Photo via Anheuser-Busch.

Photo via Anheuser-Busch.

Anheuser-Busch is converting its 66-tractor fleet in Houston from diesel to compressed natural gas. The vehicles are expected to be deployed starting in November and the fleet will be fully operational by 2015.

Anheuser-Busch is partnering with Ryder, and it is the first conversion of an entire fleet for the brewing company. In June, the company added an environmental goal to reduce carbon emissions in its logistics operations from network planning, transportation and warehousing by 15% by the end of 2017.

“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,” said James Sembrot, senior director of transportation at Anheuser-Busch.

The trucks are being leased by Anheuser-Busch from Ryder and will be operated by J.B. Hunt.

Sembrot added that Houston was a strategic choice due to its central location and proximity to CNG fueling stations. The brewery has contracted to use a Questar Fueling station about 3 miles from its brewery, according to published reports.

The 12-liter engines are expected to emit 23% less greenhouse gases than conventional diesel engines. Anheuser-Busch says the fleet is expected to reduce 2,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year when adjusting emissions reduction for consumption rates.

The engines are being made available through Ryder’s participation in the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program, which is administered by the Texas Commission Reduction Plan. Ryder will maintain the vehicles out of its Houston service facility.

This is Ryder’s largest natural gas vehicle deployment to date. According to published reports, officials said they may try to expand the CNG project to other facilities across the country.