Tesla Rival Nikola Lands Semi-Truck Deal with King of Beers, Anheuser-Busch

Anheuser-Busch has placed an order for up to 800 hydrogen-electric powered semi-trucks from Tesla rival Nikola Motors.

Nikola Motors

Tesla rival Nikola Motors and beer company Anheuser-Busch announced in a joint press release Thursday that the brewer has placed an order for up to 800 hydrogen-electric powered semi-trucks. This is in addition to a mere 40 Tesla semis that Anheuser-Busch ordered in December.

"At Anheuser-Busch, we’re continuously searching for ways to improve sustainability across our entire value chain and drive our industry forward,” said Michel Doukeris, CEO of Anheuser-Busch. “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." 

The trucks are part of Anheuser-Busch's goal of reducing the company's overall carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent by 2025. Anheuser-Busch aims to convert its entire long-haul dedicated fleet to renewable powered trucks by then.

While Tesla appears to be struggling with production of the Model 3 due in part to what CEO Elon Musk called a "Russian nesting doll" of contractors and subcontractors, as well as concerns about its own semi, Nikola recently pledged to refund deposits because the company is so flush with cash. 

Neither company has actually put a semi into production yet. Earlier this week, Nikola filed a lawsuit against Tesla alleging patent infringement on its hydrogen-electric semi-trucks.

"Hydrogen-electric technology is the future of logistics and we’re proud to be leading the way," said Trevor Milton, CEO of Nikola Motor Company. "With nearly 9 billion dollars in pre-order reservations, we are building to order, not speculation, and are very excited for what’s to come."

Tesla Semi Convoy
Tesla