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Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…

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Budweiser Bets On Tesla To Replace Its Fleet

Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Budweiser beer, has reserved 40 of Tesla’s newly announced electric Semi trucks aimed at reducing fuel costs and carbon emissions, according to Reuters and The Wall Street Journal.

The vehicles are due for a 2019 rollout, but Tesla is habitually late on its delivery dates. It is unclear if the Budweiser order is Tesla’s largest Semi fleet purchase so far.

Budweiser wholesalers within 150 to 200 miles of its main brewery locations in the United States will be greeted by the electric trucks, the company said, without clarifying if the vehicles would be bought or leased.

Wal-Mart and J.B. Hunt have already ordered the trucks to add to their fleets, as well as Germany’s Deutsche Post and Canada’s Fortigo Freight Services.

Musk has bragged that the Tesla Semi can travel 500 miles per charge, with 400 of those miles capable of being charged in 30 minutes. An even faster charge may be coming, too. The heavy-duty truck will be able to go from zero to 60 in five seconds, and can hit 60 mph in 20 seconds with an 80,000-pound payload

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The Tesla chief also said that the semi-truck will be able to work in a three-truck convoy, reducing its cost per mile for the fleet down to $0.85 per mile, versus the diesel cost of about $1.25 per mile. The Tesla Semi will offer the onboard technology of "platooning," where two trucks can follow behind the leader in automated mode, benefiting from the aerodynamic force and fuel savings.

Electric trucks benefit from having fewer moving parts and no transmission of diesel after-treatment systems. Those gains make electric trucks less costly to maintain than diesel trucks, he said. Bloomberg estimates that electric trucks will cost operators about 12 cents a mile on maintenance. That compares to a trucking industry average of 19 cents for mile for diesel trucks.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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