Nikola's hydrogen-electric truck technology got a major endorsement from Anheuser-Busch in the form of an order for up to 800 trucks. Illustration: Nikola

Nikola's hydrogen-electric truck technology got a major endorsement from Anheuser-Busch in the form of an order for up to 800 trucks. Illustration: Nikola

Anheuser-Busch has placed an order for up to 800 hydrogen-electric heavy-duty trucks from Nikola Motor Co. as part of a plan to convert its entire dedicated fleet to renewable power by 2025.

The zero-emission trucks — which will be able to travel between 500 and 1,200 miles and be refilled within 20 minutes, reducing idle time — are expected to be integrated into Anheuser-Busch’s dedicated fleet beginning in 2020.

It will also help Nikola build out its hydrogen-fueling network. “All of our stations will be open to all our fleets,” Nikola spokesperson Colleen Robar told HDT. “But this order helps us get 28 stations operating on key Anheuser Busch routes.”

Through this agreement, Anheuser-Busch aims to convert its entire long-haul dedicated fleet to renewable powered trucks by 2025. Nikola’s technology will enable the brewer to achieve this milestone across its long-haul loads, while also helping to improve road safety through the trucks’ advanced surround viewing system, according to an announcement from the two companies.

“At Anheuser-Busch we’re continuously searching for ways to improve sustainability across our entire value chain and drive our industry forward,” said Michel Doukeris, CEO of Anheuser-Busch. “The transport industry is one that is ripe for innovative solutions, and Nikola is leading the way with hydrogen-electric, zero-emission capabilities. We are very excited by the possibilities our partnership with them can offer.”

Trevor Milton, CEO of Nikola, noted that "Anheuser-Busch has a long history of investing in progressive, sustainable technology, and we are excited to partner with them to bring the largest hydrogen network in the world to the USA. By 2028, we anticipate having over 700 hydrogen stations across the USA and Canada. With nearly $9 billion in pre-order reservations, we are building to order, not speculation, and are very excited for what’s to come.”

About a month ago, Sweden-based Nel ASA, which Nikola tapped late last year to be the equipment supplier for its planned network of hydrogen refuelling stations, announced it had received an additional order from Nikola in the wake of a deal with a major fleet.

“The Nikola hydrogen electric semi-trucks will begin testing with fleets in 2019 and begin full production in 2021,” Milton said as part of that announcement, noting that the then-undisclosed deal with A-B would require an additional 28 stations to go up on top of the previous Nel purchase order.

Anheuser-Busch had previously ordered 40 Tesla electric Semi tractors.

The partnership with Nikola will contribute to Anheuser-Busch’s recently announced 2025 Sustainability Goals, which include reducing CO2 emissions by 25% across its value chain. Once fully implemented, the carbon reductions gained from these 800 trucks will reduce the brewer’s carbon emissions from logistics by more than 18% — equivalent to taking more than 13,000 passenger vehicles off the road annually.

Emission reduction has, and continues to be, a long-term focus for Anheuser-Busch. In 2006, the brewer joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Transport program; and since 2008, has reduced its total energy use in U.S. breweries by more than 30%.


Related: Watch Nikola Hydrogen Fuel Cell Truck on the Road

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