First Nikola, now BYD: Budweiser brewer to deploy fleet of electric semi trucks

The electric semis will run in California between four destinations.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
Anheuser-Busch BYD electric semi truck

Beep-beep, zero-emissions beer truck coming through.


A popular adult beverage will soon have a far cleaner carbon footprint. Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch announced last Wednesday that it will unleash a fleet of 21 electric semi trucks from Chinese automaker BYD. The electric semis, built in California, will exclusively run in state.

The beer brewer said it's the largest deployment of a Class 8 electric truck fleet in North America thus far. Anheuser-Busch also placed a previous order for up to 800 Nikola semi trucks last year. Nikola hasn't yet begun production of its hydrogen fuel cell-powered semis, but the order still stands as a massive one.

For now, the 21 BYD semis will run between four California facilities and partner ENGIE will design and install charging stations at each. At the brewer's Carson site, ENGIE will also install an array of solar panels to provide clean energy for charging the electric trucks.

Angie Slaughter, vice president of sustainability procurement at Anheuser-Busch, said this deployment of electric semis will help the company meet its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 25% by 2025. The funds to make it all possible come from the California Air Resources Board, which granted the money to the Center for Transportation and the Environment. CTE is a nonprofit organization that will oversee this entire emissions-reduction process at the brewer.

Anheuser-Busch made sure these electric semis are up to the task, too. The company said it put eight of them through a rigorous test program and each truck proved worthy of the company's needs. Testing included range, acceleration, gradeability, charging and speed.

The first semis should hit the road this year before all 21 enter the fleet by 2021.

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