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Anheuser-Busch is no stranger to innovation when it comes to transporting their beer. In 1878, they were the first company to use a refrigerated rail car, and they made waves recently by shipping beer over 100 miles with a self-driving semi. They’re continuing that inovation today, announcing their order of 800 hydrogen powered semis.
The order of trucks, produced by Tesla rival Nikola, is a part of a longer plan to make the company’s entire fleet of long haul vehicles run on clean energy.
This isn’t entirely new territory for Anheuser-Busch, as they placed an order last year for 40 plug-in Tesla semis (on the heels of a 100 vehicle order from UPS). Those vehicles require a minumum deposit of $20,000 and have an expected price of $150,000 for a 300 mile range model or $180,000 for a 500 mile range model. It’s expected that the beer company will save enough money on fuel in just two years to make up for the price.
The new Nikola trucks aren’t intended to replace the Tesla ones though, as company representatives say all vehicles are expected to remain a part of their fleet. The new trucks though, will run about 400 miles on a tank of compressed gas, which can be refilled in about 20 minutes, about the same amount of time a traditional diesel takes to refuel.
As a part of this deal with Anheuser-Busch, Nikola has agreed to build nearly 30 fueling stations across the country. The stations are open to anyone with a hydrogen powered vehicle, but of course they’re stategically placed along the brewery’s routes. 700 more fueling stations are planned for the next few years.
Taking the “green” initiative one step further, all hydrogen for Nikola trucks will be created with renewable energy source like wind turbines or solar power.
All 800 of the trucks that are a part of this order are expected to be on the road by the year 2020.