Today’s Pickup: Anheuser-Busch reserves 40 Tesla Semi tractors

Anheuser-Busch has reserved 40 Tesla Semi electric tractors, according to the company. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Anheuser-Busch has reserved 40 Tesla Semi electric tractors, according to the company. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Good day,

While several high-profile companies have announced they have secured vehicles from Tesla following its initial unveiling of the Tesla Semi electric tractor, few have said how many vehicles they have reserved. Anheuser-Busch, though, has changed that by announcing it has placed an order for 40 of the tractors.

The brewer’s private fleet is among the leaders in the country in cutting carbon emissions through alternative fuel use. It has converted several facilities over to compressed natural gas in recent years and now it is dipping its toes into electric with the Tesla Semi as it seeks to cut its operational carbon footprint 30% by 2025.

“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. “This investment in Tesla semi-trucks helps us achieve these goals while improving road safety and lowering our environmental impact.”

Anheuser-Busch is also working with Nikola to develop and implement hydrogen-powered engines within its network, Otto and Uber Freight to test autonomous driving technology, and Convoy to access on-demand trucking capacity.  

In 2016, an Otto truck carrying 51,744 cans of Budweiser completed an autonomous truckload shipment from Anheuser-Busch’s Ft. Collins, CO, brewery to a distributorship in Colorado Springs, a distance of 132 miles, in the first-ever commercial beer delivery using autonomous driving technology.

Did you know?

The top 5 border crossings for trucks in the U.S., according to Cerasis, are Laredo, TX; Detroit, MI; Buffalo, NY; Port Huron, MI; and Otay Mesa, CA.

Quotable:

“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. 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.”

- James Sembrot, senior director of logistics strategy, on Anheuser-Busch’s plan to buy 40 Tesla Semi tractors

In other news:

U.S. productivity rebounds

U.S. productivity increased in the third quarter, rising 3% on an annual rate, according to the Labor Department, but wages continued to lag that same growth. (Wall Street Journal)

JD.com hopes to use drones to move goods

Online retailer JD.com hopes to use drones to move goods in Canada to export points. (Globe and Mail)

Mack: Electrification is not for linehaul

Mack Truck officials believe electric trucks can play a future, but it won’t be in long haul anytime soon. (Heavy Duty Trucking)

Autonomous trucks targets for hackers

Cybersecurity experts are warning that autonomous trucks provide a perfect target for hackers to exploit. (Trucks.com)

Shippers see opportunities as trucking investment expands

The amount of investment into the trucking space is opening up new opportunities for shippers to improve services and speed deliveries. (Inbound Logistics)

Final Thoughts

Tesla has been maligned in some ways recently for poor sales, but the announcement that Anheuser-Busch has reserved 40 of its new Tesla Semi electric trucks continues momentum in the trucking world. Will there be enough fleets that buy the trucks to make them a viable Class 8 competitor will ultimately depend on how these vehicles perform once fleets start using them.

Hammer down everyone!

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