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Anheuser-Busch orders 40 new electric Tesla semis

Tesla CEO says rig will drive like a sports car and 'will blow your mind clear out of your skull and into an alternate dimension.'

By Susan McFarland
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Anheuser-Busch orders 40 new electric Tesla semis
Tesla's electric semi-truck, announced last month, can go 500 miles with a full load at highway speeds -- twice the distance of most U.S. freight routes. Photo by Tesla/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 7 (UPI) -- To reduce its carbon footprint, beer maker Anheuser-Busch said Thursday it's ordered 40 new, fully electric Tesla semis equipped with a semi-autonomous pilot system.

The company said the 500-mile-range hauler, unveiled last month, will be used for shipments within 150 to 200 miles of its brewery locations.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk said last month the rig drives like a sports car and "will blow your mind clear out of your skull and into an alternate dimension."

James Sembrot, Anheuser-Busch senior director of logistics strategy, said the brewer has not yet decided whether to buy or lease the trucks, which will be available in 2019.

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"We put the reservations down so we can prioritize our place in line," Sembrot said. "We don't know who the carrier is going to be in two to three years when these things are actually produced."

Deposits for the trucks have climbed from $5,000 to $20,000 since Tesla's first announcement, and will likely be sold for between $150,000 and $200,000.

The electric automaker has not said how many customers have placed deposits for the trucks, or who potential customers are -- but some some reports say at least 140 semis have been pre-ordered, including 15 from Wal-Mart.

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Some trucking companies are not yet as eager to jump on board with Tesla.

"We're going to sit on the sidelines and watch that develop," said James Welch, chief executive of YRC Worldwide Inc. "Recharging time has to be quick because you're paying a driver whether he or she is running or sitting."

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