Anheuser-Busch Fleet Moves Towards the Future
Last month, Anheuser-Busch made an exciting announcement in partnership with Nikola, a company that designs and manufactures electric vehicles, vehicle components, energy storage systems, and electric vehicle drivetrains. The announcement revealed that Anheuser-Busch submitted an order for 800 of Nikola’s hydrogen fuel cell trucks and is a deal valued at $720 million based on reports from Trucks.com. Anheuser-Busch also reportedly submitted an order with Tesla for 40 battery-electric Tesla Semis this past December.
Anheuser-Busch has been known for being an innovator in transferring its product in years past. The company was the first to use refrigerated rail cars to move its beer in the 1870s according to CNN. In more recent times, the company shipped 50,000 cases of its beer 120 miles in a self-driving semi truck. Anheuser-Busch is continuing their trend of innovation with this new Nikola order to meet their goal of moving its entire fleet to renewable energy by the year 2025. The brand also aims to reduce its per-beverage carbon footprint by 25%. Here’s a sneak peak at what the trucks may look like:
Nikola is scheduling to start production on the trucks by 2020 and is even planning to build 28 fuel stations across Anheuser-Busch’s U.S. routes specifically for these trucks. Currently, this is the biggest drawback with hydrogen-fueled trucks, as the supply is mostly limited to up and down the East and West coasts. Nikola intends to remedy this by building 700 refueling stations across the U.S. and Canada by 2028 according to CNET.
A benefit to using hydrogen though is the speed at which fueling occurs. Nikola states a truck can be refueled in 20 minutes, while the Tesla battery-powered trucks take about 30 minutes for a 400 mile trip. 500 miles is at the top of Tesla’s range when it comes to how long the power can last. Nikola on the other hand, says that their trucks can last anywhere from 500-1,200 miles depending on weather conditions.
Nikola isn’t the only one developing hydrogen-fueled trucks though. Toyota has been developing hydrogen fuel cell heavy-duty trucks in Southern California. To be exact, they’re “proving out a modular approach where the fuel stack in Toyota’s Mirai sedan can be used in various configurations for vehicles ranging from a forklift to a pickup truck to a big rig,” according to Trucks.com. They are also reported to be building a fleet of fuel cell buses for Tokyo.
Anheuser-Busch’s push towards more energy-efficient and “greener” trucks demonstrates the action companies are taking to move towards less emissions and ultimately reduce their carbon footprint. With Nikola reporting that it currently has 9,000 non-binding orders, could this be the future of energy in trucking? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!