Anheuser-Busch CNG fleet: more gas = less gas
The 66 reasons in question are diesel-to-CNG converted truck tractors belonging to the Houston, Texas branch of the Anheuser-Busch brewing company. First of the vehicles will enter duty as early as in November 2014, while the remaining ones will be deployed in real-world application sometime in early 2015. The conversion program, in which Ryder is a partner (and actual owner of the trucks, which are operated by yet another company – J. B. Hunt), is a part of Anheuser-Busch's wider plan, under which the company's corporate CO2 emissions are to be reduced by 15% before 2017. If they have too much carbon dioxide, maybe they should carbonate their beers more to get ride of the excess? Or maybe quite the opposite?
Anyway, why the Houston branch? For strategic reasons – the Texas quarters are centrally located and there's a CNG refueling station nearby (3 miles or approx. 5 km away from the Houston brewery). The company has made an agreement with the Questar Fueling station to refill the trucks. And speaking of the trucks, each of them features a formerly-running-on-diesel 12-litre engine, which – after conversion – will emit by 23% less CO2 than before. If that tells you little, the fleet will annually "breathe out” 2000 tonnes less of carbon dioxide, which is quite something.
The vehicles will be maintained by Ryder. It's also this company that applied for conversion incentives under the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program. Should the entire initiative prove successful (and why shouldn't it?), the participants (primarily Anheuser-Busch) will consider converting fleets used by other branches across the country. They could do it now without waiting, since the financial and environmental benefits of switching from diesel to CNG are rarther obvious. The entire endeavour goes to show yet again that more gas (CNG) may well mean less gas (GHG), at the same not affecting the amount of gas (CO2 in beer) at all.
The next-generation CNG engine technology paired with support from state incentive programs contributed to our ability to take such a significant step in fully converting our Houston fleet.
James Sembrot, senior director of transportation at Anheuser-Busch
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