Last month, Tesla unveiled what it likely hopes will be the future of the trucking industry, the Tesla Semi. The announcement generated a lot of excitement, but retailers appeared to be a bit hesitant to embrace Elon Musk’s latest offering. This is likely simply a result of the untested nature of electric trucks. That being said, Walmart and other retailers did make some purchases, and now the world’s largest beer brewer is getting in on the action.
Anheuser-Busch has announced that it has placed an order for 40 Tesla Semis, which is likely the largest order the product has seen to date. The brewery says that it believes the use of the Tesla Semi will help it reduce its carbon footprint and keep the roads safer, thanks to the autonomous driving features.
In terms of the environmental impact, Anheuser-Busch has a stated goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 30 percent by 2025 which it says would be “the equivalent of removing nearly 500,000 cars from the road globally each year.”
The company also said that it believes that self-driving and electric cars are the future of the trucking industry, and it wants to embrace these technologies early.
“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,” Anheuser-Busch’s James Sembrot said. “This investment in Tesla semi-trucks helps us achieve these goals while improving road safety and lowering our environmental impact.”
Despite Anheuser-Busch’s investment, the future of the Tesla Semi is far from certain. Forbes points out that, in order to see long-term success, the Tesla Semi will need to prove it is economically feasible, and there are a few hurdles in the way of that achievement. One of the largest will be the truck’s carrying capacity. Tesla has said that it is capable of hauling a gross weight of 40 tons, but Forbes estimated that the truck’s battery could weigh as much as 7 tons on its own.
Regardless, the recent purchase from Anheuser-Busch shows that some companies are willing to give Tesla a fair shot. It remains to be seen if the Tesla Semi finds long-term success, but maybe you shouldn’t count Musk out just yet.