American multinational company PepsiCo is the first company to own a fleet of Tesla Semi trucks for business purposes.
They use most of these 21 electric trucks for delivering goods within 100 miles with multiple stops, working up to 12 hours a day. Three of them are for longer trips ranging from 250 to 450 miles.
The man leading the world’s first commercial Tesla Semi truck deployment with PepsiCo is Dejan Antunovic, a Croatian-American.
“My family are Bosnian Croats. I was born in a small town near Sarajevo, to a Croatian mother whose family come from Zadar, Livno and Metković. My family left BiH due to wartime circumstances and found a home in Florida, USA. I was brought up in the spirit of Croatian culture – Croatian language, history, music, food, and demography,” Dejan, who is the fleet electrification manager at PepsiCo, tells us.
Dejan explains that three of the Tesla Semi trucks are dedicated to long-haul trucking, with routes that vary between 250 to 450 miles.
To support these longer routes, Tesla has installed powerful 750 kW Megachargers at PepsiCo facilities, which can charge the trucks up to 80% in less than 45 minutes. Installing such high-power chargers was challenging, but PepsiCo plans to use this experience to electrify more depots in the future.
Dejan, who is a huge Croatian football fan and names Luka Modrić as an idol of his, visited Croatia often growing up, and even more so as an adult, visiting almost every summer season.
“Visiting Croatia helps me to continue developing connections with the country and its culture. I visit Zagreb on every trip, and I visited most of Dalmatia and its coast line, while Slavonia and Baranja are on my bucket list. My favorite places include Split, Korčula, and the Istra region. My absolute favorite restaurants and bakeries include Stari Fijakar and Pekara Dubravica in Zagreb, as well as Villa Spiza in Split,” he says.
Dejan adds that PepsiCo is pleased with the performance of the Tesla Semi trucks, especially their regenerative braking. For instance, when going downhill on Donner Pass to Nevada, the truck can regain energy while braking, making it energy-efficient.