It's Not Your Father's Beer Wagon... a Tesla Semi Truck
As part of the corporate strategy to reduce the company's carbon emissions by 30%, brewer Anheuser-Busch placed an order for forty electric Tesla semi trucks. Considering the size of the brewer's distribution network, reaching their emission's goal would be the equivalent of removing nearly half a million cars from road each year. Probably best known for its popular brands of beer that include Budweiser, Busch, Michelob, Natural Light, and Stella Artois, the St. Louis-based brewer said the preorder is part of an ongoing effort to make the company more sustainable, efficient and innovative.
Nearly 200 Electric Semi Trucks Sold
Tesla has suggested the base price of $150,000 for its Class 8 semi that has a range of 300 miles-per-charge and $180,000 for the version with a 500 miles-per-charge rating. According to the manufacturer, truck operators should be able to recognize a complete return on their investment in just two years based on projected savings from fuel alone. Other early orders for the fully electric tractor-trailer rig include Walmart, J.B. Hunt, Meijer, DHL and Canadian grocer Loblaw. Including the 40 vehicles earmarked for Anheuser-Busch, Tesla has already pre-sold nearly two hundred vehicles.
Zero to 60 MPH Speed in 20 Seconds
The semi trucks, which will not be available until 2019, will be equipped with Tesla's autopilot for autonomous driving functions on long hauls. The driver of the semi will sit in the center of the vehicle and there is no seating for passengers. These interior changes will allow the manufacturer to produce a more aerodynamically shaped cab. Tesla claims the truck will be extremely fast pulling a full load from zero to 60 mph in just 20 seconds. Tesla itself is expected to be a customer as well. The manufacturer currently operates a fleet of over 100 trucks in California alone.
First Driverless Beer Delivery in History
Anheuser-Busch is not new to the autonomous trucking industry. Last year, the brewer made the first commercial beer delivery ever using an Otto/Uber self-driving truck. As an innovator in the tech sector, Anheuser-Busch expects its 750 delivery-truck fleet that transports beer from its breweries to wholesalers all across the country to continue to evolve. Such moves could go a long way in helping the company to reach their 2025 goals for reduced carbon emissions. The brewer also said it is working with a Utah-based company on the use of hydrogen-powered delivery vehicles. As the genius behind the electrical "spark", it is about time the world recognizes the contributions of Nikola Tesla to today's high-tech world.