For a beer company that still employs 19th-century teams of draft horses driven by coachmen in striped pants, Anheuser-Busch is pretty keen on the latest technology, announcing it has ordered 40 Tesla electric semis as part of its push to gain efficiencies in its supply chain and reduce its carbon footprint 30 percent by 2025.
The order is one of the largest for Tesla’s electric big rig since it was revealed last month, out of about a dozen known reservations from companies such as Walmart and J.B. Hunt.
The trucks will also be configured for autonomous driving, or platooning — daisy-chaining a series of trucks led by one human driver.
To give you a sense of just how much Bud gets hauled around the country, Anheuser-Busch says reducing its greenhouse gases by 30 percent would be the equivalent of taking 500,000 cars off the road every year.
“At Anheuser-Busch, we are constantly seeking new ways to make our supply chain more sustainable, efficient, and innovative,” said James Sembrot, AB’s top logistics guy. “This investment in Tesla semi-trucks helps us achieve these goals while improving road safety and lowering our environmental impact.”
Anheuser-Busch says it’s also working with Nikola, which is developing a hydrogen-electric long-haul truck, with Otto and Uber Freight on autonomous driving, and with the Convoy trucking company. In fact, an Otto autonomous truck hauled a load of Budweiser — 51,744 cans of it, AB says helpfully (or 4,312 if your preferred unit of measurement is a 12-pack) — from its Fort Collins, Colo., brewery to Colorado Springs back in 2016.
As for the Teslas, “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 Mr. 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.”