Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch wants its beer delivery process to be just a smidge more green. The company announced on Friday that it placed a pre-order for 40 Tesla Semis and proclaimed it's one of the largest orders to date. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has hinted that the trucks will start from as low as $150,000.
Anheuser-Busch's order is part of the company's wide-reaching efforts to reduce its operational carbon footprint by 30 percent by 2025. The company noted its carbon-footprint goal equals about 500,000 fewer cars on the road to emit pollutants. Indeed, the Tesla Semi fits the bill with a promised 500-mile range and with a gross weight of 80,000 pounds. During its reveal, CEO Elon Musk also said operators can charge the battery to 400 miles of range in as little as 30 minutes.
All of those attributes make the Tesla Semi quite attractive to distribution companies like Anheuser-Busch, especially for long-distance travel. Rival truckmakers have revealed similar semi trucks, though 200 miles of range has been the norm.
The brewer is no stranger to technology and future-forward approaches to transportation. Last year, an Otto self-driving semi truck delivered 51,744 cans of Budweiser beer on a 132-mile stretch of Colorado highway. Uber purchased Otto ahead of the self-driving truck's maiden voyage. Anheuser-Busch said it continues to work with Uber to test self-driving technologies and also named Nikola as another technological partner. The company and Nikola hope to bring hydrogen-powered trucks into the delivery fleet in the near future as well.
Tesla previously named 2019 for its Semi's production date, but the company rarely meets its self-imposed deadlines. The good news for Tesla, though, is it has read the market very well; there are certainly customers yearning for an all-electric semi truck.