Nikola hydrogen fuel cell and BYD Motors battery-electric trucks made beer runs to Los Angeles-area bars in advance of Sunday’s Super Bowl, a publicity stunt within a model of sustainable transportation delivery.
If it sounds familiar, the two companies teamed up to deliver suds to a St. Louis Blues hockey game in November 2019. Back then, the trucks were really early versions of those used this week. In fact, the Nikola Tre cabover daycab plying Interstate 405 wasn’t even planned for sale in the U.S. at that time.
This time, the freight was Bud Light NEXT, the brewer’s first zero-carb beer not-so-coincidentally delivered in zero-emissions trucks. Bud says it plans to reduce carbon emissions by 25% across its value chain by 2025.
Nikola’s hydrogen-powered Tre models this month began a three-month trial with Anheuser-Busch, which ordered up to 800 Nikola fuel cell trucks four years ago to help transition its long-haul dedicated fleet to zero-emission vehicles. The two Tre alpha fuel cell electric trucks are being used in daily service within the brewer’s Southern California network
The pilot is intended to refine the production specifications and features of the Nikola (NASDAQ: NKLA) vehicles and determine whether fuel cells, believed to be a good zero-emissions alternative for long-haul trucking, make sense as delivery trucks.
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The fuel cell Tre picked up a load of beer from Anheuser-Busch’s brewery in Van Nuys and drove south to deliver it to the Anheuser-Busch AB One distribution facility in Carson. From there, a BYD battery-electric 8TT daycab tractor delivered the beer to local bars.
Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD) is adding 20 BYD electric trucks to its California fleet this year.
The brewer currently operates 25 BYD trucks across four California distribution centers, 21 of which were part of a zero-emission beverage handling project.