Tesla’s new Semi electric truck got a big boost this week when Anheuser-Busch announced it has placed an order for 40 of the new regional haul tractors, which are slated to go into production next year.
The brewing giant said the move is part of a company-wide strategy to employ cutting-edge technology to reduce the environmental impact and increase the efficiency of its operations.
The 40 tractors, which represent one of Tesla’s largest reported pre-orders, will be fully electric-powered and equipped with autonomous driving capabilities, as part of the company’s commitment to improving road safety and reducing carbon emissions.
Integrating the Tesla trucks into the brewer’s distribution network will help Anheuser-Busch achieve its commitment to reduce its operational carbon footprint by 30% by 2025 – the equivalent of removing nearly 500,000 cars from the road globally each year.
“At Anheuser-Busch, we are constantly seeking new ways to make our supply chain more sustainable, efficient, and innovative,” said James Sembrot, senior director of Logistics Strategy. “This investment in Tesla semi-trucks helps us achieve these goals while improving road safety and lowering our environmental impact.”
Anheuser-Busch also said the Tesla technology will also improve safety and efficiency, particularly for truck drivers while they are operating these vehicles, and will help ensure drivers continue to play a central role in beer distribution far into the future.
Anheuser-Busch said it has long been a pioneer and industry leader in supporting innovative technology in its transportation operations to build a more sustainable and efficient beer distribution network.
In addition to its partnership with Tesla, and a range of other recent investments in its transportation operations, Anheuser-Busch is also working with a number of innovative companies. These include Nikola, to develop and implement hydrogen-powered engines within its network; Otto and Uber Freight, to test autonomous driving technology, and Convoy, to access on-demand trucking capacity.
In 2016, an Otto truck carrying 51,744 cans of Budweiser completed an autonomous truckload shipment from Anheuser-Busch’s Fort Collins, Colorado brewery to a wholly owned distributorship in Colorado Springs, a distance of 132 miles, marking the first-ever commercial beer delivery using autonomous driving technology.
“We can’t wait to get these trucks on the road, and keep leading our industry forward to a greener, smarter future in partnership with some of the world’s most innovative companies,” said Sembrot. “The transportation industry is evolving fast, and we’re really excited to play a leadership role in driving this evolution by integrating these new technologies across our network.”