Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch said it’s preparing to launch a fleet of electric trucks that will be the biggest deployment of electric tractor-trailers in North America.
The brewer said it’s planning to add 21 BYD battery-electric trucks to its California fleet. The 8TT Class 8 electric trucks will be based at four Anheuser-Busch distribution facilities in Sylmar, Riverside, Pomona and Carson.
Anheuser-Busch is also working with energy infrastructure company ENGIE Services to install charging equipment and a 958.5 kW solar array that the companies said will generate zero-emissions power to offset the use of energy to charge the trucks.
The companies expect Anheuser-Busch’s new BYD trucks will start hitting the road by the end of the year and the project will be completed in 2021.
Angie Slaughter, Anheuser-Busch’s president of sustainability procurement, said the company is working to reduce carbon emissions by 25 percent by 2025.
“The transport industry is one that is prime for innovative solutions and we are excited to continue driving progress towards a zero-emission fleet through this partnership,” Slaughter said.
Ford and General Motors both reported increases in traditional van sales Wednesday, but the brewer isn’t the only business moving toward electric vehicles. Amazon officials said last month that they had ordered 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from Rivian Automotive, a company that both Amazon and Ford have invested in. And UPS has shared plans to buy electric vehicles from Workhorse, the Ohio-based manufacturer that has been in talks to buy a shuttered GM plant there.
BYD says it’s the largest electric vehicle manufacturer in the world. While it only has about 1,000 employees in North America, the company employs 220,000 people worldwide. Its largest shareholder is Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.
Before inking the deal, Anheuser-Busch put BYD’s trucks through testing and got “enthusiastic feedback from drivers,” the companies said. John Gerra, BYD’s director of business development for electric trucks, said the company’s vehicles “out are there right now working hard every day throughout California.”
“We’re honored to be part of this major milestone demonstrating the operation, economic and environmental sustainability benefits of our zero-emission trucks,” Gerra said.
FOX Business' Jonathan Garber contributed to this report.