(Reuters) - Budweiser beer maker Anheuser-Busch has reserved 40 Tesla Inc all-electric Semi trucks as it seeks to reduce fuel costs and vehicle emissions, the brewer said on Thursday.
It was one of the largest publicly announced orders Tesla has received for its electric trucks, which are scheduled to be in production by 2019.
"At Anheuser-Busch, we are constantly seeking new ways to make our supply chain more sustainable, efficient, and innovative," said James Sembrot, senior director of logistics strategy. "This investment in Tesla semi-trucks helps us achieve these goals while improving road safety and lowering our environmental impact."
The U.S. subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev NV plans to use the trucks for shipments to wholesalers within the 500-mile (800-km) range promised by Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk.
The Semi is Tesla's next step to move the economy away from fossil fuels. Limited early orders have reflected uncertainty about the market for electric commercial vehicles due to their limited range compared with diesel vehicles.
A range of trucking, grocery, and retail companies have reserved at least 117 Tesla Semi trucks, according to a Reuters tally, including Anheuser-Busch's 40. That number could be higher because fleet operator J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc said it reserved multiple Semis without providing a specific number.
The Wall Street Journal first reported Anheuser-Busch's Tesla truck orders. (http://on.wsj.com/2j40eK1)
Last month, Tesla received orders for its electric trucks from high-profile companies such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Germany-based Deutsche Post AG's DHL and Fortigo Freight Services Inc, one of Canada's largest fleet management companies, also pre-ordered Tesla's electric trucks last month to test on limited routes.
Lithuania-based transport company Girteka Logistics reserved one Tesla Semi, the company said.
Tesla declined to comment.
(Reporting by Laharee Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Andrew Hay)