Anheuser-Busch, the nation’s largest brewer, has ordered up to 800 electric semi-trucks from the Nikola Motor Company. The trucks will start rolling out beginning in 2020 and are part of a commitment by the company to convert its entire U.S. long-haul fleet to renewable power by 2025. The company has a long history of investing in sustainable technology and being on the cutting edge in the trucking industry.
The trucks will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells. They will have a range of 500-1,200 miles and will be able to be refueled with hydrogen in 20 minutes. This is much faster than the typical time required for battery-electric vehicles. Anheuser-Busch anticipates that the new semi-trucks will reduce the company’s CO2 emission rate by 18 percent.
The design of the new trucks will feature an advanced surround viewing system. The new system displays real-time aerial views around the truck and trailer on a 15 inch-wide touch screen. The trucks will also feature a wraparound style windshield and side windows, eliminating blind spots and increasing visibility.
Anheuser-Busch is also partnering with Nikola to build a hydrogen charging network throughout the U.S. and Canada. Together, they hope to have an infrastructure of over 700 hydrogen stations in North America by 2028.
Anheuser-Busch has been a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Transport since 2006. The SmartWay program works to help companies advance supply chain sustainability. Currently over 3,000 carriers and 250 shippers are members of the SmartWay. An increasing number of shippers prefer or require SmartWay carriers.
It is an opportune time for innovative solutions in the transportation industry. From software solutions to new vehicle concepts, groundbreaking new ideas are making the transportation industry safer, more efficient and profitable. Truck drivers, including independent owner operators, can play a significant role in advancing sustainability, including driving and vehicle operating techniques that can decrease fuel consumption.
While it may not be feasible for most owner operators to purchase an electric semi-truck at this time, research by the American Transportation Research Institute has shown that carriers can improve their fuel economy by:
- Averaging a high, but not maximum speed
- Operating your semi-truck in top gear
- Whenever possible, utilizing cruise control
- Minimizing the amount of time spent idling
- Minimizing the number of sudden accelerations.
AAOO gives owner operators and small fleets the tools they need to be successful. Join AAOO today and become a healthier, wealthier trucker. An AAOO membership gives truckers benefits, products and services to enrich their business and lifestyle. Contact us today to learn more.