Anheuser-Busch Reserves 40 Electric Semi Trucks From Tesla Motors
When you’re selling the self-professed “King of Beers,” you’re going to want to transport them in a style befitting of royalty. Either that, or you’re interested in keeping your shipping costs to a minimum and have the capital necessary to invest in new technologies like an electric semi.
Anheuser-Busch, maker of Budweiser and over a dozen other beer brands, has decided to purchase 40 of Tesla’s battery-electric trucks. The company said it made the move in hopes of reducing fuel costs and cutting vehicle emissions. We’d also gamble that the adult beverage purveyor is interested in the vehicle’s claimed autonomous driving capabilities.
In 2016, an Otto truck carrying nearly 52,000 cans of Budweiser completed an autonomous delivery of 132 miles from Anheuser-Busch’s brewery in Ft. Collins, Colorado, to a distributor in Colorado Springs. The news was heavily promoted by the company, which had previously expressed an interest in autonomous shipping applications.
“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, in a press release. “This investment in Tesla semi-trucks helps us achieve these goals while improving road safety and lowering our environmental impact.”
However, it’s not just beer companies buying Tesla’s truck. Walmart announced it had preordered 15 trucks immediately after its unveiling as part of a North American pilot program to see how they would perform. Transport services like J.B. Hunt, DHL, and Ryder have also placed orders with Tesla.
All told, it’s estimated that the manufacturer currently has about 150 reservations with various companies — most of which just want to suss out how well the electric trucks stack up against traditional diesel models. The Tesla-branded haulers start at $150,000 when equipped with power source good for 300 miles. But customers willing to spend $180,000 can have a version with a 500-mile range.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk claims the trucks should be available by 2019 and that the company will begin deploying “megachargers” that can can resupply enough energy for 400 miles of travel in around 30 minutes. While that’s a major improvement compared to the company’s existing supercharger network, it’s still not as fast as the fueling islands slinging diesel at roadside truck stops.
[Image: Tesla Motors]
87 Morgan on Dec 08, 2017
Some very interesting comments regarding the Tesla semi. The term OTR has been used. 'Over The Road' trucking is, in my recollection, the term for interstate highway hauling versus intrastate trucking. Pick up at the terminal in Houston and drop off in Edina MN for example and the operator is in the truck virtually the entire time driving, sleeping, or watching tv is interstate and not the intended use of the Tesla truck near as I can tell. Pick up in Fort Collins CO at the Budweiser plant and drop off in Colorado Springs? One driver can do this twice in one day, easily. AB ordering/investing in 20 or however many they ordered makes complete sense. 1. The amount of $$ they will spend is negligible compared to the profit of the macro operation. 2. If they electric trucks are a success it will save the company millions in shipping costs. They win either way, small investment to see if the technology works the downside is a drop in the bucket compared to the upside. Same for Wal-Mart. They load at the massive train depot in Cheyenne WY and distribute all across the region, Denver especially. 120 miles between the two cities. The other thing to keep in mind with the rapid charging, when the Wal-Mart truck backs up to the loading dock it is not like the entire 52' trailer is emptied immediately. If a rapid charger can be installed at each location you could virtually recharge or top off in the amount of time it takes to unload. Finally, what this could do for local air quality is incalculable. If this can work and Paccar, Volvo and others get on board and develop dump trucks, garbage haulers, box trucks and what have you the improvements to urban air quality would be substantial. We have all been behind, the cement truck or dump truck that is unintentionally rolling massive amounts of coal. The idea of retiring these rigs does not hurt my feelings one bit.
APaGttH on Dec 08, 2017
I will remind the Teslarati that a number of other makers have taken a pile of deposits (including Tesla) on products still in a near vaporware state and never delivered said orders. CEOs change, market conditions change, business models change, and suddenly these commercial orders (very different from 1 off consumers) go poof! How about all those Volts and Leaves that GE, etc. etc. etc. claimed they were going to buy a decade ago?
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- ToolGuy I wonder if Vin Diesel requires DEF.(Does he have issues with Sulfur in concentrations above 15ppm?)
- ToolGuy Presented for discussion: https://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper2/thoreau/civil.html
- Kevin Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?