Compressed natural gas has been proven to be an effective fuel for years, and more and more industry leaders are taking note. Beverage giant Anheuser-Busch has announced that they will replace all the trucks at their Houston brewery (currently diesel powered) with natural gas versions. This is a huge step for CNG vehicle fleets, with important economic and environmental ramifications.
The Houston brewery is one of Anheuser-Busch’s largest, with over 60 trucks that each pull 50,000 lbs of beer, and run almost constantly. A refueling station only a few miles from the brewery makes the frequent runs possible, as the fleet all return back to the same base after delivery.
James Sembrot, the Senior Transportation Director, has stated that the shift was undertaken largely to reduce carbon emissions, and indeed, natural gas is a significantly cleaner alternative to traditional diesel. The CNG trucks will release 23% fewer emissions than their predecessors, reducing the total emissions by 2,000 tons annually.
The transition also makes economic sense. When refueling a vehicle, CNG comes out to about 30% less expensive than gasoline. Saving 30% on the many refuelings needed for Anheuser-Busch’s fleet, and this adds up.
The state of Texas has taken remarkable steps to promote the use of natural gas, offering grants valued at $45,000 for companies who buy new natural gas powered vehicles. They have also added 35 additional natural gas fueling stations in the last year alone, making it easier for trucks to travel long distances. These additions are promising, as more plentiful fueling stations are predicted to spread the use of natural gas vehicles.
ET Environmental shares the faith in the potential of natural gas exhibited in Texas, and increasingly across the country. With experience planning and designing time-fill, fast-fill, and retail CNG fueling stations in several states across the US and Canada, ET is experienced in delivering environmentally sound design and construction solutions. Please contact us with any inquiries.