Elon Musk will now deliver you beer

The Tesla Semi, at night.
The Tesla Semi, at night.
Image: Tesla
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Anheuser-Busch announced today (Dec. 7) that it’s preordered 40 of Tesla’s new electric semi trucks, which CEO Elon Musk unveiled last month. The company said in a blog post that the order is part of a commitment to lower its carbon footprint by 30% by 2025.

That’s likely a helpful timeline for Tesla, given that it doesn’t plan to deliver the first of its trucks to customers until 2019, and is still working on ironing out production bottlenecks at its Gigafactory production facility in Reno, Nevada. It’s also furiously trying to keep up with demand for its relatively affordable Model 3 electric vehicle, which is just starting to ship to regular customers.

Tesla’s new truck is completely electric, and has a range of about 500 miles on a full charge. Plugging it in for 30 minutes at one of Tesla’s fast-charging stations will give it a range of about 400 miles, meaning that for the foreseeable future, Tesla’s trucks will be more useful for short-hauling, rather than long-distance trucking. Budweiser, Anheuser-Busch’s largest US beer brand, has 12 breweries across the US, meaning that many of its customers would be within 500 miles of a facility. Each Tesla truck will be able to haul about 80,000 pounds, which is roughly 570 kegs of beer, or around 2,000 cases of beer.

The trucks feature similar semi-autonomous driving technology found in Tesla’s cars, and will be capable of staying in-lane and braking on their own. In 2016, a fully autonomous Otto truck (now a subsidiary of Uber, and the subject of an ongoing trade-secrets legal dispute with Alphabet) delivered cases of Budweiser from its Fort Collins, Colorado, brewery to the town of Colorado Springs, 120 miles away. Anheuser-Busch said in an email to Quartz that it plans to continue working with Uber, and, somewhat ironically, another company named after the famed inventor Nikola Tesla—Nikola. It’s a hydrogen-motor company that recently partnered with Bosch to develop a long-haul truck (which looks a lot like the Tesla semi) using its technology.

Anheuser-Busch has not given a timeline on when it expects to actually be delivering beer in Musk’s new trucks, however.