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Volkswagen celebrates the first year of its partnership with Cervejaria Ambev making distribution with electric-powered vehicles a reality

August 20 2019

A year after Cervejaria Ambev`s announcement that it planned to replace more than a third of its delivery fleet with at least 1,600 of Volkswagen`s electric-powered vehicles by 2023, the biggest deal of its type in the world, the two companies are celebrating their achievements in making distribution using electric-powered vehicles a reality. As well as signing a global deal to collaborate on developing an electric-powered delivery business model, the two companies have been working together to test the e-Delivery electric truck, which has already run more than 15,000 km in engineering testing under real operational conditions in the city of São Paulo, delivering Ambev`s Skol, Brahma, Antarctica and AMA brands.

Thanks to this e-Delivery test program, which began after the announcement, more than 3,300 liters of diesel fuel have not been burnt and more than 11 tons of CO2 emissions have been cut. In addition, 100% of the electrical energy used to charge the truck comes from renewable sources such as wind and solar power, while 43% of its energy comes from the vehicle`s own regenerative braking system.

“The results of this first stage of testing under real delivery conditions in a metropolis such as São Paulo have exceeded our expectations. We`ve demonstrated that VW Caminhões e Ônibus` is leading the world with this technology and, even better, through our partnership with Cervejaria Ambev we`ve shown that electric-powered delivery works. Our partnership, which has already lasted more than twenty years, led to the development of the first-ever specialized beverage delivery vehicles. And now we`ve leaped ahead again, helping electrical vehicles become a reality,” says Roberto Cortes, President and CEO of VW Caminhões e Ônibus.

The companies have joined forces to make the use of electric-powered vehicles for urban delivery a reality, establishing a benchmark for sustainable delivery operations in the global logistics market with the VW e-Delivery truck, which is charged from sustainable energy sources.

This target is visible in the solar panel installation at one of Ambev`s largest distribution centers, which is located in the company`s historical building in Mooca in the east of São Paulo, which originally housed the company`s first brewery in Brazil. Every day, the vehicle is loaded up with the company`s products and heads across São Paulo to supply the bars and restaurants in the popular districts of Itaim and Vila Madalena in the south of the city.

In addition, Cervejaria Ambev announced in June of this year that it will install more than 30 solar energy plants throughout Brazil by March 2020. The installations will produce enough electricity to supply 100% of the energy needs of the company`s 94 distribution centers in Brazil. This means that when Cervejaria Ambev`s fleet of e-Delivery vehicles is complete it will be charged from 100% renewable sources.

“We are very happy with the results of the trial to-date. The e-Delivery truck has performed really well and, even more important, has shown its tremendous potential for a positive impact on the environment”, says Bernardo Adão, Cervejaria Ambev`s Sustainability and Logistics Manager. He goes on to say: “Our main objective is to help build a sustainable legacy for future generations, and our partnership with Volkswagen is crucial to achieving this.”

e-Delivery and Ambev

The e-Delivery is the first 100% electric powered light truck in Latin America, with zero CO2, NOX and particulate emissions. The solution is full aligned with the Traton Group (of which VW Caminhões e Ônibus is a subsidiary)`s strategy to develop and promote clean technologies, which is shared by Cervejaria Ambev.

Developed in Brazil, the e-Delivery relies on state-of-the-art green logistics solutions such as smart systems which regulate battery usage during operations and recover braking energy. The trucks have a range of up to 200 km, depending on how the vehicle is configured and used. The noise levels are very low in comparison to conventionally-powered vehicles, improving the comfort of the driver and his assistants during operations.

Under the partnership agreement between Cervejaria Ambev and Volkswagen, there will be 1,600 VW electric-powered trucks on the road delivering beverages by 2023. This means that more than one-third of the fleet supporting the brewery will consist of vehicles powered by clean energy, avoiding annual emissions of more than 304,000 tons of carbon by the logistics chain.

The partnership is a milestone in the history of the two companies. Their collaboration represents an important step toward a future increasingly less dependent on fossil fuels and aims to further reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in the fleet supporting Cervejaria Ambev. The company has already succeeded in reducing emissions by 33.9% between 2014 and 2017.

Cervejaria Ambev and Sustainability

Social and environmental sustainability is a central pillar of Cervejaria Ambev`s business. Over the last five years, the company has spent more than R$ 1 billion on projects supporting this policy. The brewery has recently announced an important new step in this direction, signing up to deliver its new commitments by 2025. AB InBev`s global targets are divided into four pillars, one of which specifically refers to reducing carbon emissions by its operations and the purchase of electricity from renewable sources.

Climate Actions: 100% of our purchased electricity will be from renewable sources. In addition, the brewery will reduce its carbon emissions by 25% across its value chain.

Circular Packaging: 100% of Cervejaria Ambev`s products will be in packaging that is returnable or made from majority recycled content.Water Stewardship: 100% of communities in high-stress areas where the brewery operates will have measurably improved water availability and quality.

Smart Agriculture: 100% of the brewery`s partner farmers will be skilled, connected, and financially empowered, helping them develop and use more sustainable farming methods.

Cervejaria Ambev

Bringing people together for a better world. That is Ambev`s dream. It is a Brazilian company with its headquarters in São Paulo and operations in 18 countries. We have more than 32,000 employees in Brazil who share the same passion to brew beer and work together to help people celebrate and enjoy themselves. Ambev is an innovative brewery which places the consumer at the heart of its decisions and initiatives. Our product portfolio includes beers, soft drinks, teas, isotonics, energy drinks and fruit juices, marketed under well-known brands such as Skol, Brahma, Antarctica, Budweiser, Stella Artois, Wäls, Colorado, Guaraná Antarctica, Fusion, Do Bem and AMA, the mineral water brand which invests 100% of its profits in projects that bring drinking water to families in the Brazilian semi-arid region. Over the last five years alone, we have invested R$ 17.5 billion in the country, leaving a legacy that goes beyond the investment in our broad-based sustainability platform. This commitment includes clear and publicly disclosed goals which translate into four pillars: smart consumption, water, zero waste and development. We achieve this by working with a network of partners, as we believe that building a better world becomes a richer experience when done together.

About VW Caminhões e Ônibus

VW Caminhões e Ônibus is part of the TRATON Group and manufacturers Volkswagen and MAN commercial vehicles. The company is one of the largest producers of trucks and buses in Latin America. Since 1981, when it began operating, the company has achieved a market-leading position by respecting and satisfying the needs of its customers, the manufacturer’s constant focus. And that's exactly what it offers its customers: bespoke products and excellent after-sales service. The company is also a benchmark in the industry for its technological innovation. The company continually seeks new solutions that reduce the environmental impact of its products and operations and help preserve the environment. For more than 35 years, the manufacturer has remained committed to developing vehicles that exceed the needs of its customers - wherever they go on Brazilian, Latin American or African highways.

About TRATON SE

TRATON SE is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG and a leading commercial vehicle manufacturer worldwide with its brands MAN, Scania, Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus, and RIO. In 2018, TRATON GROUP’s brands sold around 233,000 vehicles in total. Its offering comprises light-duty commercial vehicles, trucks, and buses at 29 production and assembly sites in 17 countries. The Company had a workforce of around 81,000 employees worldwide across its commercial vehicle brands as of December 31, 2018. The Group seeks to transform the transportation system through its products, its services, and as a partner for its customers.