Elon Musk announces Tesla Semi production after Twitter deal returns


Washington, D.C
CNN

Tesla boss Elon Musk said on Thursday that production of his tractor-trailer had been discontinued has begunand deliveries to one customer, Pepsi, are made in December.

Pepsi said in a statement Friday that the trucks will support its Frito-Lay plant in Modesto, California and its Pepsi beverage plant in Sacramento. Neither Musk nor Pepsi said how many trucks would be delivered.

“We look forward to this next step on our journey to becoming PepsiCo Positive and will share more details once we receive shipment,” said Andrea Foote, PepsiCo spokesperson, referring to the company’s sustainability efforts.

Tesla first announced the Semi in November 2017 and production is scheduled to begin in 2019. Companies including Walmart, FedEx, Anheuser-Busch, City Furniture and JB Hunt Transport Services have said they have made reservations. Production delays are commonplace at Tesla. The start of Cybertruck production was announced for 2021 but was pushed back to next year, and the second generation Tesla Roadster, originally announced at the same event as the Semi, was supposed to go into production in 2020, but that’s happening at the earliest Postponed in 2023.

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Musk reiterated Thursday that the Semi will have a range of 500 miles. Electric trucks are well suited for some routes, but their heavy weight compared to diesel and fuel cell trucks can force companies to reduce heavy loads.

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Musk announced after Tuesday’s news that he had revived his original proposal to buy Twitter for $44 billion. Musk previously attempted to end the deal last month, alleging that Twitter breached the agreement by misrepresenting the number of spam and fake bot accounts on the social media platform.

Musk, the richest man in the world, sold about $15 billion worth of Tesla stock this year, but it’s still not clear if Musk has enough cash to close the Twitter deal. Musk, who has received commitments for debt and equity financing, may need to sell more Tesla stock to fund the purchase. He could also sell SpaceX stock, borrow against his holdings in Tesla or SpaceX, or raise money from other investors. However, any borrowing to fund the deal has become much more expensive recently as interest rates have risen.

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Musk’s text messages from earlier this year, recently revealed amid an ongoing legal battle with Twitter, showed talks to collect billions from wealthy contacts from him, including Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison.

The announcement of Musk’s tractor-trailer didn’t immediately propel Tesla stock higher. Tesla shares fell around 5% in Friday morning trading.

Tesla has not responded to a request for comment and generally does not cooperate with the professional news media.

– CNN’s Chris Isidore contributed to this report.

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