Anheuser-Busch aims for zero-emissions truck fleet

Anheuser-Busch aims for zero-emissions truck fleet

Budweiser beer's parent company wants its vehicles to produce zero carbon emissions by 2025.

Anheuser-Busch announced Thursday that it will buy 800 hydrogen-electric powered semitrucks from Nikola Motor Company in order to offset the emissions of its current fleet.

The company hopes to eventually replace all of its gas powered long-haul fleet with hydrogen and electric vehicles. The integration will begin in 2020.

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“At Anheuser-Busch we’re continuously searching for ways to improve sustainability across our entire value chain and drive our industry forward. The transport industry is one that is ripe for innovative solutions and Nikola is leading the way with hydrogen-electric, zero-emission capabilities. We are very excited by the possibilities our partnership with them can offer,” Anheuser-Busch President Michel Doukeris said in a statement.

The purchases follow a recent unveiling by the company of 2025 "sustainability goals" that include cutting carbon emissions by a fourth. The company expects that, by replacing its entire semitruck shipping fleet with renewable powered options, it will reduce its carbon footprint by 18 percent.

The business has taken strides in the past to reduce emissions, teaming with the Environmental Protection Agency in 2006 for its SmartWay Transport program — which helped Anheuser-Busch reduce its total energy use in national breweries by nearly 30 percent.

Anheuser-Busch anticipates being able also cut back on waste in the future by recycling the majority of its used fuel cell technology.

In a call with reporters Wednesday, the company's vice president of procurement and sustainability, Ingrid de Ryck, said they chose to adopt a mix of hydrogen powered trucks and electric trucks in order to be "complementary."

"We see both as complementary in our distribution network. We need to think of our network as thousands of routes with very different distances, so both solutions can co-exist and play a different role. Not exclusive but very complementary," she said.