Anheuser-Busch, a company perhaps best known for its popular beer brand Budweiser, has ordered and reserved 40 units of the recently unveiled Tesla Semi Truck, representatives have announced.
→ Also see: Sysco Pre-Orders 50 Tesla Semi Trucks
This order comprises probably the largest order that Tesla has yet received for its upcoming Class 8 Semi Truck offering — though it is possible that the company has privately taken larger orders, it doesn’t seem too likely, as much of the reason for these early pre-orders is in the potential PR value.
The reason for the relatively large order, according to Anheuser-Busch reps, is to help the company in its efforts to reduce fueling costs, and also to reduce emissions.
“At Anheuser-Busch, we are constantly seeking new ways to make our supply chain more sustainable, efficient, and innovative,” noted 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 adds: “Integrating the Tesla semi-trucks into the brewer’s distribution network will help Anheuser-Busch achieve its commitment to reduce its operational carbon footprint by 30 percent by 2025 – the equivalent of removing nearly 500,000 cars from the road globally each year.
“… This 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.”
Those of you following the autonomous trucking industry closely probably remember that Anheuser-Busch was playing with Otto/Uber self-driving trucks last year. The truck carried 51,744 cans of Budweiser using self-driving tech “from Anheuser-Busch’s Ft. 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.” More to the point, Anheuser-Busch notes that it’s checking out Tesla’s Semi offering as part of a big overall focus on innovative tech in this sector.
“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, including: Nikola, to develop and implement hydrogen-powered engines within our network, Otto and Uber Freight, to test autonomous driving technology, and Convoy to access on-demand trucking capacity.”
Reuters offers more details on the Tesla Semi buy: “The US subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev NV plans to use the trucks for shipments to wholesalers within the 500-mile (800-km) range promised by Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk.”
According to the addition work of Reuters, 116 Tesla Semi trucks have been pre-ordered (and publicly announced) from various “trucking, grocery, and retail companies.”
These earlier orders include: 25 Tesla Semis from the Canadian grocer Loblaw, 15 Tesla Semis from Walmart, 10 Tesla Semis from Deutsche Post AG’s DHL, and a number of smaller orders (meant for pilot testing, presumably) from a number of fleet operator and logistics companies. That 116 total also includes the 40 from Anheuser-Busch.
Update: With the Sysco order of 50 Tesla Semis, the tally mentioned above grows to 166.