It seems Anheuser-Busch is set on trying every type of alternative-fuel-powered delivery truck available. In 2017, A-B announced it had ordered 40 electric Tesla semi-trucks. In 2018, A-B said it ordered as many as 800 hydrogen Nikola Motor Company semis. And in 2019, A-B says it is adding 21 battery-electric semis to its distribution fleet, this time from Chinese manufacturer Build Your Dreams (BYD).
The introduction of the electric trucks is part of a collaboration between A-B, BYD, the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE), and ENGIE Services U.S. It's called the Zero-Emission Beverage Handling and Distribution at Scale project, and it aims to "demonstrate how to reach zero-emissions across the range of activities at AB distribution facilities with minimal modifications to fleet logistics." A-B claims this will be the largest Class 8 electric truck deployment in North America.
The trucks and their charging gear will be used at four A-B distribution centers in Sylmar, Riverside, Pomona, and Carson, California. Installation of the chargers will be handled by ENGIE, which describes its goal as becoming "the world leader in the zero carbon transition 'as a service' for our customers, in particular global companies and local authorities." ENGIE will also install 958.5 kW worth of solar panels at the Carson facility.
The project is part of A-B's goal to reduce carbon emissions from its value chain by 25 percent by 2025. CTE, a non-profit that pushes zero-emission transportation, will handle development, management, and general oversight using funds from the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
BYD says it has further improved its already existing models and the trucks have already been vetted by A-B. For reference, the current specs on its Class 8 semi are as follows: 435-kWh battery capacity, three-hour AC charging, 1.5-hour DC charging, 124 miles of range when fully loaded, 167 miles of range when half loaded, 483 horsepower, 1,770 lb-ft of torque and a top speed of 65 mph.
The first trucks are expected by the end of 2019, and the project will be completed by early 2021.