Watch Now

Beer me: Electric trucks move Budweiser to Super Bowl-area bars

Budweiser begins 3-month trial with 2 Nikola fuel cell trucks

A Nikola Tre fuel cell electric truck hauls a load of beer in Southern California as the early versions of the advanced technology trucks go into testing with Anheuser-Busch. (Photo: Nikola)

Nikola hydrogen fuel cell and BYD Motors battery-electric trucks made beer runs to Los Angeles-area bars in advance of Sunday’s Super Bowl, a publicity stunt within a model of sustainable transportation delivery.

If it sounds familiar, the two companies teamed up to deliver suds to a St. Louis Blues hockey game in November 2019. Back then, the trucks were really early versions of those used this week. In fact, the Nikola Tre cabover daycab plying Interstate 405 wasn’t even planned for sale in the U.S. at that time.

This time, the freight was Bud Light NEXT, the brewer’s first zero-carb beer not-so-coincidentally delivered in zero-emissions trucks. Bud says it plans to reduce carbon emissions by 25% across its value chain by 2025.

3-month trial

Nikola’s hydrogen-powered Tre models this month began a three-month trial with Anheuser-Busch, which ordered up to 800 Nikola fuel cell trucks four years ago to help transition its long-haul dedicated fleet to zero-emission vehicles. The two Tre alpha fuel cell electric trucks are being used in daily service within the brewer’s Southern California network

The pilot is intended to refine the production specifications and features of the Nikola (NASDAQ: NKLA) vehicles and determine whether fuel cells, believed to be a good zero-emissions alternative for long-haul trucking, make sense as delivery trucks.

Watch now: Nonbinding orders begin to flow for Nikola

The fuel cell Tre picked up a load of beer from Anheuser-Busch’s brewery in Van Nuys and drove south to deliver it to the Anheuser-Busch AB One distribution facility in Carson. From there, a BYD battery-electric 8TT daycab tractor delivered the beer to local bars.

Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD) is adding 20 BYD electric trucks to its California fleet this year.

The brewer currently operates 25 BYD trucks across four California distribution centers, 21 of which were part of a zero-emission beverage handling project.

A BYD electric truck at Budweiser. (Photo: Budweiser)

Nikola, BYD team up on emissions-free beer run

Anheuser-Busch charges into California electric truck demonstration race

Anheuser-Busch to buy up to 800 Nikola hydrogen-electric trucks

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.

One Comment

  1. Richard M Rehmer

    At least Budwiser is smart enough to see that hydrogen fuel cell is the real answer, not batteries that use toxic nonrecyclable lithium. It takes minutes not hours to refuel the truck

Comments are closed.

Alan Adler

Alan Adler is an award-winning journalist who worked for The Associated Press and the Detroit Free Press. He also spent two decades in domestic and international media relations and executive communications with General Motors.