semi. However, nothing really ever came of it because the demand for Tesla’s passenger vehicles was through the roof. Instead, the automaker chose to focus on ramping up the production of the Model 3 and Model Y and expanding its production footprint to Europe and Texas.

Now, documents reveal that Frito-Lay is planning for the imminent delivery of the Tesla Semi units. @MarcoRPTesla uncovered several planning documents that indicate Frito-Lay will install the first-ever Tesla Semi Megacharger at its Modesto, California, plant. According to the documents, Frito-Lay is also plotting out some space for designated parking areas for the Tesla Semi.

Credit: Twitter | @MarcoRPTesla

It was first reported on Saturday, May 22nd, by DriveTeslaCanada that Frito-Lay would be installing the first Megacharger on-site at the Modesto facility.

The Megacharger was first announced at the Semi’s unveiling event in late 2017. Musk said that Tesla would implement a worldwide network of Megachargers that would be solar-powered and would provide 400 miles of range in only 30 minutes of charging. This would be accomplished due to an output of over one megawatt. Due to the excessive output of energy, Tesla also filed a patent in late 2019 for a liquid-cooled charging connector, similar to those used in Tesla’s V3 Superchargers.

Tesla confirmed during the Q1 2021 Earnings Call that Semi production would begin later this year. After announcing that production would begin in late 2020, Tesla pushed back the anticipated start dates of production due to battery worries. “Demand is no problem, but near-term cell supply makes it hard to scale Semi,” Musk said in March 2021. “This limitation will be less onerous next year.”

The CEO also commented on the demand during the Q3 2020 Earnings Call, where he said:

“We need to solve the cell constraint before ramping Semi to significant volume. That’s the only real constraint on Semi’s progress.”

Because of the looming installation of the first-ever Megacharger, it appears that the Tesla Semi will make its way to Frito-Lay as expected later this year.

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