PepsiCo's order is the largest known pre-order for the trucks, which were unveiled in late November and are scheduled for production in 2019. Several other companies, such as Walmart, Anheuser-Busch and J.B. Hunt Transport Services, have also said they are reserving trucks. Estimates suggest companies have reserved more than 250 trucks so far.
Reservations for the base model are $20,000 and $200,000 for a special Founders Series. Both reservations are refundable up to the point that customers sign a purchase agreement.
The demand is a sign of confidence that Tesla's truck can offer customers value at least competitive with what is already in the marketplace, Consumer Edge analyst Jamie Albertine told CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Tuesday. He said pre-orders alone could represent up to $50 million in revenue for Tesla.
"I think it is a longer term proof case, but to see companies like Pepsi take reservations is a sign of confidence for sure," Albertine said.
Albertine said he thinks companies will be making reservations for fleets in the thousands once Tesla demonstrates what it has been advertising — that the cost-per-mile for the Tesla Semi will be lower than those for diesel trucks.
To be sure, Tesla is not the only company developing trucks with electric powertrains. Incumbents such as Cummins have unveiled their own electric truck prototypes.
"It does seem that the industry is looking more holistically at electric trucks, and Tesla wants to play a role in that as well," he said.